Officer breaks down barriers
A dedicated Broome prison officer who has brought his own approach to the job for nearly three decades has received a special visit after achieving a prestigious honour.
Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall flew into the Kimberley recently to meet Broome Regional Prison senior officer Rodney Rahman, who was named a recipient of the Australian Corrections Medal on Australia Day last month.
Mr Hassall formally congratulated Mr Rahman last Wednesday for being one of only five Department of Justice workers in the State to win the prestigious prize.
Having worked across Broome Regional Prison and West Kimberley Regional Prison for the past 29 years, the officer uses his indigenous background to connect with prisoners and help them reform.
Mr Hassall said the award was a testament to Mr Rahman’s hard work and service over the years.
“I am very proud of Rodney for his accomplishment and excited to get the opportunity to congratulate him in person,” he said.
“What makes me more proud is he is an indigenous man and a leader in his community that is getting this recognition.
“He has tried different strategies and shown human contact and human compassion to help prisoners onto the right track.”
Mr Rahman said relating to the prisoners and making positive connections had always been his plan of attack with his job.
“I can relate to these boys,” he said
“I ask them who their parents are and I can say that they are good friends of mine and tell them when I met them and it breaks down the barriers.
“My background helped me a lot, being a local Broome boy and going to school with a lot of these boys.
“It can get tough working at prisons for this long.
“You see a lot of bad stuff go on here but I see a lot of good stuff go on too.”
Mr Rahman said he was completely shocked when he found out he would receive the medal.
“I got the letter and I thought ‘what the hell is this about?’, then found out I was nominated by my peers,” he said.
“I was flabbergasted but proud.
“It is good for people in country areas to be recognised.”
Mr Rahman will officially receive the ACM in Perth in August.
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