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Roman Quaedvlieg's childhood dream of being a policeman was fulfilled when he joined the Queensland Police Force as wide-eyed 20-year-old in the dying days of Joh Bjelke-Petersen's Moonlight State. He survived his brush with corruption to move rapidly through the force's elite squads, including an extended period in covert operations against organised crime. After a flirtation with the private sector in aviation security, his calling drew him back to the federal policing arena when he joined the Australian Crime Commission to enter the fray of Melbourne's gangland wars and Sydney's gun traffickers.

Roman was promoted to commander in the Australian Federal Police where he headed money-laundering, political leaks and child sexual exploitation investigations before being promoted to assistant commissioner for border operations. In 2010, Roman was appointed as Canberra's chief of police for three years before being recruited by the federal government to the role of deputy CEO of Customs, where he established Operation Sovereign Borders to 'stop the boats'. Following on from this role, Roman became the inaugural commissioner of the controversial Australian Border Force, and was ignominiously sacked from that job after allegations surfaced that he assisted his partner to get a low-level ABF job at Sydney Airport.