Ben Bjarnesen | Centre for Veterinary Education

Ben Bjarnesen

Ben Bjarnesen joined the Queensland Police Service in 2007.  Throughout his career, Ben has served in outback Queensland, including the rural community of Roma where he spearheaded the development and implementation of the community support group, “Anything but Straight”. This group provides support, education and referral services to LGBTI clients and in 2011 Ben was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year Award for this initiative.  In 2012, Ben moved to Brisbane and has since been stationed in Fortitude Valley.  On top of his operational duties, Ben is the assistant coordinator of the Queensland Police Service LGBTI Support Network, which was developed to support LGBTI Police Officers, staff members and their families. The work of the Support Network saw them become finalists in the Australian LGBTI Awards in 2017 and 2018.  Ben is the Regional Coordinator (Brisbane Region) of the Queensland Police Service LGBTI Liaison Officer Program and in 2017 was named as one of the top 50 most influential and inspiring LGBTI Australians by Cosmopolitan Magazine.  In 2017 Ben headed the Qld Police Services’ involvement in the “It Gets Better” project which attracted international media attention and over 2.5 million views and was later awarded the 2018 Qld Premiers Awards for Excellence (Leadership) and the highly commended award for the overall Premiers Awards for Excellence.  As a recipient of a fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, in 2017 Ben travelled to the USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands researching ways for Police forces to enhance the way in which they respond to domestic violence incidents in the LGBTI communities.  Ben is a member of the Qld Government LGBTI Roundtable which will inform government engagement with LGBTI communities and provides a mechanism for communities to highlight issues, challenges and opportunities with Qld government agencies.  He is also the vice-chair of the Queensland Police Union of Employees Inclusion & Diversity Committee.