This year, four of our staff members were recognised for their distinguished service as part of the 2023 Australia Day Honours.
The Australian Honours and Awards system (External link) provides the people of Australia the opportunity to recognise and say 'thank you' to outstanding citizens whose efforts make our communities and our nation a better place.
Well done to our recipients of the Public Service Medal and Australian Corrections Medal.
Public Service Medal
The Public Service Medal recognises outstanding excellence, leadership and innovation by employees from each of the four levels of government.
Tony Layh - General Manager, Prison Industries, Corrections and Justice Services
Tony has used his vision and leadership over almost ten years at Corrections Victoria leading to a significant increase in self-sufficiency, building capability and reduction in operating costs for the Victorian Government. He was also instrumental in driving an innovative application of social procurement policies that resulted in improved post-release employment outcomes.
Tony’s social enterprise, innovation and integrity are core to his achievements. He has been instrumental in the setup of the iStore, an online platform for Prison Industries that allows users in prisons and the department to purchase a greater selection of products. He has also shown great dedication and passion towards ensuring offenders are provided training in sought-after industries, as well as employment opportunities post- release.
His initiatives and commitment to prison and prisoner capability have helped to set the standard for better prisoner release outcomes in Victoria.
Jennifer Roberts - Director, Community Operations and Parole, Corrections and Justice Services
Jennifer has provided more than 35 years of service to the corrections and justice system in Victoria and has been instrumental in some of the most fundamental reforms to the corrections and justice system.
She led the development of the Better Pathways Initiative, which focused on diverting women from prison custody and breaking the cycle of re-offending. Her tenacity saw the implementation of new service delivery and funding arrangements for corrections education and training, which addressed prisoners' poor literacy and numeracy levels. During the COVID-19 pandemic she has led a transition to a remote model of operations, ensuring offenders continued to have access to community services and programs.
Her strong principles, combined with her sense of integrity, have had an indelible influence on all those that she encounters and has helped to ensure that Victoria's communities remain safe.
Australian Corrections Medal
The Australian Corrections Medal is awarded for distinguished service by an operational member of an Australian state or territory civilian correctional service for adults.
Kerrie Frank - Supervisor, Court Case Management, Wodonga Community Correctional Services
In 2004, Kerrie commenced volunteering at the Wodonga Community Correctional Office, marking the beginning of a career with Community Corrections. Since 2005, she has held numerous roles including Community Work Coordinator, Case Manager, Leading Case Manager and Officer in Charge, and is currently serving as the Supervisor, Court Case Management at Wodonga Community Correctional Services (CCS).
Kerrie has led the Court Case Management stream at Wodonga CCS for the past 12 years, delivering oversight of offenders undertaking community-based orders, parole orders, and community work. She has also held the role of Specialist Case Manager Mentor, a position in which she mentored less experienced staff who were to specialise in managing offenders convicted of sexual-related offending. She excelled in this role due to her passion for meaningful offender-rehabilitation, paired with her commitment to providing support and guidance to staff.
Kerrie has acted as Manager, Court Practice of Wodonga and Wangaratta on several occasions. Over this time the organisation has had two major reforms, with her being a dedicated champion of constructive change within Community Corrections. The geographical location of the Wodonga Justice Services Centre has required her to overcome unique challenges, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has initiated and fostered crucial relationships with key stakeholders to enable continued cross-border access to services for offenders while upholding community safety in Wodonga and neighbouring communities. She also offers support to various committees and initiatives with a shared goal of achieving better outcomes for offenders and the community.
Kerrie has served the Wodonga community for over 17 years. She is recognised as an advocate and drive of change and a stalwart of integrity. Her professionalism, leadership, and dedication epitomise what it means to be an exceptional community corrections officer.
Janet Hatvani - Supervisor, Court Case Management, Lilydale Community Correctional Services
Janet commenced her service with Community Correctional Services (CCS) in 2003. Since then, she has served in a number of frontline positions in the Eastern Metropolitan Region, including as a Community Corrections Officer, Officer in Charge, and Professional Practice Advisor.
In 2011 she was appointed to Regional Change Leader, which led to subsequent roles in change management, quality assurance, professional practice, and system implementation. She is currently serving as Supervisor, Court Case Management at Lilydale CCS.
Janet thrives in high-pressure environments and has been instrumental in the regions' successful reform initiatives over the last decade. As Regional Change Leader, she was a key leader in the implementation of sentencing reforms, and continued to champion change activities providing support and guidance to the region, during a time of great change and expansion.
Janet is a well-respected leader, demonstrating a combination of warmth, compassion, forward thinking and strategic vision. She is goal oriented and proactively seeks to address systematic barriers to provide high levels of service to the Victorian community. She oversees the supervision of complex cases, taking the time to listen to statutory clients and using her knowledge and skillset to resolve difficult issues. She has exceptional interviewing skills and engages offenders in a way that results in meaningful change, acknowledging their progress to help them to address their offending behaviours. In turn, she positively influences the practice of the case managers that she leads.
Janet is a motivational leader whose dedication and commitment has led to positive organisational change throughout her distinguished career. She remains committed to delivering best practice case management that contributes to community safety.