We sat down with Correctional Counsellor, Carol Greenhalgh to talk about her time at Woodford. Over the years, she has worked as a Cultural Liaison Officer, an Education officer and a Senior Practitioner. “I started as a student placement at Woodford in August 1997, and in 1998, I received a phone call to come and join the Woodford team,” she says.

From her interactions with other staff, you can tell that Carol is a valued team member. “Since arriving at Woodford my last name has seemed to gain some interest. Most times the officers call me Green Algae,” she jokes.

She talks about the value the centre has as a positive workplace as well as the importance of a sense of humour. “I believe from the day I started at Woodford I was treated like I belong here and as part of the furniture,” says Carol. She is known by her colleagues as a major contributor to the programs area, a skilled counsellor and also for her sense of humour. “People at work say green and red cordial make me mischievous and actually stop me having it before meetings,” she adds.

“I just love my job and any day is never the same. It’s all about teamwork here at Woodford – if people don’t work as a team, you’ve got nothing. You’ve got to have each other’s backs.”

In an example of this, Carol talks about adjusting to unforeseen circumstances and working together to assist her colleagues. “I am currently the sole Programs staff member to have undergone custodial training, and in the past I have been called upon by the General Manager to perform custodial duties to assist other officers.”

When dealing with the challenges of the custodial environment and high risk prisoners, Carol highlights the support she has received from colleagues and management. Her work has been acknowledged with awards in recognition of her operational expertise, especially in dealing with difficult prisoners. “Senior management have selected me to work with many difficult offenders, including those who have been high profile, and classified as maximum security over the years.”

Supporting staff and prisoners has become a significant aspect of Carol’s career. QCS counsellors assist with providing support to prisoners in some of the most challenging events of their lives. Carol has assisted with transfers for men and women, and worked with Maximum Security Unit (MSU) prisoners with high risk behaviours.

“In the past, I have supported staff following traumatic events. My skills as a Counsellor have been utilised in these situations on a number of occasions,” she explains. Carol has assisted officers and their families during their times of personal crisis, including those who have been injured in the line of duty.

“My time at Woodford has been one hell of an experience both professionally and personally. Every day is challenging, unpredictable and no two days are the same.”