THIS WEEK IN 1998: Hampshire's top cop explores Life in Aus
Â It was a novel experience for the Aboriginal school children. It was pretty new for Hampshire's top policeman too.Â
Chief constable Sir John Hoddinott saw an anti-drugs, anti-alcohol initiative taken to the remotest part of North Queensland during a trip to Australia.
He was following the progress of the Rock Challenge project during a ten-day visit to the country where the concept was launched.
The idea for an inter-schools dance competition was brought from Australia by Hampshire police and has been held annually at Portsmouth's Guildhall since 1996.
Teams of pupils wereÂ given eight minutes to perform a dance routine with a serious message to a medley of contemporary music. Each performer promises not to smoke, drink or take drugs.
Sir John had seen a final in Tasmania and the launch of Croc Eistedd Festival in Weipa for the indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders.
Show producer Susan De Weger said at the time: '˜Sir John was invited out here as the guest of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.Â He has worked with the police in Sydney and seen the Tasmanian final.'
Sir John is pictured with an Aborigine boy during his visit.