Programs designed to support the rehabilitation of Victorians in the justice system have today been recognised at the 2016 Community Work Partnership Awards.
Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney joined hundreds of volunteers at the MCG this afternoon for the awards, which acknowledge constructive partnerships between Corrections Victoria and local community groups.
A partnership between minimum-security Beechworth Correctional Centre and the Winton Wetlands Committee of Management took out the highly coveted Minister’s Award.
The program sees prisoners working on the largest wetlands restoration project in the Southern Hemisphere – giving them skills they can use after prison including gardening, landscaping and environmental pest control.
Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard presented the Commissioner’s Award to volunteer Gwen Jarvis, from the Sit and Knit program for community-based female offenders.
Ms Jarvis supervises the program, teaching offenders how to make items like blankets, beanies and jumpers which are then donated to disadvantaged children and families.
In 2015-16, offenders subject to Community Correction Orders completed almost 804,000 hours of community work, worth about $24 million to Victorian communities.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney
“Today’s awards were a chance to pay tribute and say thanks to the hundreds of community workers who dedicate their lives to helping others turn over a new leaf.”
“The Andrews Labor Government was elected to put people first and that includes working with community groups to drive down the rates of re-offending, creating a safer Victoria.”
Quotes attributable to Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard
“These programs help prisoners and offenders acquire work and life skills, while they repay the community and meet their obligations.”
“By engaging in these activities, they are able to learn and earn respect and make a positive contribution to their communities.”
2016 Community Work Partnership Winners
Most Outstanding New Project
Cultivating Place, Cultivating People (Broadmeadows Community Correctional Services)
Initiative with Local Council, Shire or Utilities
Revitalising Braybrook (Sunshine Community Correctional Services)
Educational Institution/Educational Programs
Water 2 All (Dandenong Community Correctional Services)
Environmental Sustainability Projects
Parks Victoria Green Team (Dandenong Community Correctional Services)
Projects Involving Diversity, Indigenous, or Age of Offenders or Prisoners
Healthy Pears – Healthy Body, Healthy Mind (Dandenong Community Correctional Services)
Sit and Knit Program (Ballarat Community Correctional Services)
Field Officer or Other Staff Member Award
Stephen Cadman, Manager, Community Work, West Metropolitan Region
Most Outstanding Location Base Project (CCS Location or Prison)
Recycle, Reuse & Donate Woodwork Program (Sunshine Community Correctional Services)
Best Ongoing Partnership (Joint Winner)
Lions Club Respite Centre (Bendigo Community Correctional Services)
Where there’s a Will(derness), there’s a way (Fulham Correctional Centre, Sale)
Best in Region:
North Metropolitan Region: Cultivating Place, Cultivating People
West Metropolitan Region: Stephen Cadman, Manager, Community Work
Barwon South West Region: Small Engine Program (Geelong Community Correctional Services)
South-East Metropolitan Region: Healthy Pears – Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Hume Region: Bantick House Club Connection (Beechworth Correctional Service)
Grampians Region: Sit and Knit Program
Loddon Mallee Region: Lions Club Respite Centre
Gippsland Region: Where there’s a Will(derness), there’s a way