Maryborough Correctional Centre (MCC) has recently established a Cultural Community Connections Program, an initiative encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners to engage in cultural activities.

MCC was one of the correctional centres that contributed to the Freedom of Expression Exhibition as part of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF). As well as artworks, prisoners at MCC contributed a number of sets of clap sticks for the program organisers to give away to guests and community members attending the launch of the exhibiton.

The clap sticks provided the prisoners an opportunity to be a part of the CIAF, educating the community, sharing their culture, and allowing them to express their personal journeys and stories.

The timber for the clap sticks was sourced locally, cut and shaped at the centre in one of the workshops, and painted in the ‘Duwalami’ spiritual centre by prisoners.

Another element of the Cultural Community Connections Program includes the production of hand sewn wombats for NAIDOC Day family visits. Children attending NAIDOC visits were given a wombat as well as the opportunity to paint or draw on it as a family activity.