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Taking on new challenges at Spring Hill Corrections Facility

9 May 2022
Youth Week 2022 Showcasing Our Stories Michaela 1688x1216px v2

The last few years at Ara Poutama Aotearoa have been full of new and exciting challenges for Senior Corrections Officer Michaela Clough.

Michaela has been with Ara Poutama Aotearoa for five years, spending her first three years as a Corrections Officer at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility. In May 2020, she was asked to step into a Senior Corrections Officer role in a high-security unit at Spring Hill Corrections Facility.

“Making the move from a women’s prison to a men’s prison was an adjustment but one that I was ready for.

“Initially I doubted myself and being in that higher [Senior Corrections Officer] role. However, I think I have taken on the challenge quite well and it’s also down to my amazing supportive team.”

As well as opportunities to step into leadership, Michaela has been able to work with youth through training as an assessor for the placement of young adults.

“I have interviewed many youth over the past two years and it’s quite rewarding being able to engage with these young men on a level where they feel safe and able to open up.

“Some of these guys have come from tough backgrounds, sometimes not having a home, so having some warm clothes, food and a friendly ear to talk to can make a world of difference. We have the ability to change their outlook on their future.

I see positive changes in some youth from their initial arrival to their release and this is down to staff working with them - getting them in a positive headspace, working towards goals and finding out what motivates them.”

With some notable experiences already packed into her first five years, Michaela is excited for what the future might hold at Ara Poutama Aotearoa.

“I have had a great five-year career with the department and hope to see a long future ahead of me, ideally in an intelligence role or a youth management role.  

“The work we do every day is like no other and I’m very grateful for the opportunities I have had in my journey with Corrections.”


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