Artist frames a better future with community service work for Elders

The entrance to the meeting place of the Inala Elders Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation is brighter thanks to the work of an offender under the supervision of Queensland Corrective Services.

Visitors to the meeting place are now greeted with a large entry sign incorporating stylised Australian animals on a maritime background painted by the offender as part of his community service.

Community Corrections Southern Region Manager Lucy Rockett said the artist, who can’t be identified while he remains under the supervision of Queensland Corrective Services, was trained as a tattoo artist, but was exploring new mediums as part of his community service.

“Moving from tattooing to painting has given him the opportunity to give something back to the community and reinforce connections to culture, especially the Elders, who do so much work for the community,” Ms Rockett said.

The Inala Elders Corporation offers a safe place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to gather to learn listen and laugh together while maintaining the important cultural aspects of the Elder mentoring system.

It also supports elderly local people to stay in their own homes and coordinates activities for younger members of the community.

Ms Rockett said QCS partners with many not-for-profit organisations and local councils to supervise people performing community service.

“By undertaking unpaid community work, people are given the opportunity to reconnect with the community and to learn skills necessary to increase their chance of employment,” she said.

“This in turn reduces recidivism and helps to keep the community safe, while reducing the financial impact to the community.”