Datjala Work Camp (DWC) Nhulunbuy encompasses a whole new approach to the management of offenders – providing the opportunity to move from traditional forms of incarceration to a model which supports the prisoner and the community to work towards the goals of rehabilitation and reparation. Our operating philosophy is to provide an encouraging and supportive environment for open security status prisoners who participate in vocational training, community service projects and employment opportunities. DWC provides cost effective and culturally appropriate training to prisoners, focusing on skills development and nationally accredited qualifications. Our aim for prisoners is to be released with skills that can be taken back to their communities in order for them to gain employment, assist their own community with projects and to ultimately reduce the risk of reoffending. The staff and prisoners are proud to have developed close relationships with the Gove and greater East Arnhem Land communities with an emphasis on cultural advice from traditional owners and elders within the community. Furthermore, local East Arnhem Aboriginal organisations and homelands significantly benefit from joint projects undertaken through our mobile work parties. Officers, prisoners and community members working side by side encourages positive role modelling and team work. These innovative partnerships and projects promote good work ethics, pride and a sense of achievement and positive community culture. At Datjala giving back to the community is important. Developing strong cultural ties, sharing knowledge of local traditions, participating in significant festivals and ceremonies are all part of the holistic approach we adopt.
Mandy Crow - Officer in Charge at Datjala Work Camp, Nhulunbuy. My career with Northern Territory Correctional Services commenced in 2001 as a Trainee Correctional Officer in Alice Springs. I have moved through the ranks, working in three of the four NT facilities in a breadth of roles, including operations, training and development, facility commissioning and leadership. My most successful achievement has been to develop the Datjala Work Camp into an outstanding asset for the agency and the region for which I was awarded the Chief Minister’s Medal in November 2019 for best practice in community engagement and valuing diversity. In the 5 years in this role I have established strong networks and relationships within the local community. The operating philosophy of our work camp is to provide an encouraging and supportive environment for prisoners who are working towards reintegration through employment, training and community service. In January 2020 our team was recognised for their outstanding commitment and awarded a Commissioners Commendation for dedication to the development of prisoners through positive interactions. Joining me in our presentation will be Maria Robbins our Reintegration Officer. Maria joined the Datjala team in January 2018. This role includes managing the education and employment of all prisoners within our facility. Maria has been innovative in sourcing new training courses that focus on relevant skills development for remote community prisoners. Armed with Organisational Change Management qualifications and experience Maria has added considerable value in preparing prisoners for their release into the community.