Queensland Corrective Services officer Russell Stanford took out the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Sustainability for the Palen Creek Correctional Centre’s Australian Native Foods Orchard.
Minister Ryan congratulated CCO Russell, who researched, sourced and established the orchard with the aid of Indigenous prisoners and the approval of the Brisbane elders.
“The aim of this project was to develop cultural awareness, gain a deeper knowledge about Indigenous foods and develop sustainable environmental practices,” the Minister said.
“These native foods are high in nutritional density, have high levels of protein fibre and micronutrients and have sustained Aboriginal people for thousands of years.
“In an innovative and unique project, the centre is also growing Australian native Gumbi Gumbi trees for the Chinese herbal market.
“The leaves of the Gumbi Gumbi tree were used by the Aboriginal people as medicine.
“By doing this, the centre is combining two ancient cultures to treat illness using Australian native plants and Indigenous knowledge in a sustainable way.
“Russell’s work is just one example of the wide range of innovative and exciting work being done across QCS and I’d like to offer my sincere thanks for his work and commitment to establishing the orchard, and congratulate him on last night’s award,” Minister Ryan said.
Minister Ryan said it was important to recognise that Corrective Services Officers spent their daily lives in one of the most complex and challenging workplaces imaginable.
“Our dedicated Corrective Services Officers do their important work away from the spotlight and away from public scrutiny so their efforts often go unnoticed.
“Awards like the one Russell has won demonstrate the professionalism and passion that drives our QCS staff.”