Take Look Inside QCS officer profile 27 September

Judith, Probation Services Officer, Charleville Community Corrections

Judith (Jude) was working in Mt Isa when she delved into the unknown after accepting a three-month contract with Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) in Charleville.

Jude and her husband travelled over 1,100 kilometres to the rural town in south west Queensland where she joined Charleville Community Corrections as a Probation Services Officer.

“I was nearing the end of my contract working in the Innovation Program in the courts and was looking for another change that would bring us closer to family, so we made the move and have never looked back,” Jude said.

Jude has been with QCS for over two years and is part of a small team, supervising up to 50 standard, low-risk offenders in the community, with a ‘backyard’ much further than your average suburban township.

On any given day, Jude may travel 260km to Roma, 200km west to Quilpie, down to the Queensland/New South Wales border and 200km up to Tambo.

“A typical week may entail an early start to travel 200km to attend court, other days may involve supervision of community service vendors, community engagement, notifications, risk assessments, phone calls and some days the phone doesn’t stop ringing,” Jude said.

“I do a bit of everything and there is a lot of scope and innovation in the role, which has become even more apparent during the pandemic.

Thankfully Jude loves people and engagement with the community is an important aspect of her role.

“We become part of the community because we work closely with them, regularly engaging with support workers, predominantly domestic violence, to assist the courts and police with the proactive work they are doing in this space to ensure safety.

“We also work closely with the Palen Creek work camp in community service. They are amazing at what they do in the community.

Jude is proud that the organisations in the region know community corrections well and often calls on them for assistance if they need resources.

“All the organisations here know who we are. They may not see us all the time, but when they need help, we are there, which is particularly important for smaller towns who struggle to find volunteers,” Jude said.

Jude loves her job and has never looked back after ‘taking a chance’ on a career in QCS. Her advice for people joining corrections in the regions or officers looking for a rural change is to ‘come out and give it a try. It is amazing’.

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