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Building connections with the community through First Nation storytelling

Inmates at Clarence Correctional Centre will now have access to the stories, conversation and poems of local First Nations Elders thanks our ongoing support Streets as Shared Spaces program. Grafton First Nations Story Trail, a partnership between Serco, Clarence Valley Council, local small business Ngoodjida and local Elders ,  takes listeners on a journey back through time to capture life growing up in Grafton through the lens of four local Aboriginal women. The initiative is part of our ongoing support for Clarence Valley Council’s Rediscover Grafton project, a fully funded NSW Government's program. 

This series of audio recordings share the stories, conversations and poems of Aunties Jo Randall, Geraldine Lewis, Maxine Hegedus and Gloria Strachan. First Nations inmates will be able to access the recordings via tablets.  As part of Clarence Correctional Centre’s operator-led design, Serco introduced tablet technology when the centre commenced operations in 2020. Since then, almost 7,000 inmates have accessed this tablet technology to support their rehabilitation and reintegration journey.

Ms Hatfield, herself a Bundjalung-Yugumbeh-Darumbal & Wiradjuri woman from Grafton in Northern NSW, was thrilled that we have been able to offer this experience to inmates at the centre through their tablets, noting that the Aunties were pleased that their stories were being more widely shared.

"These five stories are personal accounts of growing up in Grafton," Ms Hatfield said. "They give listeners insight into what life was like for Goorie people growing up in our community and highlight how societal attitudes and the physical space have changed over the years.

"Hopefully these stories are just the start, and our community can continue telling these personal stories and adding to the story trail."

On this trail, Aunties Jo, Geraldine, Maxine, and Gloria, get together to reflect and reminisce about growing up in Grafton through stories and poetry. Each of the women come from a long line of culturally and socially strong Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr families like the Daleys, Taylors, Gordons, Mundines and Robertsons. The project has given the Aunties a platform to share what life was like for young Aboriginal women on Country, through the lens of times and places also familiar with many in the wider Grafton community.

Serco is proud to partner with Clarence Valley Council on the Rediscover Grafton project creating positive outcomes for those in our care and the broader community.