Rebecca, Farm Officer, Numinbah Correctional Centre
Herding cattle and driving tractors is only a small component of Rebecca’s role on the farm at Numinbah Correctional Centre.
As Farm Officer, Rebecca said her primary role was supervising the women prisoners and ensuring the community is safe.
“The main challenges of working on a farm within a prison environment is making sure we have the right team of women with a high work ethic and are willing to learn new skills and follow directions,” Rebecca said.
“They also need to work as part of a team and understand how to carry out their duties in a safe manner, and working with cattle takes patience, so this is also a key factor.
“Many of the women have never worked on a farm or have had any experience with animals, so I find it very rewarding watching their confidence grow as they learn new skills and gain experience.”
On the farm, Rebecca works with the women to conduct general farm duties, including managing a commercial herd of more than 125 Charbray cattle, fence construction and repairs, weed management, tractor driving and all other farm related maintenance.
Rebecca said there were also horses, chickens, a veggie patch and a native nursery where they work with external stakeholders.
“The women grow eucalyptus trees for koalas and native grasses and shrubs in the centre nursery,” Rebecca said.
“The plants are then taken off site to different plantations to rejuvenate specific areas, create habitats for endangered species and rebuild koala corridors throughout southeast Queensland.
“The intention is that these experiences will contribute towards their rehabilitation and assist them in gaining employment once they have been released from custody.”
Rebecca also assists in overseeing the Defence Community Dog program where rescue dogs are trained on site by the women to become assistance dogs for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Due to COVID, the program is currently on hold but they hope to resume in the future.
Rebecca said she joined the public service to work within a diverse environment and make a difference in people’s lives.
“No two days are ever the same in my role, which is a quality I was looking for when I joined the public service 11 years ago,” Rebecca said.
“I wanted a role that ensured diversity, while at the same time making a difference in people’s lives and I am grateful that QCS offers both.
“I feel that respect plays a huge part in my role within corrections.
“By showing the women respect, you gain respect which ultimately encourages them to work to the best of their ability and achieve their goals within their workplace.”
Rebecca was born in Victoria and moved to Queensland in 1995.
In her spare time, Rebecca joins her family riding horses and is the Show Jumping Coordinator and Vice President of the Equestrian Gold Coast Club, where they run show jumping events regularly around the Gold Coast.
She said after work and on weekends, her time is consumed by exercising and training horses and participating in competitive show jumping across Queensland.
“My role at QCS is extremely rewarding and for those looking for a career change, if you have good leadership skills, confidence and a desire to make a difference in people’s lives, look no further than a career in corrections,” Rebecca said.