Parklands has been acknowledged in the 2016 Community Work Partnership Awards as runner-up in the Jennifer Cameron Award for Environmental Sustainability projects.
The 2016 Respect. Engage. Connect themed awards describe the Parklands project;
The partnership between Hume Region Community Correctional Services and Parklands Albury Wodonga commenced in 1999, and has been critical in assisting Parklands to achieve significant environmental improvements in a series of threatened species conservation reserves. Offenders complete a variety of tasks, including fence installation and removal, nest box and reptile monitoring, planting of trees, shrubs and grasses, tree guard removal and repair, and brush cutting.
In the past four years, over 15,000 trees and shrubs and 3,000 grasses have been planted, reducing carbon emissions and providing nectar resources for threatened species.
The partnership provides meaningful and inspiring work for the offenders which promotes skill building and provides a sense of belonging and connection with the community. The program allows the offenders to improve their communication skills and gain a range of new skills, increasing their ability to gain employment.
Corrections Victoria describes the community work program as a ‘win win’ engagement; “Community work provides an opportunity for prisoners and offenders to engage in work that would not otherwise be undertaken in their local communities.
It facilitates the development of new skills and connections with the community, essential components of prisoners and offenders’ rehabilitation.
There is mutual respect between the community and the prisoners and offenders, working together to achieve a common goal.”
Andrew Tenni, Chief Executive Officer of the Magistrates Court of Victoria, lauded the Parklands project as “Providing broad community contribution while enhancing the offenders environmental knowledge”.