Nadine Robinson – From volunteer to District Manager

Like many before her, Nadine Robinson donned a backpack and left the shores of England. Her destination was Sydney, but fate had other plans and the temptation of sunny Townsville sounded like the perfect place to study a double degree in psychology and criminology at James Cook University.

As a second year university student, Nadine was introduced to corrections when she applied for a volunteer position at the Townsville Correctional Centre (TCC), but walked away with a full-time, paid role as Program Delivery Officer. In this role, she ran programs for the general offender population, including cognitive skills, anger management and making choices.

Nadine moved into other roles within TCC, including Counsellor, Education Officer and Sex Offender Programs Facilitator, which was a newly established unit within TCC. Her involvement in the establishment of the unit goes down as a career highlight.

She then joined the probation and parole office in Thuringowa before going to the Townsville District Office to case manage high risk offenders under the Dangerous Prisoners Sexual Offenders Act (DPSOA).

From there, she moved to Brisbane in 2008 to take up a three month secondment in the High Risk Offender Management Unit headquarters, before securing a permanent role as Senior Advisor in the team shortly after. She held a variety of roles in that unit, including Principal Advisor (HROMU) and Cinical Supervisor assisting case managers with DPSOA offenders.

In 2010, she worked briefly in the Office of the Chief Inspector and in 2011, she played a key role in the establishment of the clinical support unit. Her role involved travelling throughout the state assisting case managers with offender assessments to provide the best possible management options.

“Although transitioning throughout the many roles I’ve held was rewarding, it was also challenging and scary at times given I would not know the role and needing to have the confidence to put myself in uncomfortable situations,” Ms Robinson said.

Until recently, Nadine was the District Manager at Redcliffe Community Corrections where she and her team were responsible for almost 500 offenders in the community.

“I am driven by the passion I have for my work and as a leader to ensure my team are happy and inspired in their work.”

Nadine has now joined the Queensland Parole System Reform project, tasked with the project management of the Community Corrections Training Review.

As a 2019 Queensland public safety International Women’s Day award recipient, Nadine’s advice to other women in the workforce is to challenge yourself, experience all the agency has to offer, find a mentor, explore flexible work arrangements and don’t be afraid to speak to your manager about them, and most importantly, do what you are passionate about.

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