Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
Seven months with Corrective Services NSW
After being the first from his family to migrate to Australia from India in 2014, Paramvir 'Singhy' Chattwal says it was a bit of a culture shock for his family when he became a prison officer, but they are very proud of his achievement.
"I take pride in wearing my uniform every day for work," Mr Chattwal says.
"I think it's important to work in public service and have a greater understanding of your state and country.
"My colleagues have been very welcoming, management has been very encouraging and as a Sikh, everyone has received my faith very well as well as continued to teach me about Australian culture."
It was while undertaking work with the NSW Police Force that Mr Chattwal came across a prison officer at Goulburn Correctional Centre. It was the motivation of just one correctional officer that made him join the CSNSW family.
Mr Chattwal graduated in July last year and now works at Glen Innes Correctional Centre in the state's North after a stint at Goulburn Correctional Centre – the first Sikh to work there.
"Every day you're learning and my fellow officers continue to teach me the ropes," he says.
"Our tasks range greatly from gathering intelligence to case-managing inmates.
"The beauty of the job is that we work with a variety of different of people, such as the service and programs staff. And we're exposed to a variety of different experiences as you have the opportunity to be transferred to other centres.
Mr Chattwal says working at a regional prison, 50 kilometres from the nearest town, provided an opportunity to understand life and the world.
"Especially at Glen Innes you become a close-knit family with the other staff, as many live onsite," he says.
"It's a home away from home. And we look after each other during hardships.
"But thanks to technology and the flexible roster system, I have the opportunity to keep in touch with family and friends in India and other parts of the world."
Mr Chattwal says it was not long after arriving at Glen Innes that there was an escape early one morning.
"The training kicked in immediately," he says.
"I remember it was all hands-on deck as soon as possible. We completed a variety of tasks including a head check. We helped investigate the incident with NSW Police, from providing evidence to assisting in finding the inmate.
"That day was a long shift but that is part of the job. It's always about accepting and progressing as an officer."
Work for CSNSW