‘Coffee with a cop’ initiative at Charles Darwin University brings students and police together

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

Students at Charles Darwin University (CDU) got a free morning cup of coffee and a side order of advice yesterday at the tertiary institution’s Casuarina campus, as local police officers offered to answer any questions about safety concerns at uni, at home, and in the broader community.

The aim behind the unique collaboration between Northern Territory Police and Study NT was to foster an inclusive campus environment, while also enabling students to engage with local law enforcement.

The Coffee with a Cop initiative is a collaboration with Northern Territory Police and Study NT which aims to foster a safe and inclusive community for students.

CDU Student Engagement Director Sarah Fletcher said the event was an opportunity for all students – and especially  international students – to have concerns about safety addressed in a friendly, informal way.

“Coffee with a cop has been effective at other locations around Darwin, and now CDU students can learn more about ways to feel safe and supported,” Ms Fletcher said.

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“Moving to another country to study can be daunting for some students who have never been away from home, so it’s important to help students connect with safety and wellbeing services on campus, as well as in the community, to ensure they know who they can turn to for help.”

As well as the free coffee, a range of sports and entertaining activities encouraged students to play against peers and enjoy a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere, while getting to know the local police.

in 2021, a survey by a Charles Darwin University (CDU) researcher and Education Early Childhood Senior Lecturer, Georgia Nutton, revealed Darwin children were more worried about their personal safety and crime in the community than their school grades.

The results of the survey showed 44 per cent of its young respondents were worried about their personal safety and 16 per cent were concerned about crime. More than half of the students under ten (66 per cent) and over 11 (53 per cent) said they were worried about safety in their local community.

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In May this year, the international student community in Darwin was shocked and scared after Bangladeshi student Ishaqur Rahman Sifat, 23, was killed by an intruder who police say assaulted him while he was asleep at his home.

The ‘coffee with a cop’ initiative formed part of CDU’s other recent initiatives that are designed to support international students who choose to study in Darwin.

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]brandx.live