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​Governor-General to view inmate partnership

Issued: 14 May 2013
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A partnership using inmates to restore a local nature reserve will be celebrated during today’s visit by Governor-General of Australia the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO.

Senior Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) managers and inmates will join Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council representatives to highlight joint efforts to improve Mount Panorama’s former Sir Joseph Banks Nature Reserve, Wahluu Gamarra, for Aboriginal tourism use.

Bathurst Correctional Centre General Manager Bill Fittler, who will meet Ms Bryce today, said selected inmates from the Centre had devoted at least 1000 free man hours of work to the reserve since last August.

"Every week, inmates undertaking this free service to the community are out mowing, weeding, building, painting, creating walking trails, planting native vegetation and repairing bird aviaries," said Mr Fittler.

"We’re very proud of our close community partnership with Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council. It’s one of many successful partnerships we’ve undertaken in the past five years.

"Together, those programs have seen thousands of man hours given for free to the community to help organisations that need it most, while ensuring inmates repay their debts to society.

"Our community partnership inmates are also restoring Bathurst Cemetery with the Family History Group of Bathurst, grounds keeping for the Holy Trinity Anglican Church and maintaining parks for the Lions Club."

Wiradjuri elder and Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council Chairperson Shirley Scott will present Ms Bryce with a framed boomerang to symbolise the partnership between the Bathurst Aboriginal community and CSNSW.

The boomerang was created by indigenous inmates at Bathurst Correctional Centre’s Girrawaa Creative Work Centre, which has support from the Land Council.

The meeting with the Governor-General, the Land Council and representatives of CSNSW will take place from 11am at the reserve. Inmates will also be on site.