Prisoners at Maryborough Correctional Centre (MCC) are kicking off NAIDOC Week celebrations today with a round robin competition of touch football games with the visiting Hervey Bay/Deadly Choices team.
MCC General Manager Alan Ingram said the centre’s early mark on NAIDOC Week, which runs July 7-14, was to allow Elders and other guests to avoid clashes with official community events in the week proper.
As well as the football competition, MCC will host a NAIDOC flag-raising ceremony and family day on Tuesday, which will include a Mums and Bubs stand outside the entrance to the centre offering useful advice from Galangoor Duwulami Primary Health Care Service.
The family day also features a dance performance, a lunch of indigenous dishes, kids’ corner and family photo sessions.
On Wednesday, a range of about 15 Deadly Choices information stalls, staffed by service organisations ranging from Q Health and Centrelink to Prisoner Throughcare ATSILS and The Hubb – will offer healthy lifestyle advice to prisoners.
Us Mob FM, an indigenous radio station servicing the community of Cherbourg and surrounds, will also visit to record prisoners’ pre-approved ‘shout outs’ to family and friends.
Mr Ingram said the celebrations gave Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) the opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and help keep prisoners connected to country and community.
“In particular, the QCS Cultural Liaison Officers who bring cultural relevance and understanding into their roles to further help preserve culture in their communities.’ he said.
“QCS is committed to keeping communities safe by safely and humanely containing prisoners, supervising and reintegrating offenders by keeping them close to community and country while working effectively and culturally appropriately to reduce recidivism.”
The theme for NAIDOC Week in 2019 is “Language: Voice, Treaty, Truth”.