Serco’s Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC) has been honoured with a prestigious Australian Business Award in the Innovation category.
The Australian Business Award for Innovation recognises organisations that have made significant contributions to their industry through differentiated or more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas resulting in a commercial, environmental and/or social benefit.
SQCC’s award recognises a ground-breaking education project being trialled at the prison, with the ultimate aim of reducing reoffending.
The project, launched in partnership with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), provides offenders with internet-independent technologies, such as hand held e-readers and desktop computers, allowing them to study and develop lifelong academic skills making them more employable and less likely to turn to crime.
Malcolm Wake, the prison’s Head of Offender Education, said the project provides offenders with established education pathways, allowing them to learn in similar ways to students on the outside, while gaining essential e-literacy skills.
‘The program has so far been received very positively among the participants as an integral tool for their learning, as well as increasing employment opportunities for life after prison.
‘Serco has already started exploring other collaborative partnerships with USQ, promoting other courses as well as looking at developing our own courses that can be uploaded to e-reader devices allowing offenders the flexibility of study within their own environment. We are very proud of how successful the program has already been and we look forward to these new opportunities.’
Serco Asia Pacific’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Irwin, congratulated the team at SQCC for their efforts with the program, and for making a positive difference.
“I'm delighted that the Australian Business Awards have recognised Serco’s innovative approach. Giving our people the freedom and the support to develop smart new ideas is fundamental to the way we operate.
“This award highlights the excellent working partnerships we have developed with Queensland Corrective Services and the University of Southern Queensland. I want to thank them, and our team, for their commitment to this project and for working to make communities safer by reducing reoffending.”