NAIDOC shows prisoners new path

THE spirit of NAIDOC Week ‘Change: the next step is ours' was embraced by prisoners and visitors at Borallon Correctional Centre's NAIDOC Week flag raising ceremony on Monday, July 11.

Prisoners took the lead in project planning and management of this event receiving impressive responses from both dignitaries and community visitors alike.

The ceremony was opened by the Borallon Correctional Centre NAIDOC dance troupe with an impressive participation rate of 18 dancers.

Presentations and recognition was given to community service organisations and visiting local Aboriginal Elder groups.

Prisoner artwork was donated to charities as part of the Serco Borallon Correctional Centre Restorative Justice strategy.

In his speech to the gathered group, acting director Mark Walters spoke about the myriad of factors that resulted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples being over represented in the criminal justice system.

He made an impassioned plea to offenders to take the lead of NAIDOC Committee Co-Chair Anne Martin, who stated “to control the change we need to plan and take action to make it happen”.

“What ever the precipitating factors were that resulted in you coming to Borallon, you need to acknowledge them and make a plan and act to bring about the change that needs to happen,” Mr Walters said.

“As each of you breaks the cycle of offending and improves the quality of your individual life so does the collective improve and the positive impact permeates across your community and your culture.”

“The reason we are so supportive of NAIDOC Week is that it provides us with the opportunity to connect people to their culture,” Commissioner for Queensland Corrective Services Kelvin Anderson said.

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