Lauren Callaway

Assistant Commissioner, Victoria Police

I grew up in Sale, Gippsland and joined Victoria Police in 1994 after completing a cadetship as a newspaper journalist in the Latrobe Valley and giving up on artistic ambitions to be a graphic designer or fine arts student. Envisaging a lifetime of financial subsistence, my parents breathed a sigh of relief.

After working operational duties in Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong, I took promotion to sergeant in the Intelligence and Covert Support Department (ICSC) where I spent six years involved in forensic intelligence, special projects and establishing the Sex Offenders Registry. The latter provided national exposure to an Australian wide offender tracking scheme, and also afforded me the privilege of working overseas with police in the United Kingdom.

I spent a year in the Crime Department as an Acting Inspector establishing the first iteration of the Violence Against Women and Children Strategy Group, then four years at Professional Standards, followed by a Local Area Command role at Glen Eira Bayside. I was promoted to Superintendent in 2016, returning to Intelligence and Covert Support Command to manage the Offender Management Division and focus efforts on an expanded post sentencing scheme to include both violent and the most serious of sex offenders.
I was promoted to Commander in 2018 to People Development Command where I worked on developing our organisational education strategy, leading the specialist training areas and producing quality outcomes in education and training. Returning to the Academy environment was certainly a challenge to my memories of having survived recruit training 25 years earlier. Luckily times have changed!

In September 2020 I took up a new role as Assistant Commissioner of Family Violence Command and am thrilled to be back in an area that matters to me, and is intrinsically linked to my thinking on gender equality.

I am currently the chair of Victoria Police Legacy having been a Board member since 2010. My goal within the Police Legacy environment is to simply create a culture of compassion.

Things that I am proud of – writing a book on Aboriginal jockey Darby McCarthy titled Against All Odds, running three marathons and raising a considerate hard-working daughter. I am specifically proud of the professional development work I started many years which grew into a career planning program, inclusive of all but very much tailored to help women be more successful in policing. When I receive communications from people telling me that they have left the session feeling inspired and excited about the next phase of their career I know I am on the right track.

Presentation: Crisis Response