Queensland Government Media Releases

New Graduates to make a difference

June 15, 2017

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan


Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan welcomes 29 new custodial officers who will graduate from the Townsville branch of the Queensland Corrective Services Academy today.

“These 29 graduates have made a commitment to assist the Palaszczuk Government as well as our dedicated frontline services in keeping Queensland safe, and I thank them for taking on this responsibility,” Minister Ryan said.

“While our graduates have one thing in common – to keep our communities safe - each of these 29 individuals have vastly different backgrounds, in particular graduating custodial officers Shane Anderson and Michaela Hemken.”

Shane Anderson a proud Aboriginal man and German-born Ms Hemken are among 29 officers who will graduate from the Townsville branch of the Queensland Corrective Services Academy today.

Mr Anderson, who previously worked as a case manager assisting clients who had histories of drug and alcohol abuse and homelessness, was seeking a new challenge but where he still had the ability to help with the rehabilitation of offenders.

“I hope to try and adopt a mentoring role to my people, especially the younger generation,” Mr Anderson said. “I want to help them understand the processes, especially first time offenders and those from remote communities,” Mr Anderson said.

Ms Hemken, has also taken a change of career path with her previous role being a public transport administration officer responsible for the organisation and transfer of up to 4000 schoolchildren.

“I want to help the community – that will be rewarding,” Ms Hemken said.

“I was amazed about how much the different trainers were able to teach me, and by the support I received as a student with English as a second language.

The men and women who graduated today completed 364 hours of training over a nine-week period and hade two weeks’ practical on-the-job training inside a correctional centre as part of that.

QCS Commissioner Mark Rallings said the QCS Custodial Entry program focuses on offender management, centre procedures, behaviour management, conflict resolution, control and restraint, firearms legislation and intelligence.

“The training places great emphasis on staff safety through the delivery of sessions about officer safety, situational awareness and communication, behavioural awareness and de-escalation techniques.”

Mr Anderson has been posted to the Townsville Correctional Centre and Ms Hemken to the adjoining Townsville Women’s Correctional Centre.