New correctional officers help keep South East Queensland communities safe

  • 33 new Custodial Correctional Officers joined the frontline of public safety today (Wednesday 15 March).
  • 7 Custodial Correctional Officers recognised with the prestigious National Medal
  • Commissioner’s Challenge Coin presented to community representative

Queensland Corrective Services held its first graduation ceremony of the year on Wednesday 15 March inducting 33 Custodial Correctional Officers to the frontline of public safety.

Joined by family and friends, the new CCOs were recognised for their achievement after completing a paid 10-week Custodial Officer Entry Program.

The new graduates will be posted to Arthur Gorrie, Brisbane, Maryborough, Southern Queensland, Woodford and Borallon Training and Correctional Centres and the Escort and Security Branch.

The ceremony recognised seven Custodial Correctional Officers from Arthur Gorrie, Southern Queensland, Borallon Training and Woodford Correctional Centres with the prestigious National Medal as well as two officers who were presented with their Long Service and Good Conduct medals.

The graduation ceremony also recognised Official Visitor and community representative Farley Tolpen, who was presented with the Commissioner’s Challenge Coin after his six-year service to the public safety agency as part of QCS’ Official Visitors Scheme.

Over the years, Mr Tolpen has visited all correctional centres in the Wacol precinct and spoken to more than 600 prisoners.

Quotes attributable Minister for Corrective Services, Mark Ryan MP

“Congratulations to our new correctional officers for making public safety a priority and working together to ensure prisoners and offenders are less likely to reoffend,” Minister Ryan said.

“Congratulations also to Mr Tolpen, and all the correctional officers who were recognised for their outstanding efforts today. This recognition is a testament of your hard work and commitment to keeping Queensland communities safe.

“Queensland Corrective Services is an essential part of our criminal justice system, and the community appreciates the important work you do.”

Quotes attributable to Mr Gary McCahon, Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations, QCS:

“It’s no easy feat dealing with the some of the state’s most complex and challenging people but every day our officers play a pertinent role to address offending behaviour and improve the vocational and life skills of prisoners, assisting in their rehabilitation and reintegration back to the community,” Mr McCahon said.

“Working in corrections is a rewarding career and we are actively recruiting for new unsung heroes, across the state, to join Queensland Corrective Services where you’ll have the chance to build stronger communities through a range of career paths in our agency; all of which play a vital role in managing and rehabilitating prisoners.

“I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr Tolpen. As an Official Visitor, he has played an important role in being an accessible and independent community representative to assist prisoners to manage and resolve their complaints.”

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

  • There are many career paths the top-tier public safety agency offers including custodial correctional officers, trade instructors, dog squad officers, psychologists and administrative roles, all of which play a vital role in managing and rehabilitating prisoners.
  • For more information about Queensland Corrective Services and to find out how to join the top-tier public safety agency head to: Careers | Queensland Corrective Services (
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Official Visitor is part of the Official Visitors Scheme introduced in 1989.
  • Official Visitors are members of the community who attend correctional centres to hear and investigate prisoner complaints, review safety orders and maximum-security orders among other tasks required under the Corrective Services Act 2006.
  • Official Visitors’ vacancies are now open. To find out more head to search ‘Official Visitor’.