EVER since she was a little girl in primary school, Cathleen Sugden has wanted to join the police service.
The only problem was she didn't think she was up to it.
Now 26, the former St Mary's College student is embarking on her dream career quietly confident of handling the challenges ahead.
Last Thursday, Ms Sugden was one of 102 first year constables inducted in to the Queensland Police Service at the Queensland Police Academy.
On Friday and Monday, Constable Sugden and six other constables gathered for orientation at Ipswich police headquarters in Yamanto before being sent to stations in the Ipswich district.
"I'm at Springfield. It's massive and getting bigger and bigger by the minute. I'm really happy with Springfield," Const Sugden said.
"Within our first year we get moved around a couple of times within the Ipswich police district to get experience in different areas."
After leaving St Mary's she became a chef then lived for a couple of years on Norfolk Island, where her family lived, before returning to Ipswich.
"Then I came back and worked a few different jobs, including a manager at Sizzler, and then I had my boy, who is three and a half now, so I just did little jobs then did my TAFE course and applied for the police," she said.
"I've always wanted to do it since I was a little kid; it's what I said I wanted to do when I was in primary school. I finally got there."
Asked why she didn't apply to join the police earlier, she smiled.
"I never really thought I was good enough I suppose," she said.
Wanting to work in the community and use her communications skills, she felt suited to police life even though it wasn't in her blood.
"I'm not related to anyone that's been in the police; so it's not a family thing. Hopefully it might start one," she said with a laugh.
"It's exactly what I expected. The academy life is obviously a lot different but then when I did station duty at Goodna it was above my expectations.
"It was really enjoyable in the sense that I got to see how the police involved themselves with the public. And the way they spoke to the public was just so good so it made me feel really good about joining the job."