Andrea Musulin joined the police service in 1986, and, like other male-dominated industries, it was in a state of change, including the uniform of heels, dresses, and pantyhose and the black handbag carried over her shoulder, a holster of sorts for the service revolver.
In 1993 as the WA Police Liaison Officer for Protective Behaviours (PBs) state-wide, Andrea joined Protective Behaviours WA. It was the perfect fit as a positive channel to release her passion for helping children.
In an interview with Andrea Muslin, she revealed that while being inducted into the inaugural WA Women’s Hall of Fame was incredibly special, her greatest achievement has been her ability to teach large numbers of teachers, services providers and parents the PBs program. And, her joy has been teaching children and giving them a voice to protect themselves.
An extract from the ‘Starfish Singers‘ Andrea Musulin – A Mission to Protect and Service
The conversations of the last few people still finding a seat in the crowd hush.
I feel a shift in the room and lean forward in my chair. Maybe it was Andrea’s police officer’s uniform. Or maybe they sense how serious this is, too?
Andrea catches and holds a few gazes before continuing.
“Most children are abused by someone they know. We must empower children with the knowledge to protect themselves. Who can tell me what a pederast is?”
My heart starts to race and I slowly raise my hand. “A man who desires sex with teenage boys.”
“And who taught you that?”
“You did,” I say and fold my hands over my stomach to prepare for the story. Even though I’ve already heard it, I know the impact of it will be the same the second time. Some things never get easier.
Andrea nods and returns to the podium. The growl in her voice as she starts the story isn’t aggression; it is an assertion of her authority on the subject, alerting adults to the motivations of sex offenders and the great lengths they will go to in gaining access to a child. Andrea has witnessed the horrors of what pedophiles can and will do to children.
I look across at the row of men and women in front of me. Faces are ashen. Heads are bowed. The events being described are raw and sickening.
Listening to Andrea is like training with a heavyweight instructor. Knees begin to buckle. Hearts grow weary hearing her extensive knowledge of predatory behaviours and horrific stories of child sex abuse. But we stay and bear the burden. We are also challenged to speak out against the apathy in society. Children are taught to trust and respect adults and conditioned to do as they are told. No wonder there’s an epidemic…
In 2015, Andrea was invited to take up the position of Safeguarding Project Coordinator for the Perth Catholic Archdiocese in WA. Accepting the role, Andrea resigned as Executive Officer from PBWA.
Excerpt from the Starfish Singers Book by Christine G. Camp – A Mission to Protect and Serve
Photo by Jamie O’Brien. Used with permission.