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​Kirkconnell inmates do bloomin’ good job

Publication date: Friday 14 September 2018

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Kirkconnell Correctional Centre inmates have been doing a bloomin’ good job maintaining parks and preparing gardens ahead of the Daffodils at Rydal festival this weekend.

The group of carefully selected minimum–security inmates have ramped-up their grounds-keeping efforts at local parks and gardens to ensure the rural village is at its flowery best.

Inmates moving bench

Kirkconnell Manager of Security Lennox Peter said preparing for the annual spring festival is just one of the many ways the group gives back to the community.

“Our Community Projects Team supports the communities around Kirkconnell - and as far away as Blackheath – by contributing to the maintenance and upkeep of various public spaces,” Mr Peter said.

Inmate mowing lawn

“This work helps inmates develop a good work ethic and work as a team to accomplish set tasks, ensuring they are prepared for employment upon their release.

“Providing valuable grounds-keeping and maintenance work to not-for-profit, sport and community organisations is also a great way for inmates to develop a social conscience and reconnect with the community.”

Inmates maintaining lawn

The teams are led by Corrective Services NSW overseers with trade qualifications, who provide the offenders with valuable skills and training.

Already this year they have painted a number of buildings at the request of local organisations, including the Blackheath Scout Hall, Portland Swimming Pool and Portland Rural Fire Station.

Daffodils alongside a path

Overseer John Ryan said the Kirkconnell Community Projects Team assists with grounds-keeping and maintenance at six Rural Fire Service sites, to ensure they can focus their efforts elsewhere.

“It’s important for us that this work not only aids inmates’ rehabilitation but performs a valuable service for the community,” Mr Ryan said.

“Our agreement to support our local Rural Fire Service branches allows their volunteers to perform more important tasks like training in preparation for fires.”

The group has also been working to maintain the grounds of three local churches, contributing to the total 1,000 hours’ work returned to the community since August. 

The Daffodils at Rydall festival takes place on the second and third weekend of September each year. For more information go to: https://www.rydal.com.au/