The Karreenga Prison facility, from the Wathaurong language 'to
grow', is located outside Lara. This facility is a medium security
protection prison and is an open environment with shared-style
housing and 300 beds.
During our tour we learned that the prisoners are responsible
for and involved in many areas that keep the facility running, such
as: the budgeting involved in the planning and cooking their meals,
cleaning, gardening and baking. The prison bakery involves shift
work and supplies all baked goods to Victorian prisons. This is a
functioning business which enables integration into the workforce
for life after release.
Karreenga aims to mimic real-life as much as possible to give
pre-release prisoners that best shot at rehabilitation.
We also learned about Karreenga's service delivery methodology:
the 'Marngoneet Approach'. This involves promoting leadership at
all levels and creating a safer Victoria. Our group met two
prisoners who shared their stories and their participation in the
prison's leadership program. Both had heartbreaking stories
describing how lives can be changed in an instant. Their leadership
skills have helped them to take control of their futures, drive
themselves to make change within themselves, and prevent similar
circumstances occurring to others. This is testament to how well
Karreenga's service delivery methodology is working.
During our tour of the Geelong Police Station we saw the holding
cells, Divisional Operations Support Office, firing range, and
scope of survellience cameras in Geelong. We also gained an insight
into the current day-to-day challenges facing Victoria Police. For
example, the growth of emergency enquiries from 40,000 to 100,000
in the last three years has led to a new recruitment drive at
We discovered how police have changed their approach to be more
proactive within the community, particularly regarding the current
problem of youth stealing vehicles. Victoria Police aims to lead
youth away from crime before they are committed, as opposed to the
reactive method of catch and release.
We gained insights into Victoria Police's values regarding
- How important it is to ensure everyone understands reasons for
- Teamwork means sharing, showing, and valuing people.
- Leadership journeys can be one of self-reflection, growth, and
Finally, we were able to discover many things about the day in
the life of a magistrate. Currently many magistrates are
overloaded, therefore, new processes and an increase in magistrate
numbers are being planned.
We learned that the community focus is on community corrections
orders. Despite thousands of positive outcomes resulting from
corrections orders, the media tends to only report the negative
outcomes. Magistrates note, however, that cases are much harder to
judge when they have all the facts presented to them in the
courtroom, as opposed to the facts only reported in the media.