Diversity Liaison Officers and Rainbow Allies from every Police district gathered recently at the DLO National Conference - the first Police-hosted DLO conference in a decade.
The conference aimed to refresh, build and develop the Police DLO network. It attracted 85 people, with internal and external presenters alongside DLOs and Rainbow Allies. These included Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha, Assistant Commissioners Richard Chambers and Chris de Wattignar and Auckland City District Commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus, a long-time supporter.
DLOs were inspired to support their colleagues as well as our Rainbow communities.
"The atmosphere was lively, and the presentations were informative and moving - particularly the personal stories from our own staff who are Rainbow, staff who have Rainbow family, and our visiting guest speakers," says MC Acting Sergeant Charles Laumatia.
"There aren’t many DLOs in some districts and so the opportunity to network and connect was really valuable."
Feedback collected via a survey was overwhelmingly positive, with a focus on how well the conference - held in Auckland - was organised and how well it was received by the participants. There was a hope that the conference could become a regular event.
- “One of, if not the best, conferences I can recall attending"
- "Fantastic conference, thank you... It was great to network and know we are not isolated but have a team around the country to assist us. Thank you"
- “An amazing conference. Well organised and great for networking and upskilling.”
The DLO role is a voluntary one that staff perform on top of BAU. It involves liaising with diverse communities and community groups, youth engagement, partnerships with NGOs, government agencies, and working with individuals in Rainbow communities. Many DLOs are part of Rainbow communities themselves or have family or friends who are part of Rainbow communities.