Two Corrections Victoria staff members were recognised for their distinguished service as part of the 2023 King's Birthday Honours. The Australian Corrections Medal is awarded for distinguished service by an operational member of an Australian state or territory civilian correctional service for adults.

Anthony Calandro

Anthony commenced with Corrections Victoria in 2012 as a Community Corrections Officer. Since then, he has been a driving force behind the successful management and intervention of offenders subject to the post sentence scheme in Victoria. He is a leader who understands the complex needs of offenders, striking a balance between creating positive rehabilitative outcomes for the residents in his care and protecting the safety of the community.

While serving with Community Correctional Services, Anthony case managed offenders subject to community-based orders. Anthony’s leadership capabilities were recognised in 2014 through his promotion to Principal Practitioner, Werribee CCS, where he oversaw case management, implemented appropriate interventions for high-risk risk offenders, and supported and mentored junior staff.

Anthony’s work with the Post Sentence Branch commenced in 2014. He worked to operationalise several Harper Review recommendations, including overseeing the implementation of requirements under the Serious Offenders Act 2018, and the initial placement of serious sex and serious violence offenders into the Rivergum Residential Treatment Facility.

Anthony worked with staff and residents at Post Sentence locations to embed and promote a case-management framework targeted at creating positive rehabilitative and transitional outcomes. Anthony’s subject matter expertise in the management of high-risk offenders facilitated a nuanced approach, recognising the complex needs of residents and the barriers to their rehabilitation.

Anthony remains involved in the operational aspects of Post Sentence locations and is regularly called upon to resolve serious incidents. Notably, Anthony led the first application for an Emergency Detention Order under the Serious Offenders Act and has achieved the successful conclusion and apprehension of numerous offenders involved in absconds.

Anthony balances judicial and community expectations with the human element of working with incredibly challenging content matter. The post sentence space has evolved and matured under Anthony’s leadership and the reputation of Corrections Victoria has advanced under his guidance.

Gabrielle Simmons

Gabrielle commenced with Corrections Victoria in 2012 as an Aboriginal Case Manager. She spent eight years in frontline service delivery in Community Correctional Services, working with Aboriginal offenders prior to taking up a leadership role with the Yilam. Gabrielle is currently the manager of the Naalamba Ganbu and Nerrlinggu Yilam, providing direct support and engagement with Aboriginal men and women in prison.

As Manager, Naalamba Ganbu and Nerrlinggu Yilam, Gabrielle has been able to make a significant impact on ensuring cultural safety and support for Aboriginal staff, and men and women in prison. She has achieved this through advocating for locations to adhere to existing policies supporting the rights or Aboriginal people and their access to cultural programs and services in custody.

Gabrielle is currently overseeing a project to establish the first Aboriginal Healing Unit in Australia at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, requiring her to be a liaison point for the prison General Manager and the Assistant Commissioner overseeing the prison as the project progresses. She regularly attends prison locations to engage with staff and prisoners, facilitating yarning circles following the Aboriginal deaths in custody or when she is notified of Aboriginal people in distress.

Following a passing in custody, Gabrielle engages Aboriginal Elders and Respected Persons or Aboriginal organisations to attend prison locations to conduct traditional practices such as smoking ceremonies. The Yilam manager role is incredibly complex, and Gab is required to navigate and advocate for the needs and desires of the department, but also of her community. Her work in influencing both frontline staff and the executive in how to sensitively respond to both issues affecting Aboriginal people and Aboriginal deaths in custody has been outstanding.