I am a resilient womxn which helps me to be transformational.
What are you hopeful about?
Family Violence is being talked about more openly and more people are coming forward to make reports. It’s vital that we don’t take our foot off the accelerator. This is a complex issue which needs to remain part of everyone’s conversation, not just the month of May. Our society needs to recognise that the care for our most vulnerable is from cradle to grave. We must learn to see the person not just the incident.
Government recommendations need to be implemented not just talked about at media conferences. Genuine ongoing collaboration between government and non-government departments, community and business groups will see this happen. Controlling and coercive behaviour has a consistent negative and sometimes lethal impact on women and children every day so appropriate perpetrator programs need to be made available as well.
It’s about respect.
What are you working on?
Informal mentoring relationships with senior women in senior positions in private and government sector. I also mentor men, similarly. I am co-supervising a PHD student. Waiting on a research paper to be published once it gets through the peer review and looking forward to another year of lecturing at QUT. My father, who was an intelligent and humble man, taught me the value of helping others, giving back: I never saw him say ‘no’ to anyone who asked for his help – including me! If I can help anyone that’s what I'm all about
What's easy for you as a womxn?
Expression and communication, it is easy to articulate what I’m thinking and what I want to say in an uninhibited way.
What's difficult for you as a womxn?
The challenges of being a performance driven female leader - for example the undermining adjectives that are used: “she’s highly strung today”; “you should chill out”.
As you rise through the ranks your existing working relationships change. I’ve found that the best way to cut through the assumptions around being the token woman is to be authentic in all my communication. The police force is still evolving for women in leadership roles, confidence and other attributes that are readily accepted in a man need to be applied across genders.
Knowing that women became more isolated during the pandemic and the need to put Family Violence high on everyone’s agenda.
What’s important to you?
Respectful relationships and communication, it seems everyone is very angry, constantly outraged and reactive. People could benefit from taking a breath and calming down and being grateful. I am grateful to be here every single day. It is a true blessing for me – so I make each day count.
Authenticity in communication is vital when you’re trying to drive change, through many years of trial and error I have been acquiring a true sense of engaging, acknowledging, and listening to the person I am communicating with. It’s not going to be easy to be authentic, sometimes passing comments about a conversation have helped me to reflect on the impact of my level of communication and the effect it has on their life and mine.
How do you maintain mental fitness/mental health?
I’ve always tried to be physically active going to the gym and walking. A good network of friends, including a core group of people who have been friends since school and university. With maturity and age, I have developed a strong emotional core which enables me to realise the limits of what I can control and to let go of the rest. I also have a very strong faith. My spiritual well being is most important to me.
What brings you joy?
Other people’s achievements - I mentor women and feel humbled that people seek my help. It brings me great joy seeing them resolve their issues. I love lecturing at QUT and soaking up the innate goodness of the young people I teach.
I feel so lucky to live in Australia. My two cats are a joy and I appreciate simple things like a mowed lawn so the yard looking nice.
How do you nurture your relationship with nature?
Coming from the country I know I need to be mindful of the environment and have a responsibility not be wasteful. I am respectful of my surroundings, living near Kedron Brook I appreciate nature when I’m out walking. Recently, and by pure accident, I grew cherry tomatoes in my garden which I shared with my neighbours. Through this sharing I was surprised by the spontaneous connections that resulted. It reminded me of my grandmother and father always saying never waste anything and share what you have.
Where do you feel a sense of belonging/community?
Through my connections with people, my network, giving to others being a sounding board when needed and being mindful to show empathy so that my responses are non-judgemental.
Where do you live/work?
I live on Turball Jagera country in the Grange.
Best piece of advice from a woman?
When I was at the Academy, a senior policewoman said, “Never lose your femininity and be proud to be a woman”.
When you’re down, how do you get back up?
The older you get the wiser you become, so I know that my attitude and mindset make a difference to my state of mind. As does feeling grateful and being generous along with the belief that things happen for a reason. Listening to music, reading my daily devotionals, and being with my furbabies helps to lift me up. My strong faith and belief that each new day when the sun comes up it is always a blessing and to just smile and say thank you! The glass is always half full!
Regan Carr is an Adjunct Industry Fellow QUT Centre for Justice and a member of the QUT Centre for Justice Stop Domestic Violence Advisory Committee. Following a 34-year policing career she has accumulated strategic operational police management knowledge and has extensive experience working with complex vulnerable community groups.
Regan has been awarded the National Police Service Medal, National Medal, National Emergency Medal, Queensland Police Exemplary Conduct Meal, Queensland Police Service Medal, the Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation, the G20 Citation, XXI Commonwealth Games Citation and the Queensland Police 150 Years Citation.
Regan holds a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree (Psychology).
Regan's life has been and continues to be in service to society. Her reflections on life echo those of Anne Lamott who writes,
"Friends save us, service to others saves us. Books, nature, community, and music save us."
"You discover that everything helps you learn who you are and that is why we are here."
This is the essence of WomxnConnect, we're so glad to have you with us.