21 March 2022

Eye of the Tigers on mental health during Goulburn visit

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West Tigers visit Goulburn

Clair Schwencke, John Skandalis and Justin Pascoe from Wests Tigers with Senior Correctional Officer Derek Haine. Photo: CSNSW.

Representatives of the Wests Tigers NRL Club have visited Goulburn Correctional Complex as part of a scheme to tackle mental health awareness with staff.

Senior Correctional Officer Derek Haine from the High Risk Management Correctional Centre organised a tour, barbecue and presentation about initiatives at the complex to reduce reoffending.

“The focus for the day is mental health awareness and having members of a high-profile organisation showing such interest in our workplace boosts staff morale,” Mr Haine said.

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“Corrections staff work hard to help inmates break the cycle of reoffending and keep the community safe, but it’s a challenging job so it’s really important that we look after each other and our mental wellbeing.

“This visit is not only a great opportunity to hear from elite athletes how they deal with mental health when they’re under pressure, it allows a national sporting organisation to gain further insight into life as a prison officer.”

The Wests Tigers contingent consisted of CEO Justin Pascoe, Executive Assistant Clair Schwencke and former player John Skandalis.

West Tigers visit Goulburn

Clair Schwencke, John Skandalis and Justin Pascoe from Wests Tigers with Governor Faith Slatcher, Manager of Security Richard Hayhow and Manager of Security Michael Frawley. Photo: CSNSW.

The visit was planned for National Corrections Day in January to celebrate this year’s theme Giving Back, but was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

On Tuesday 15 March, the club donated merchandise to the centre to aid CSNSW efforts in supporting their community.

“The donated items will help us raise funds for local charitable organisation Goulburn Police Citizens Youth Club, as was proposed in our National Corrections Day initiatives,” Mr Haine said.

Staff at Goulburn Correctional Complex have maintained a relationship with the Wests Tigers since 2016, including a sports management and coaching techniques program, which ran from 2017 to 2018 for minimum security inmates.

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CSNSW Commissioner Kevin Corcoran PSM said he was proud of Goulburn staff’s community spirit and echoed the importance of caring for mental health.

“Especially in regional areas, prisons are often central to their communities with our staff committed to giving back to their region where they also live,” Mr Corcoran said.

“This line of work can be challenging and at times dangerous, so we are devoted to supporting mental health and recognising staff for their efforts.

“I encourage staff to use the information and resources we have available to help protect, promote and support good health and wellbeing in our workplaces.”

Wellbeing support is available to all CSNSW staff.

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