Community shows generosity through donations to rehabilitation prison

Melville Mayor George Gear and Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison Superintendent Susan Rowley surrounded by donations.
Melville Mayor George Gear and Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison Superintendent Susan Rowley surrounded by donations.

MELVILLE residents have shown their generosity by donating a large number of essential items to the Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison.

Community members placed items such as toiletries, clothes and sanitary items at collection boxes around Melville, including Hawaiian’s Melville, Willagee IGA, Blue Gum Community Centre and the City’s civic centre building.

On Monday, the items were handed over to prison staff at the City’s administration centre.

Superintendent Susan Rowley said the Department of Justice aimed to give residents at Wandoo the best possible chance of reintegrating with the community.

“It’s overwhelming to receive this kind of support from local people and these donations can make all the difference,” she said.

The prisoners also like to give back to the community as a part of their rehabilitation and Supt Rowley meets with a community engagement group each month to find ways the prison can play a positive role.

“We’re always on the lookout for reparation activities and at the moment we are knitting jumpers for penguins affected by an oil spill near Phillip Island,” she said.

“By Christmas we hope to have at least 100 jumpers to send to the Phillip Island Wildlife Clinic, which is a big achievement considering some of the women have only just learnt to knit or crochet.”

Melville Mayor George Gear said the City hosted the Safer Melville Month every October and it hosted a community appeal to support the women in the prison’s rehabilitation program.

“We are always thrilled and humbled by the support our community offers to our annual appeals and 2019 is no different,” he said.