Corrective Services NSW has lured talent from across the border with a record number of interstate recruits among its latest graduating class of 71 custodial officers.
The newest employees were recognised at an attestation ceremony at Wellington Correctional Centre on Thursday after successfully completing 10 weeks of intensive training at the facility.
The officers made history by being among the first in the state to work in the new high-tech Rapid-Build Prison, Macquarie Correctional Centre, which will open later this year next to the existing centre in the state’s Central West.
Corrective Services NSW Assistant Commissioner Mark Wilson said some of the recruits had relocated from other states including Victoria and Queensland, to commence their careers in NSW.
“Our new employees were sourced from a nationwide talent pool to complete their Certificate III in Correctional Practice and to learn the skills required for a challenging and rewarding career working within the state’s prisons,” Mr Wilson said.
“The role of an officer is a vital one and some of our recruits have eagerly crossed the border to take advantage of the world-class training and career development opportunities we provide.”
CSNSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the graduates come from diverse backgrounds and are determined to make a positive contribution to the criminal justice system.
“I congratulate the new staff members who are about to commence an important role, where they will work together to make our community a safer one,” Mr Severin said.
“The officers are varied in age, cultural background and previous employment, bringing a variety of life experiences, which will enhance and strengthen the culture of our organisation.
“They are well prepared for the challenges that await them in their new roles and should be proud of what they have achieved so far and what they will achieve next.”
Dubbo Regional Council administrator, Michael Kneipp, said it was a fantastic day for Wellington.
“Best of all many of them are local people,” he said.
“A lot of them were in employment in Wellington, so that means that other people in Wellington will have the opportunity to fill their positions by virtue of back-filling, so overall it really increases the employment in Wellington so it is a great day.”
Graduates will also be placed at Wellington Correctional Centre and the minimum-security facility at Brewarrina, in the state’s northwest.
The 400-bed maximum security Rapid-Build Prison at Wellington is a new direction for Corrective Services NSW as it’s the first ‘barracks style’ prison in the state.