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Rhys – Corrections Officer

13 December 2021
Rhys Hero

After working in cash transit security, Rhys was looking for a change. A friend encouraged him to apply for a role as a corrections officer at Spring Hill Corrections Facility.

Two-and-a-half years later, Rhys hasn’t looked back. He’s still loving the job, and displays the empathy, integrity and strong interpersonal skills needed to be a great corrections officer.

“The job can be challenging, but it’s your ability to effectively communicate and relate to people that makes a big difference.”

Rhys says prison isn’t anything like what you see on TV. There’s a big focus on rehabilitation and reintegration, and helping people to change their lives for the better.

“People in prison participate in rehabilitation programmes, education and employment. As a corrections officer, you play a big part in motivating and supporting them through their interventions.”

“Yes, people are in prison for a reason, but it’s not our job to judge them. It’s our job to influence and support them to make positive changes in their lives.”

For two years, Rhys worked in Spring Hill Corrections Facility’s Pacific Focus Unit, Vaka Fa’aola. It was an experience that has helped him grow both personally and professionally.

“I come from a completely different cultural background, so being a part of, and learning about, the beliefs, traditions and practices of Pacific cultures was really special.”

“The men in Vaka Fa’aola taught me so much, and they appreciated me taking the time to learn and understand their culture – it definitely helped with building rapport and trust.”

Rhys now works in the Site Emergency Response Team (SERT). SERT is a team of specially trained officers who work collaboratively with other prison staff to respond to incidents and emergency events, and help prevent contraband entering prison sites.

“Our focus is safety - keeping staff, visitors and people in prison safe.”

“Being part of SERT is a great opportunity. It’s allowed me to train and develop skills in another area of the prison, and it’s an awesome team of people to work with.”

“Being a corrections officer definitely challenges you. You’re not restricted to one area – there are so many opportunities and different things you can do within the role.”

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