Two Queensland Police officers have been selected as part of the Deloitte Outstanding 50 LGBTI+ Leaders for 2020 for their exceptional achievements in support of LGBTIQ+ people and police.
The list showcases the work being done by LGBTI+ leaders across a diverse range of industries including entertainment, news and policing.
Inspector Gai Bolderrow and Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen are both serving members of the QPS and, on top of their standard police duties, are tenacious in their efforts to improve the lives and experiences of community members and police officers who identify as LGBTIQ+.
Both officers have a long list of achievements and work they have accomplished to advocate for LGBTIQ+ people across Queensland, from a variety of angles.
Inspector Gai Bolderrow
Inspector Gai Bolderrow has been proactive in supporting LGBTIQ+ police and community members
Inspector Gai Bolderrow has been actively involved in service to LGBTIQ+ communities since 1990’s when she was involved in establishing and training the inaugural QPS LGBTI Liaison Officers.
As a Liaison Officer herself, Inspector Bolderrow has assisted many LGBTIQ+ people with reporting and investigating crimes and referral to other LGBTI community support organisations.
Inspector Bolderrow has also been involved in valuable changes to QPS policy and to support transgender police and members of the community.
She is a QPS representative on the Queensland Government LGBTI Roundtable and the Pride in Diversity Executive Ally Network.
Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen
Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen advocates for LGBTIQ+ people in his role as an officer and outside of the Service
Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen has been a passionate and visible LGBTI advocate for most of his policing career.
Early in his career he was posted to Roma, where he established “Anything but Straight” with local LGBTI professionals and allies, providing assistance to community members in rural and remote areas.
In 2018, Senior Constable Bjarnesen assisted in the establishment of the QPS LGBTI Consultative Group, which provides an avenue for the LGBTIQ+ people to provide direct feedback in relation to policing services.
Senior Constable Bjarnesen has a strong passion for supporting LGBTIQ+ people impacted by domestic and family violence, and in 2016 was awarded the Churchill Fellowship to enhance the police response to domestic violence in LGBTI communities.
In May 2020, he founded LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day and is on the Board of Directors for DV Connect and several other not-for-profit organisations.
He has also played significant roles in the QPS It Gets Better project and the Proud to Stand with You initiative, both supporting LGBTIQ+ people in Queensland and forging stronger relationships with the LGBTIQ+ community and police.
Outside of his role as a police officer, Ben continues his involvement in support of LGBTIQ+ causes. This includes being a facilitator for the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health and being part of the Queensland Government’s LGBTI Roundtable.
Senior Constable Bjarnesen was recently named as one of the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Heroes for his work addressing the impacts of domestic and family violence in LGBTIQ+ communities.
Both officers were founding members of the Queensland Police Service’s LGBTI Support Network which is run by members of the service and provides internal and external support for LGBTIQ+ people.
Congratulations to both officers for your achievements in supporting LGBTIQ+ people
The long lists of achievements of these two officers only serve to highlight the passion they have for their advocacy work for the LGBTIQ+ communities, and the direct impact that work is having on the people of Queensland as a whole.
Congratulations to both Inspector Bolderrow and Senior Constable Bjarnesen for receiving such a prestigious recognition for their ongoing work to support members of the LGBTIQ+ communities.