For one week in July, staff from Serco’s Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC) rolled up their sleeves to help the local community at the annual Gatton Show. SQCC not only sponsored several events, but also supplied staff to erect fencing for the animals and clean their enclosures, assist in moving horse jumps during competition as well as provide general assistance and help with the clean up afterwards.
Last year, Serco launched a policy allowing all permanent staff two days’ leave per year to volunteer for the causes of their choice. Twenty SQCC staff took up this offer and contributed a generous 276 hours to the Gatton Show Society, which totalled $9000 in value. This was in addition to $1600 worth of sponsorships. All of the volunteers expressed how much they had enjoyed being an active part of the local community, and making a positive difference.
Many other staff members took time out to attend the show and enjoyed the equestrian events, agricultural and fresh produce show and amusement park activities.
Mark Walters, SQCC Director, said how proud he was that the prison was able to be a sponsor once again and he thanked the staff for generously giving their time to help.
‘Continuing with our stakeholder engagement plan and involvement with the local community, volunteering at the show has been of great value to the community and our staff. The show this year was particularly important as Gatton, and several surrounding towns, suffered extensive flooding in January. The floods were the second state of emergency in the region in two years and the show went a long way to bringing some normality back to the lives of the local community.
Special mention must be made of SQCC custodial officer Judy Lipp’s efforts in organising the volunteers and for being a great role model for other Serco employees.’