Skip to content

Discover Ngaere’s recent secondment to Kohuora From warfare to rehabilitation

Recognising the potential for his team's transferable skills and committed to providing opportunities of professional growth for his team, Matt Wilson, HMAS Watson contract manager, introduced a new initiative: secondments. With most of the team members being ex-service personnel, Matt realised that creating opportunities outside of the Defence environment could support them in expanding their skills across the company. This approach allows team members to gain exposure beyond their current contract, providing them with a broader perspective and diverse opportunities to continue advancing their careers with us.

Offering this opportunity to the HMAS Watson team, Ngaere Chambers, an assistant maritime warfare instructor, was the first to participate this new initiative. Formerly serving in the Royal New Zealand Navy, where Ngaere acquired a Criminology and Sociology degree, it made sense for her secondment to be at Kohuora Auckland South Corrections Facility (ASCF).

“I was drawn to Criminology and Sociology based on what was closest to my heart: my culture and what I have seen within my own family. Coming from a Māori Indigenous background, I saw the effects that crime had on individuals and my family. I want to support people who have been affected by this and be a part of the prevention mechanism.”

Ngaere's experience at ASCF was an eye-opening opportunity to learn about the programs and services designed to help improve inmates' social and employment skills, reduce reoffending, and produce better outcomes for Māori. These programs are specifically tailored to address Māori needs and reconnect them with their heritage. Ngaere also learned about the Hokai Rangi strategy, which aims to reduce the over-representation of Māori in the criminal justice system through cultural rehabilitation.

“A specific highlight was seeing inmates encouraged to enrol in education and training programs to help their social and employment skills, better preparing them for the outside world.”

Throughout her week at ASCF, Ngaere found this experience pushed her outside of her comfort zone, expanded her knowledge, and acquired new skills within the corrections sector.

Ngaere's experience has proven to be invaluable in multiple aspects. It not only enabled her to utilise her degree but also provided exposure to a subject close to her heart. Beyond her role at HMAS Watson, Ngaere has gained valuable insights into the diverse opportunities within Serco, opening doors for her to apply her knowledge and skills in different contracts and sectors in the future.

Read more about our people