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Sean Kelly – Acting Principal Corrections Officer

22 July 2022
Sean Kelly 9 002

For Sean Kelly, the move to become a Corrections Officer came after a background working with global brands in retail. Some of his transferable skills from his retail career set him up well for success, with Sean being promoted into an Acting Principal Corrections Officer role.

As a Principal Corrections Officer, Sean’s role involves helping to manage the day-to-day operation of a COVID-19 separation unit for new arrivals into Mount Eden Corrections Facility. He oversees a team of staff to ensure they all work safely and in accordance with Hōkai Rangi (Ara Poutama Aotearoa’s strategy for improving outcomes for Māori).

Sean says that bringing Hōkai Rangi into his work has been very rewarding, with values from the strategy such as Manaaki, Rangatira and Whānau “massively influential” in his day-to-day role.

He says that a key achievement in his career was being part of the establishment of the Papa (International/Gang Neutral) Unit and aligning this with Hōkai Rangi.

“Aotearoa is becoming a lot more diverse and establishing a space for prisoners from other countries where they felt safe was visionary and is still a huge success.”

Another special moment was seeing the Ara Ngāpuhi haka in a unit being done for a birthday.

“It shows that our culture and our haka doesn’t discontinue when people come to prison”.

Sean says that in his experience, a career at Corrections is one where you can be yourself, while working together as part of a team towards something bigger.

“Come and join a workforce where you bring your experiences, culture and personality and all work together towards a common goal. Pay’s great, career pathway is evident and staff are always willing to share their experiences to support and better others. Bring your true “self” and explore that within the department”.

For himself personally, Sean says he’d love to work towards one day becoming a Prison Director.

“Aim high, learn as you go and keep your integrity in check”.

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