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Barwon prisoners' work donated to local primary schools

Representives from Barwon prison, Box Hill TAFE, Geelong East primary school and St Vincent de Paul

Geelong East Primary School is one of five schools in the Geelong area to receive new art aprons, pencil cases and library bags thanks to the work of prisoners at the Barwon Prison Textile Industry.

The donation is part of the Community Schools Support Program, a collaboration between H.M Prison Barwon, Box Hill TAFE and St Vincent De Paul Society, which sees prisoners turn unused material from the textiles industry into supplies for local schools.

Principal of Geelong East Primary School, Karen Chaston, expressed her thanks and gratitude for the new supplies.

“Our preps are very excited to receive individualised supplies. This donation has enabled us to take some of the financial pressure off our parents and provide the students with a unique gift that connects them to their community,” she said.

“We are very grateful for the workmanship of those at Barwon Prison and also St Vincent De Paul Society for connecting us to such an amazing program.”

The educational benefits of the program are two-fold, as participating prisoners are able to obtain Certificates I and II in Textiles to increase their employment opportunities in the textiles industry upon release.

Furthermore, the program gives prisoners the opportunity to make reparation for the harm and damage caused by their offending behaviour, and supports preparation for prisoners reintegrating into the community.