Senior Overseer, Tamworth Correctional Centre
18 years with Corrective Services NSW
From pizza franchisee with 45 staff to prison officer managing hundreds of inmates, 47-year-old Martin Rushby is certainly good at one thing: leadership.
He is the Senior Overseer at Tamworth Correctional Centre, managing two staff and overseeing around 40 inmates who, through Corrective Services Industries, are learning qualifications and skills, such as Certificate 2 in Engineering.
“I started as a custodial officer in 2000 and transitioned to industries a short time later. It’s a different experience; the inmates are employees so the dynamic between overseers and offenders is unique,” Mr Rushby says.
Mr Rushby 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.
Mr Rushby started his career at Long Bay Hospital in Sydney’s east before moving to Tamworth in 2002 to be back in the country and closer to friends and family.
“It was a lifestyle change for me. It’s interesting working in a small country town; everyone knows the prison staff and it’s not uncommon for officers to be playing football on the weekends and getting tackled by former inmates,” Mr Rushby says.
“As overseers we’re giving inmates a set of new skills and most of them are grateful. I’ve even had a former inmate return to the prison after his release to let us know he was doing well on the outside.”
Mr Rushby says his proudest moments on the job were when he received two CSI Directors Awards for continued effort and excellent operations of a business unit.
“It’s humbling to be recognised for good work. I’ve been lucky to work with many great people and I’ve learnt a lot from my colleagues over the years. I’ve formed close friendships that have changed me and made me more proactive in life,” Mr Rushby says.
The 2019 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.
Across the 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.