Strong local partnerships at SQCC – a legacy of a decade of community service
Published: 5 Jul 2021
Over the last decade, Serco has built strong ties to the local community, enhancing prisoner rehabilitation and reintegration at Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC) and leaving a lasting legacy on the Lockyer Valley.
Since 2012, SQCC has collectively participated in and volunteered more than 750 hours to local community groups, initiatives and events, raised more than $40,000 for numerous causes such as the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and achieved 60 per cent local procurement by sourcing canteen products, clothing and produce from local organisations.
Notably, SQCC’s relationship with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council has created many opportunities for prisoners and staff to give back to the local community.
Lockyer Valley Mayor, Cr Tanya Milligan has been a regular visitor at the centre, often taking time to engage with the women and inspiring them to make positive changes in their life.
“As a Council, we are constantly looking for opportunities to join forces with other businesses for the benefit of the wider community and our relationship with the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC) is a perfect example of that.
“We have collaborated with the SQCC for many years now and for many different projects, including the geranium pots in Laidley and Australia Day Award gifts, which really demonstrates what a great partnership we have as a Council with the women at the prison.
“This continued partnership has played an important role in changing the perceptions often held by community members about the prison and we are pleased to assist in instigating this change,” Mayor Milligan said.
Nick Rowe, who was the Director of SQCC for the last three years, said Serco has built many strong relationships and supported countless initiatives in the Lockyer Valley region during the last 10 years, giving the centre a unique opportunity to give back.
“As a values-led organisation, supporting the communities in which we operate is a top priority for Serco, and I am extremely proud of the positive impact we have made here in Queensland.
“Through the procurement of local supplies and services, to the participation of our staff in volunteering activities, and the sponsorship and support of local events and community organisations, it feels like Serco has really become a valued member of this great local community, leaving a lasting legacy behind,” Mr Rowe said.
SQCC has also taken part in environmental and sustainability focused initiatives over the years by helping divert recyclable products from landfill.
Working alongside local not-for-profit organisations to collect and recycle lids and cans through initiatives like ‘Lids for Kids’ and ‘Cash for Cans’ has seen funds raised to support the community and donated waste materials be recycled and turned into mobility aids, disability aids and aged care gadgets.
The Pups in Prison program, run in partnership with Assistance Dogs Australia, has seen prisoners at SQCC train more than 50 puppies to provide life-changing assistance to members of the community.
An independent social impact assessment conducted by research firm Huber Social found that recipients of these dogs experienced a 148 per cent improvement in relationship skills and a 224 percent improvement in mental health.
“Allowing the women to lead and participate in these important initiatives provides purpose and connection, to themselves and to their community, which is vital in a corrections environment where we are actively working to support prisoner rehabilitation,” Mr Rowe said.
Media contact: Tim Evans, +61 409 389 358
General media enquiries: Serco media line, +61 (0) 2 9409 8700 or [email protected]