Every year National Corrections Day recognises the extraordinary and tough work Correctional Officers perform in NSW prisons.
Three PSA Delegates were awarded for their work on behalf of the union’s Prison Officer members.
“Our members go to work every day in some of the most dangerous work environments in the state, all to protect the community and give offenders a chance at rehabilitation,” said Prison Officers Vocational Branch (POVB) Vice-Chairperson Jason Charlton. “Our prisons play a vital role in protecting the people of NSW and are, in many cases, the lifeblood of regional communities. National Corrections Day is a great chance to acknowledge the hard-working men and women who run them.”
POVB Life Member
Wayne Spearpoint, who has been in Corrections for 32 years and has been a member of the POVB for all that time, received a Life Membership.
“This is in recognition of the hard work and dedication he has shown to the POVB throughout his career,” said Mr Charlton.
Mr Spearpoint worked at Kirkconnell Correctional Centre, then Mid North Coast Correctional Centre. He has been a delegate at Mid North Coast for 14 years.
“In this time Wayne has vigorously supported members to ensure staff safety and that members’ pay and conditions are maintained,” said Mr Charlton. “He has been one of the loudest and strongest advocates in raising the inadequate Award that members at Kempsey, Dillwynia, Wellington and John Morony were on, and has been instrumental in finally getting this Award abolished.”
POVB Delegate of the Year
The Delegate of the Year for 2023 is Rebecca Vandermey of South Coast Correctional Centre. Ms Vandermey took on the role in 2022 when there were no other people in the subbranch willing to perform the role.
“Rebecca had very little knowledge of what the role entailed, yet she hit the ground running, ensuring members’ concerns were raised and addressed,” said Mr Charlton. “She advocates for all and brings a true passion for the role.
“We want to thank Rebecca for her commitment and determination to her subbranch. Her advocacy helps the POVB State Executive do their job and it has gone a long way in helping the members of South Coast Correctional Centre.”
Rebecca is pictured above at a function at South Coast Correction Centre with St George Illawarra rugby league player Zane Musgrove and assistant coach Matthew Elliott, and POVB Vice Chairperson Jason Charlton.
POVB Outstanding Achievement Award
Last year Corey Sawers of South Coast Correctional Centre walked from Huskisson to Perth to raise money for a colleague who was doing a Gofundme to raise money for St Francis Hudebwe Primary School in Zimbabwe.
“He raised more than $4000 and showed what a selfless and inspirational person he is to do this for a colleague,” said Mr Charlton. “It was an outstanding effort, one that most members would not think of doing let alone attempt it.
“We congratulate Corey and commend him for his efforts.”