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​NSW corrections staff raise a mammoth $70,000 for our farmers

Published Date: Tuesday 2 October 2018

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Corrective Services and Justice NSW staff are being praised after raising more than $70,000 and counting to help drought-stricken Australian farmers.

Acting Commissioner Rosemary Caruana said the fundraising was a mammoth and bighearted effort by the state’s prison and parole officers, as well as administrative and policy staff.

“This began as a grassroots campaign in some of our regional correctional centres and soon became a consolidated approach across the organisation with the goal of raising $25,000, which we have almost tripled,” Ms Caruana said.

“This is a cause our staff feel passionate about because many live in regional areas and some are farmers themselves. The combined effort is absolutely impressive.”

The fundraisers included cake sales, raffles and concerts, while more than $18,000 was raised by generous staff who donated their recreation-leave pay or made a direct pay deduction.

Kirkconnell Correctional Centre, in the state’s Central West, has so far raised more than $6,000 through barbecues, an inmate concert and staff Social Club donations.

Kirkconnell Manager of Security Lennox Peter said the centre was hoping to reach $10,000 by Christmas: “For a small centre, we’re very proud of the staff and inmates.”

Ivanhoe Correctional Centre in the far west of the state last month held a Camp-Out to Clout the Drought social event, which raised almost $12,000.

Bathurst Correctional Centre’s Kristy Donlan said the prison in Central West NSW had so far raised more than $6,000: “As Bathurst is a regional town, nearly everyone is somehow related to the land.”

"We had a local farmer who had to put down 1,200 sheep. Another family was showering at the local swimming pool; keeping all their water for their animals. Rather than feeling helpless, we took the opportunity to do something."

CSNSW employs more than 8,000 staff, including more than 5,000 custodial officers, Services and Programs staff and psychologists, and 500 overseers at 39 correctional centres across the state. Almost 1,400 Community Corrections officers are employed in NSW.