Most charges commenced by Queensland Police Service (QPS) officers are prosecuted by QPS prosecutors in the Magistrates Courts, with some more serious charges prosecuted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). Lisa explains in her own words why she wanted to become a prosecutor and what her job entails.

Although I enjoyed my time in general duties, I thought it was time for me to experience something different.

I completed the training course and was working as a prosecutor in Innisfail when my officer in charge decided to transfer to Brisbane. I wasn’t expecting to win the position, but I had completed the required Management Development Program and thought I’d give it a go. Luckily for me I took that opportunity and was successful.

Sergeant Lisa Buchanan is the Office in Charge of Innisfail Prosecutions.

There are 3 people in my office—myself, another prosecutor and an admin officer.

The prosecution is the end process of an investigation. All areas of the QPS have a part to play and the prosecution is where it all comes together. Few people realise the amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into the preparation of a file.

It’s very satisfying when the prosecution is successful, the victim is able to get the closure they need and the offender is held to account.

I enjoy thinking on my feet and being able to form sound legal arguments that cannot be refuted by defence. Legislation is always changing, so it’s a challenge to keep up with those changes and pass on that information on to my colleagues.

Prosecutions is a diverse area of the QPS. Prosecutors are required to liaise with first responders and investigators, defence and magistrates, victims and offenders, probation, parole and youth justice officers, so we need to have the ability to communicate to all facets of the community.

Within the QPS, I liaise with a variety of areas. For instance, I will work with the Education and Training Office to conduct moot courts so that first year constables can experience giving evidence.

If given an opportunity, I recommend observing prosecutors in court to fully appreciate what role we play.

I enjoy being a police officer as well as being a prosecutor, so I see my career being with the QPS for a long time to come and I would consider looking at other areas within legal division in the future. I look forward to taking opportunities as the present themselves.

I was a victim of an assault myself prior to joining the QPS, so being able to raise community expectations in sentencing submissions means that perhaps in a small way I get the opportunity to be a voice for those victims.