Maryborough Correctional Centre’s general manager Trevor Craig with some of the furniture made by the prisoners.
Maryborough Correctional Centre’s general manager Trevor Craig with some of the furniture made by the prisoners. Karleila Thomsen

Prisoners build future skills

FURNITURE built by indigenous prisoners at Maryborough Correctional Centre was yesterday delivered to Cherbourg’s historic Ration Shed Museum.

The centre’s general manager, Trevor Craig, said five timber picnic tables and two bench seats were built as part of work skills training for the prisoners.

“This project was implemented as a result of a review of the centre’s vocational training.

“That review identified the need for an indigenous-specific work skills package that would enhance offenders’ employment opportunities when they returned to their communities.

“The centre also consulted with the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council and the Cherbourg community to assess the job opportunities for offenders and the most relevant work skills they would require to gain employment.”

Mr Craig said that process identified that construction offered the best opportunities.

“Of particular importance was the need for indigenous prisoners to complete the Construction Industry Safety Induction, or White Card, which permits them to work on a construction site,” he said.

“During the consultation process we identified an opportunity to benefit the Cherbourg community by building outdoor furniture for the Ration Shed Museum.”

Mr Craig said the furniture donation followed a recent landscaping day at the museum.

Ten indigenous prisoners took part in a nationally accredited seven-week training program.

The program was co-ordinated by MCC Cultural Development Officer Richard Garling and MCC Vocational Training Officer Norman Lassen and delivered by TAFE trainer Glen Scott.

Course participants undertook four units of competency including the Construction Industry Safety Induction, workplace health and safety, use of construction tools and equipment and project work.

Those who successfully complete the course will receive their White Card, a Statement of Attainment and a result of assessment from the Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE.

Sandra Morgan, president of the Cherbourg Historical Precinct which administers the Ration Shed Museum, said the community appreciated the efforts.

Prisoners at the Maryborough centre can gain certificates in art, asset maintenance, business, basic health care, engineering, construction, furnishing, landscaping and horticulture, conservation and land management, hospitality and sport and fitness.



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