Women Work to Break the Cycle; Peter Foley Talks to Two People Who Spend Their Time Generating Change

Article excerpt

ELOISE Hamlett and Evie Georgas work in a place most people never want to go Co and they wouldnCOt have it any other way.

In fact both women, who work at Brisbane Correctional Centre at Wacol with Queensland Corrective Services (QCS), think more women should do what they do.

Eloise Hamlett is the manager of the High Risk Offender Management Unit and Evie Georgas works in sentence management.

Ms Hamlett has always had a passion for rehabilitation and studied psychology at university before becoming a prison psychologist.

She enjoys the diversity and challenges of her role and says that with a 20-month-old child, the QCS is very supportive of work/life balance and career advancement for women.

C[pounds sterling]ICOm often surprised that women donCOt see corrections as a career option,C[yen] Ms Hamlett said.

C[pounds sterling]ItCOs a helping profession to some extent and itCOs very rewarding in terms of the work we do around child protection and keeping the community safe.

C[pounds sterling]These men and women, something like 95%, end up back in the community. So itCOs just an undeniable fact that people with criminal histories end up living, working, shopping in the same places that you and I do.C[yen]

While many might believe there is no redemption for some of the people she works with, she thinks otherwise.

C[pounds sterling]I think to work in corrections and one of the things that ICOve enjoyed about corrections is there is always hope,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]And I just fundamentally have a belief in change; I believe that people can make change. Change may not necessarily mean becoming like you or I but I think everyone can make change to live safely in the community.C[yen]

Evie Georgas works at both menCOs and womenCOs prisons and has worked in Victorian and Queensland jails for more than 20 years.

Her interest was piqued when she lived close to a prison in Victoria when she was in high school. She always wondered what went on behind the wire and her legal studies at school amplified that curiosity

C[pounds sterling]Our legal studies teacher showed us an ABC production called Out of Sight, Out of Mind and it was a documentary on Australian prisons and the fact that the systems in place at the at the time did very little to address rehabilitation,C[yen] Ms Georgas said. …