Should Chris Obst ever choose to leave his dream job, he won’t go empty handed.
The Senior Constable holds commercial boating qualifications, all earned during his time at the Water Police.
“It used to be very hard to get in to the Water Police but now everyone has an opportunity – you don’t need commercial qualifications, you don’t need experience on the water, basically everything that we learn here is on-the-job learning,” he said.
“In 2016 our fleet went commercial so we’re now governed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The good thing that came with that is everyone who drives a boat here at the office has to hold a commercial qualification so most people in the office are at least Coxswains if not Master 5 qualified. We get put through these external courses as part of our job and we get to keep that if choose to leave Victoria Police, we’ll have those qualifications which are nationally accredited.”
Not that Sen Const Obst plans to jump ship anytime soon as policing provides him the perfect mix of job security and work/life balance.
“Prior to joining, I was working as a contract labourer,” he said.
“A mate of mine was a builder and I was subcontracting to him but I wanted a career and a secure job that paid me on a weekly or fortnightly basis.
“My father was in the police force when I was a kid and it was something it was always in the background for me.
“To get paid to drive boats and go out and assist people on the water is great. We also get nine weeks leave a year which is great for family life.
“I’ve been at the Water Police for about three years now, I can’t see myself going anywhere else in a hurry. I really love the variety of jobs we do here at the Water Police, it pretty much depends on your interest, we’ve got a marine response team, an underwater surveillance team, if you’re into investigations and stolen property we’ve got a marine investigation unit, we get trained in all aspects, swift water so if there’s floods around the state, we get deployed, there’s just so many roles and opportunities within the Water Police itself let alone Victoria police.”
So Sen Const Obst’s advice is clear: “If you’re thinking about it, give it a go”.
“I remember back to day one at the Victoria Police Academy and one of the instructors said ‘policing is the front row seat to the biggest circus on earth’ and it’s lived up to all of my expectations.”
Reviewed 11 October 2019