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Publication date: Thursday, 1 February 2018
Counsellor. Confidant. And convict. Corrective Services NSW Chaplaincy Coordinator Reverend Rod Moore has been all those things, and after ministering to NSW inmates for aquarter of a century, he is hanging up his robes for retirement.
Minister for Corrections David Elliott thanked Reverend Moore for providing support, wisdom and succour to countless inmates and staff for over a quarter of a century.
“Reverend Rod’s devotion and understanding has been appreciated by inmates and staff alike. He’s living proof of the power of hope, and he’ll be dearly missed,” Mr Elliott said.
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin also paid tribute to the much loved chaplain.
“With real understanding based on personal experience, coupled with deep compassion and a no-nonsense manner, prisoners and staff have alike come to trust Reverend Rod, knowing he’s ‘the real deal’,” Mr Severin said.
Reverend Moore said he’d miss his “challenging, exhausting and amazingly rewarding vocation” and especially all the friends he’s made among staff, inmates and other chaplains.
“My advice to inmates is that there’s a better life if you’re willing to open yourself. Everyone’s got a hope of changing, becoming better people, and of leading good lives of meaning and positivity,” Reverend Moore said.
“I encourage all of the wonderful staff at Corrective Services to help inmates to do that, and for inmates to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Although you wouldn’t know it to look at him, the avuncular, bespectacled reverend was once an outlaw bikie.
After fleeing his broken home at 15, he rode with an outlaw motorcycle gang and struggled with a raging drug addiction, before doing a stint in the old Parramatta Prison and finding God.
Reverend Moore was ordained an Anglican priest in 1986, and worked at churches in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley for eight years until becoming a prison chaplain in 1992.
From only half a dozen full-time chaplains 20 years ago, Corrective Services NSW now has Australia’s largest prison chaplaincy program, with over 80 full-time and part-time chaplains from nearly every Christian denomination. Additionally, Jewish rabbis, Buddhist monks and nuns and Islamic imams also minister to inmates and offer them comfort and hope.
Before taking up duties as President of the International Prison Chaplains’ Association, Reverend Rod was honoured with a retirement farewell at the Brush Farm Corrective Services Academy at Eastwood in Sydney’s north-west on 24 January 2018.