On Wednesday 26th July 2023, the Commissioner CSSI, Mr. Mactus Forau commenced an Official Visit Program to the Queensland Corrective Services (QCS), on his return back from Korea where he attended development and awareness programs with other high-level dignitaries from across the world working in the areas of policing and correctional services.
This Official Visit is the first to be undertaken by Commissioner Forau to QCS since taking up the Commissioner’s appointment in November 2022. This important activity follows on from the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CSSI and QCS, endorsed earlier this year by the Minister for Correctional Services Queensland, the Honorable Mark Ryan MP and the Solomon Islands Government Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Honorable Anthony Veke MP.
This MoU provides acknowledgement and ongoing support and commitment to the professional development partnership developed following the inception of the first MoU entered into between both agencies in late 2016. Commissioner Forau’s visit also follows the recent attendance at the QCS Training Academy at Wacol Brisbane, of six (6) senior officers from CSSI who participated in a “live in” two (2) week professional development program called the Emerging Management Diploma Program (EMDP). This twinning program, is inclusive of both CSSI and QCS officers in terms of program attendance and participation and is provided to senior officers from both agencies of similar rank and workplace responsibilities.
Commissioner Forau attended the QCS Training Academy on the Wednesday morning and met the General Manager Capability and Development, QCS Training Academy Mr. Alan Butler and members of the Leadership Management team who deliver the EMDP, before embarking on a visit to the Nunimbah Correctional Centre, a Low Security facility in the Gold Coast hinterland. This facility is specifically for women inmates, with a strong focus on rehabilitation and reintegration strategies, utilizing meaningful activities built into the daily functions and operations of a farm environment. This also includes the integration and delivery of special programs designed to meet the specific special needs of women offenders.
On Thursday 27th July 2023, Commissioner Forau was provided an official escorted tour of both the Wolston and Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centres, two modern purpose built facilities linked but separate in terms or security and operational infrastructure. Wolston CC is a centre which primarily accommodates inmates on forms of protection status and Brisbane Women’s CC, is for female inmates only. The primary focus of both visits was to observe the “industry” business enterprises of both facilities, following Commissioner Forau’s expressed interest in this area of operations prior to arriving in Brisbane.
Later that day, Commissioner Forau was then afforded a visit to the Queensland Corrective Services Transport and Escort Division, responsible for all escort and transportation needs of inmates, primarily in the South East part of Queensland, but also with oversight for all correctional centres in Queensland, including the centres in the mid and very far north of the State at Lotus Glen, Townsville and Capricornia.
On Friday 28th July, Commissioner Forau was invited to meet with the Commissioner Queensland Corrective Services, Mr. Paul Stewart APM and members of his Executive at the Queensland Head office in George St, Brisbane CBD. This important occasion provided the opportunity for both Commissioners to re-enforce the commitments contained in the recently signed new MoU. Commissioner Forau thanked Commissioner Stewart for the invitation to visit and acknowledged the ongoing support being provided by QCS through the current professional development programs being facilitated to CSSI officers. He also acknowledgement the significant ongoing funding support provided to support this important professional development, from the Australian High Commission Office in Honiara, through Australia Solomon Islands Partnership for Justice Program (ASIPJ).
Commissioner Forau formally invited Commissioner Stewart to visit the Solomon Islands at some point in time, in particular to see and understand the environment some of his officer’s work in when they travel to Honiara to mentor and deliver trainings to CSSI officers, and this was gratefully acknowledged by Commissioner Stewart.
Commissioner Forau completed this Official Program by returning to the Solomon Islands on Saturday 29th July 2023.