Corrective Services celebrates NAIDOC Week
Published Tuesday, 04 July, 2017 at 02:00 PM
Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan
Queensland Corrective Services has celebrated NAIDOC Week by officially renaming its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit today.
The unit, based at the Corrective Services Academy at Wacol, is now known as the Murridhagun Cultural Centre.
The name serves to acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language and culture are important, and aligns with the 2017 NAIDOC Week theme Our Languages Matter.
The centre is a priority reference point for matters designed to address the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, prisoners, offenders and victims. Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said the initiative and official naming comes at an appropriate time.
“The naming of the Murridhagun Cultural Centre will build on QCS’ close relationship and trust with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, stakeholders and staff.
Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden represented the Corrective Services Minister at the ceremony today and acknowledged the significance of the cultural inclusions and meaning of the centre.
“The importance of cultural awareness and understanding is critical for all of our frontline officers including our correctional staff,” Mr Madden said.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit was re-formed late last year, and the re-naming acknowledges the unit’s important work.
Corrective Services Commissioner Mark Rallings said the Murridhagun Cultural Centre plays a key role in QCS’ endeavours to reduce the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system.
“Its staff will provide advice to fellow QCS officers about cultural protocols required when engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations, especially in relation to critical incidents,” Mr Rallings said.
“It will also partner with appropriate staff and external persons in the provision of Cultural Awareness training to QCS staff.”
The name ‘Murridhagun’ is a combination of Murri – Aboriginal peoples from across Queensland and north-western New South Wales – and Dhagun, which means ground.
Murri can also mean ‘kangaroo’ in the Yuggera language group, which is also appropriate considering the large kangaroo population in the bushland areas around Wacol.
Commissioner Rallings said the name Murridhagun was selected after consultation with a number of respected local Elders who contributed to and endorsed the name and its relevance to the location of the Unit.
All QCS correctional centres are involved in NAIDOC celebrations this week, with eligible prisoners participating in activities determined by the respective centre management in consultation with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
Media contact: Cathie Thompson 0413 372 387