Law Week Justice Journeys


More than 100 students applied to participate in the 2016 Law Week job shadowing program. Forty-six were placed in a variety of roles across the justice sector. They shared their Justice Journeys with us in a range of creative formats including images, video and written content.

The role of Police Liaison Officer at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) is to provide support to police by conducting searches of the BDM records for things such as: confirming a name, date of birth or gender;  helping to establish if children are at risk of harm; searching for relatives of suspected offenders; determining if there has been any activity from missing persons, and; confirming a person’s death. The officer also helps Queensland Police respond to requests made by other police agencies.

Sophie – a first year QUT student with a keen interest in policing –went undercover at BDM to learn more about what the BDM Police Liaison Officer does and how they assist with police investigations.

Hi! My name is Sophie, and I have almost completed my first year at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) studying a Bachelor of Justice. Since starting my justice degree, I have been particularly interested in policing and in studying different aspects of crime.

I was offered an amazing opportunity to job shadow the Police Liaison Officer at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Brisbane City. Prior to undertaking this Justice Journey, I was unsure of the role a Police Liaison Officer (PLO) has within the Registry.

Sophie Melcer

I met up with my mentor for the day and PLO, Amanda, at 9am at the front of the Registry on George Street. She took me into the building, and I was signed in as a visitor and received an all-access card. Amanda took me on a quick tour explaining the different parts of the building, and I learnt the different roles of people who work in the Registry. All of the employees were extremely nice and welcoming. I was also shown the place where people get married and was given the option to watch a marriage - but I decided to stay with Amanda and experience what she does.

After the tour, Amanda explained that she receives requests from Child Safety and Queensland Police Service Officers for information that can assist with their investigations. I assisted Amanda with obtaining and sending birth, death and marriage certificates to the police officers that potentially helped with an investigation. Amanda taught me how to use the system to search for people and their records as well as typing formal letters to police officers and agencies requesting certificates or records. I even got to search my own birth to make sure I was registered. Thankfully I was!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my day job shadowing Amanda at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages and I’m now looking at other options that my justice degree may lead to. I’m very grateful to Amanda for allowing me to job shadow her for the day and teach me different aspects of her job, as well as the Department of Justice and Attorney-General for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Justice Journey experience.