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Corinne - Residential Manager

13 December 2021
Corrine Hero

Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Matukutureia tōku maunga
Ko Manukau tōku moana
Ko Waikato tōku awa
Ko Papamauri tōku marae
Ko Ngāti Hamoa tōku iwi
Nō America āhau
Ko Corinne tōku ingoa
Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa.

Talofa lava everyone, my name is Corinne Ola and I am a Residential Manager at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility (ARWCF), overseeing three low-security units. I have been with Ara Poutama Aotearoa going on nine years, and the one aspect I enjoy most about my job is working with people. Being able to make a difference in the lives of the women we manage is incredibly rewarding, as is working within a supportive team comprising internal and external agencies that all have the same goal.

Before I joined the department, I worked in mostly administrative roles. It was time for a change and a family friend suggested I look at Ara Poutama Aotearoa. I certainly had my reservations, as the only thing I knew about prisons up until then, was what I had seen on TV or in the movies. Nevertheless, I applied for the role of Corrections Officer and was successful. On top of that, the pay was attractive.

The culture at ARWCF is unique in that we are a diverse work force that support women with numerous specialised needs. I love working in this environment and if I can describe my typical workday in one word, it is ‘fulfilling’. No one day is the same, and yes, we have our challenges, but it is great working towards a solution in a collaborative way. We don’t have a perfect work environment, but I’d like to think that we do our best to support one another.

I believe that to foster a positive work environment, our Hōkai Rangi principles need to be fully embedded in everything we do, and we must live our values. At the root of the Hōkai Rangi strategy is the wellness and wellbeing of people; our values are wairua, whānau, kaitiaki, rangatira and manaaki. The strategy and values are not new, but the framework they provide, helps us focus on the ways we support the wāhine to think and behave differently. This is still a work in progress, but we are heading in the right direction and we’re building on the good work we have been doing all along.

Although I am in a manager role, I still enjoy being involved in the wāhine’s rehabilitative and reintegrative journey and to help them in any way I can – even if it is just listening to their complaints or celebrating their achievements with them. I also relish the opportunity to act as a mentor to my colleagues, supporting them with their career development and progression.

Working in Corrections for nearly nine years now is an achievement for me. I am proud of the work I am doing on a daily basis and I would highly recommend Ara Poutama Aotearoa as a career pathway. It is not always easy, but if you are resilient, passionate and committed to supporting people, you will find the mahi very rewarding.

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