Multicultural diversity and bravery celebrated at QCS ceremony

  • 43 new Custodial Correctional Officers representing 11 cultural and linguistic backgrounds graduated in Brisbane during Multicultural Queensland Month
  • 2 officers awarded Unit Citations for professional conduct in restoring order and bringing non-compliant prisoners under control at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre in 2020
  • 2 officers recognised with prestigious National Medal for long service
  • Officers equipped with the highest level of training, skills and support to work on the frontline of reducing re-offending


Eleven different cultural backgrounds were represented at a Queensland Corrective Services Custodial Correctional Officer (CCO) graduation today (Thursday 17 August), highlighting the agency’s commitment to diversity and the benefits of a multicultural workforce dedicated to public safety.

The ceremony inducted 43 new officers who will be deployed to correctional centres across South East Queensland after completing the paid 10-week Custodial Officer Entry Program.

Held during Multicultural Queensland Month, family and friends watched the ceremony live and online as the new officers were recognised for their achievements.

The graduates will be posted to Arthur Gorrie, Brisbane Men’s and Women’s, Borallon, Southern Queensland, Wolston and Woodford Correctional Centres as well as the Escort and Security Branch.

At the ceremony, two officers were presented with Commissioner’s Unit Citations for their bravery and leadership in response to disorderly and unlawful behaviour at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre in 2020. Chief Superintendent Andrew Ballantyne from QCS’ Escort and Security Branch, and Custodial Correctional Officer Kristy from Wolston Correctional Centre were presented the high-level award for outstanding conduct and professionalism to quell the disorderly and unlawful behaviour of prisoners.

Two officers were also recognised for their long and diligent service and awarded the coveted National Medal awarded for more than 15 years’ service in a frontline public safety agency.

QCS is actively recruiting with many career paths on offer at the top tier public safety agency, including CCOs, trade instructors, dog squad officers, psychologists, counsellors, cultural liaison officers and administrative roles, all of which play a vital role in managing and rehabilitating prisoners to keep communities safe.

Representing the Minister for Police and Corrective Services, and the Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, the Honourable Mark Ryan MP, the Member for Mount Ommaney Ms Jessica Pugh MP attended the ceremony to congratulate the new graduates and award recipients.

Quotes attributable to Jessica Pugh, Member for Mount Ommaney:

“Congratulations to all the officers recognised today, from our newest graduates to those who have already given more than 15 years’ service to the frontline of public safety here in Queensland, and especially to our brave and professional officers awarded Unit Citations for their efforts to restore order during an outbreak of prisoner unrest and non-compliance in 2020.

“As we celebrate Multicultural Queensland Month it is wonderful to see different cultural and linguistic backgrounds among today’s group of graduates. Almost a quarter of Queenslanders are born overseas, so it is important to celebrate our diversity and recognise the benefits to Queensland of the many backgrounds, skills and experiences that make up who we are.

“Our new graduates have worked hard to complete the rigorous training program to uphold public safety and ensure prisoners and offenders are less likely to return to crime.

“We are incredibly proud of every one of our officers for the difference they make in our community and their dedication and commitment to their role in keeping the public safe.”

Quotes attributable to Gary McCahon, Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations, Queensland Corrective Services:

“Congratulations to our new graduates for completing the rigorous custodial officer training program.

“Having a diverse workforce, which includes many multicultural backgrounds, plays an important role in managing the people in our custody and I welcome the variety of life experiences they bring.

“Today we also recognise four of our experienced officers with Unit Citations and National Medals for their long and professional commitment to QCS.

“Corrections is challenging work, but our officers are equipped with the highest level of training, skills, and support to enable them to perform their roles safely and effectively.

“Every interaction, whether it’s finding contraband or helping to educate prisoners, is an opportunity to address offending behaviour and to improve the vocational and life skills of prisoners, assisting in their rehabilitation and reintegration back into the community.”

Further information:

  • Officers graduating on Thursday 17 August come from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, England, Nepal, Wales, South Africa, Iran, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Kenya.
  • In August and September 2020, officers from a range of correctional centres were involved in quelling riotous behaviour at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre.
  • The Commissioner’s Unit Citation is a high-level award presented for outstanding conduct, professionalism or exceptional proficiency in operations or operational support.
  • The National Medal, introduced in 1975, is Australia’s most awarded civilian medal.
  • The medal recognises long and diligent service by members of recognised government and voluntary organisations who risk their lives to protect or assist the community in enforcement of the law or in times of emergency or natural disaster.
  • Queensland Corrective Services has a new online careers page. For more information and to find out how to join, head to: Careers | Queensland Corrective Services (corrections.qld.gov.au).
  • The total remuneration package for a QCS Custodial Correctional Officer ranges from $81,645 to $117,152 which includes base salary plus allowances and employer superannuation contributions. CCOs work a compressed seven-day fortnight.
  • Eligible candidates who relocate from interstate or South East Queensland to Capricornia, Townsville or Lotus Glen Correctional Centres may also be eligible for a relocation assistance package up to the value of $7,000.