Ararat’s new industry officers report for duty

Graduation Squad 2a 2014 with squad manager Nathan Shalders (front, second from left), general manager Patrick McCormick, and regional director Catherine Darbyshire. Pictures: PETER PICKERING

Graduation Squad 2a 2014 with squad manager Nathan Shalders (front, second from left), general manager Patrick McCormick, and regional director Catherine Darbyshire. Pictures: PETER PICKERING

ARARAT - Corrections Victoria has welcomed 10 new industry officers to the corrections system at a graduation ceremony at Ararat's Hopkins Correctional Centre.

General manager Patrick McCormick said the new officers will uphold the integrity and security of Hopkins Correctional Centre, which is currently undergoing a 350-bed expansion, and support prisoners to develop skills that will assist with their rehabilitation.

"Victoria's prison system has a long and proud history, and it gives me great pleasure to welcome the next generation of industry officers into the corrections system," Mr McCormick said.

"The new recruits join thousands of other officers and prison staff across Victoria supporting a safer community and making a positive difference to the lives of offenders.

"They will now put their industry skills to good use, supervising prisoners who work in prison industry and service areas, such as metal and woodwork, agriculture, catering and hospitality."

The 10 officers have worked in a variety of professional roles, including greenskeeper and an outreach worker.

All officers have completed Corrections Victoria's rigorous training and assessment program, which covers security processes, conflict resolution, in-prison programs, reporting procedures and emergency and risk management.

"They will draw on their life experience and their training to manage the day-to-day operations of the prison system," Mr McCormick said.

"These officers will protect and uphold the security and integrity of the corrections system, while also working with offenders to make a real difference to their lives."

Mr McCormick said Corrections Victoria was embarking on a major recruitment drive to support the ongoing expansion of Victoria's prison system.

More than 1200 prison beds have opened since the start of 2011, with around 2900 in the pipeline.

Recent graduates Jody Bohner and Travis Nicholson.

Recent graduates Jody Bohner and Travis Nicholson.

Construction resumed in 2013 on the 350-bed expansion of Hopkins Correctional Centre, with work expected to be completed at the end of the year.

Major expansions are also being delivered at Marngoneet, the Metropolitan Remand Centre, Dhurringile, and Loddon Prison, with extra beds being added at other prisons across Victoria.

Mr McCormick said Department of Justice employees, including industry officers, received ongoing professional development and training, access to employee assistance programs and recreation facilities. He said Corrections Victoria was looking for people with life experience and sound communication skills, along with individuals who have experience in trades and services.

The next recruitment period for prison officer roles at Grampians region prisons is July 11-28, 2014. Visit cvcareers.com.au to find out more and apply online early.

Vacancies for industry officers and other non-custodial roles, such as industry officers, health workers and administration roles will be advertised throughout the year at careers.vic.gov.au

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