Court Diversion Officer

Court Mandated Diversion, Community Corrections

 

My one piece of advice to other Delegates:

My advice would be that sometimes it’s just as simple as sharing your own story. So when I’m talking to people about why they should join or why I’m a union Member, it’s useful to use my own experience, which is a powerful message about the value of union membership as workplace insurance!


One thing I’d like to change in my workplace:

One of the big issues here and everywhere is workload. We keep talking about the ‘new normal’, that being under a higher amount of constant pressure is normalised. For me, thinking about the wellbeing of colleagues, that’s not okay. We all have to be confident to say “this is acceptable and this is not”, and just to be able to say “I can’t do this, it’s beyond what I can reasonably achieve”. People are so reluctant to say “no I can’t manage that”. I’m the same, I want to be able to take on whatever work comes my way, and my work is really intensive, really complex and often crisis driven. We do have nominal limits around our workloads but it doesn’t always work that way.

I think, as professionals, we should all feel confident in ourselves to say “I can’t reasonably manage that” and be guided by that practice wisdom. I think unions and management need to work together to agree about what is a reasonable workload across agencies, and this needs to be an ongoing discussion.

And just that notion that because we’re busy and rushing around we are important – it’s actually terrible, we all know that intellectually, and I do it too. It’s really unhealthy, being overwhelmed isn’t okay. It’s not okay at work, or creeping into the rest of your life.


One thing I’d like to change in my community:

The big thing for me is what we call therapeutic justice, which is about treatment within a legal framework – treating criminals and serious drug addicts engaging in criminal activity from a problem-solving perspective and getting them into a program that has a long term view about addressing their offending behaviour instead of just punishing them.

So for me it’s about problems that underlie crime. It’s something I’d really like the community to become more educated about, so we could get agreement to put a lot more resources into this work.

It’s long term, it’s probably multi-generational work in some ways but we know if we invest sensibly, we’ll get a pay-off down the track, not within a short political cycle. A punitive approach to this is just counterproductive and causes more harm. We have to treat the underlying problem. It’s complex, it’s not front-page stuff and doesn’t fall into that easy law and order debate. It takes investment to work but that investment can be really worthwhile.


My job helps the Tasmanian community by:

Taking a long-term, solution-focussed approach to community safety. If we can invest wisely in addressing the issues that contribute to addressing crime in our community, we can have a significant impact on crime statistics, and every crime that is prevented from occurring is a good thing for the community.


Why I became a Delegate:

I was asked to become a Delegate by a CPSU Industrial Officer after I’d been involved in a matter at the Industrial Commission. She thought I could share my insights and experience about that with others. I was happy to come on board because I’d been involved in the union forever and I found the CPSU’s support during that time in the Commission invaluable, so I was keen to do what I could to repay the favour.