Senior Overseer, Illawarra Reintegration Centre
10 years with Corrective Services NSW
first day inside a prison was almost Mark Gallagher’s last – as a qualified
landscaper and avid traveller, the busy confines of Silverwater’s Metropolitan
Remand and Reception Centre were a confronting sight.
misgivings Mr Gallagher once had about starting a career with Corrective
Services NSW are long gone, as the senior overseer marks a decade of sharing
his skills with inmates.
seen an advertisement in the newspaper but I had no idea about corrections – I
even got a bit of a shock when they asked me if I was prepared to use a
weapon,” the 46-year-old says.
once I’d done the training and realised everything is very controlled, I was
keen to give it a go and I haven’t really looked back since.”
Gallagher is among the more than 9,000 Corrective Services NSW staff being
celebrated for their commitment to community safety on National Corrections
Day, Friday 18 January. CSNSW staff includes custodial officers, inmate
services and programs staff, psychologists and parole officers.
joining CSNSW in 2008, Mr Gallagher has worked at Long Bay, Silverwater and
Nowra and now works with the Illawarra Reintegration Centre’s Community
says his work is not about changing lives – rather giving inmates the skills
and opportunities to do it themselves.
don’t think I’ve changed anyone’s life but you do give them that opportunity,”
Mr Gallagher says.
make inmates change, but if you get inmates who want to learn some skills then
we can teach them and give them that experience.”
The Illawarra Community Projects Team performs vital building,
maintenance and grounds-keeping work at 25 sites, including the Bulli Community
Centre, Mt Keira Scout Camp, Killalea State Park, Illawarra Cycle Club and
Tarrawanna Soccer Club.
National Corrections Day theme is Working Corrections, focussing on
inmate industries and the work of Community Corrections officers, who supervise
offenders on court-ordered community work.
state, there are about 650 Corrective Services Industries’ staff, who oversee
inmates undertaking work, training and other qualifications to help reintegrate
them into the community and reduce reoffending.