More than 60 women in custody at Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC) will today enjoy an International Women’s Day high tea to celebrate their achievements.
The women will also hear from guest speakers, including a former prisoner who has started her own business and turned her life around since being released from SQCC.
SQCC Prison Director Nick Rowe said Serco has a rich history of empowering women and this function is intended to celebrate those working at the facility as well as the achievements of the women in custody.
“This year we will be celebrating our second anniversary of becoming a women’s facility,” Nick said.
“It is heart-warming to see our staff often praised by the women in our care for the work they do. This shows we really are making an important difference.”
The women in custody at SQCC have access to a range of programs and vocational education training to support their individual reintegration pathways.
“We have established several programs and facilities catering to needs of the women, in particular mothers with young babies, and it’s wonderful to see them filled with pride as they learn new skills and achieve new milestones in their rehabilitation,” Nick said.
Recently appointed SQCC Deputy Director Sue Burley is impressed with the unique industries model at SQCC, which offers something different compared to what has traditionally been accessible by female prisoners.
“It is really wonderful to see the high engagement levels of the women in these industry programs,” Sue said.
“The women have really taken to learning woodwork and metalwork skills and enjoy working in a real-life workshop.”
Nick is proud of the strong links the women are building back to the community, which have grown through innovative programs and charitable initiatives that are making a positive impact.
“Serco has built a wonderful relationship with the Lockyer Valley Council and other community organisations, which have enabled the women in our care to give back to the community in many ways,” he said.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan will be attending the high tea along with other inspiring women in the community.
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