Working within the prison system can often be a case of crucial, hard work going unnoticed. So much was the case for Broome-based corrective services officer Cassandra Gilbert, that she swiftly deleted an email from the Federal Government alerting her that she had been selected for a national honour, believing it to be spam. Ms Gilbert was one of five officers across the State chosen for the Australian Corrections Medal, a prestigious title that soon sunk in for the 56-year-old after she later restored the letter. Having worked in the Kimberley for the past eight years as district offender manager for the region, the officer led a team of 34 staff to help offenders with their rehabilitation and transition back into the community in a culturally sensitive way. Ms Gilbert returned to an on-the-ground position earlier this year, where she would drive a two-year project aimed at keeping indigenous prisoners on country and see community officers work closer to offenders while they are jailed. The program could potentially reduce the risk of reoffending, decrease illicit drug use and lead to better mental health outcomes. Ms Gilbert said she felt very emotional to be recognised and validated in an industry where the common feeling was that nobody took notice of hard work. “For me, it is amazing because I’m one that has journeyed through prisons and community services, both metro and regional,” she said. “It is special that someone has looked at my journey and thought I deserved this based on what I have achieved, even though I believe I have so much more to achieve. I have received a lot of positive feedback about what has happened so far in my new role and I am so passionate about what I am doing.” West Kimberley Regional Prison offender services Assistant Superintendent Leith Thomas is also set to receive the ACM for her work in community projects across the region, focusing on mental health, drug use and domestic violence. She has been in the prison system since 2007. Commissioner Tony Hassall said Ms Thomas was enthusiastic about ensuring a safer community by working closely with Aboriginal locals. Ms Thomas started her work in the prison system in 2007.