Women prison officers dominate Corrective Services honours

  • Four female WA staff receive Australian Corrections Medal on Australia Day
  • Recipients hold vital leadership roles in metropolitan and regional prisons
  • Awards bring the number of ACM recipients from WA to 14 
  • Four women who have carved careers at Western Australian prisons have been honoured with the prestigious Australian Corrections Medal in this year’s Australia Day Honours.

    Three of the experienced officers hold leadership roles in metropolitan prisons and Indigenous senior officer Maria McGinty-Duggan is based in the Kimberley.

    All have been acknowledged for engaging and working with Indigenous prisoners to promote culture and community alongside rehabilitation and reintegration.

    Andrea Bowen is Superintendent at Bandyup Prison, the State’s biggest women’s prison, and Andrea Rees-Carter has a senior position at Hakea Prison.

    Susan Andrews plays an integral part in helping women prisoners re-join the community and Maria McGinty-Duggan helps bring more Indigenous officers into the fold.

    The Australian Corrections Medal (ACM) was introduced to the Australia Day Honours in 2017.

    Today’s recipients bring the total of Western Australians awarded an ACM to 14.

    The 2021 ACM recipients are:

    Ms Andrea Bowen is Superintendent at Bandyup Women’s Prison. She served as a prison officer in New South Wales for 18 years, progressing through the ranks. After relocating to WA in 2017 Ms Bowen became Deputy Superintendent at Casuarina Prison where she was a champion for Indigenous engagement. Since taking the leadership role at Bandyup she has made it possible for prisoners to improve their employment prospects post-release.

    Ms Andrea Rees-Carter is Deputy Superintendent Specialist Services at Hakea Prison. She joined Corrective Services in 2003 and has served at three prisons. Ms Rees-Carter has led a number of initiatives at Hakea which have made a positive difference to the lives of prisoners, while supporting the training and development of prison officers. During the COVID-19 pandemic she led the development of the Pandemic Containment Plan for Hakea, which became a blueprint for all WA prisons.

    Ms Susan Andrews is Manager, Family and Community Services at Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women. She has served in the Department of Justice since 1988. In her current role, Ms Andrews has been instrumental in developing and establishing initiatives for the centre’s residents, their children and the local community. These have included promoting reintegration through engagement with voluntary organisations.

    Ms Maria McGinty-Duggan is Custodial Training Officer at West Kimberley Regional Prison. A Pitjantjatjara woman, she served from 2004 as prison officer in regional facilities before becoming a trainer at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison and then West Kimberley Regional Prison in Derby. Ms McGinty-Duggan has promoted the importance of the Indigenous community serving in a custodial environment as well as providing prisoners with an identifiable role model.

    As stated by Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:

    “Congratulations to these four Corrective Services officers who have been recognised with such a prestigious honour.

    “They are a great example of the significant contribution women make towards keeping our prisons and communities safe.

    “They are also working very hard to address the over-representation of Indigenous people in our prisons while encouraging the recruitment and training of Indigenous staff.

    “Ms Bowen is a proven leader whose initiatives at Bandyup have given prisoners the tools and self-confidence to live better lives.

    “Ms Rees-Carter’s efforts at Hakea have included introducing a Read Along Dads program to help prisoners bond with their children and grandchildren, and creation of a second gymnasium at the prison.

    “Ms Andrews has been committed to ensuring the needs of Boronia residents with children are addressed, and established a structured plan for birthing strategies for expectant mothers.

    “Ms McGinty-Duggan is an acknowledged subject matter expert on engaging with Indigenous offenders and their families, and is proud to see more Indigenous people stepping up to become prison officers.”

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