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Prison Chaplain (Maryborough)

UnitingCare - Queensland

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Volunteer to change lives. Yours included. This volunteer opportunity will help to provide Christian pastoral care to adult incarcerated people within Queensland correctional centres.

Location:  Maryborough Correctional Centre | Stein Road\, Aldershot QLD 4650 Maryborough Correctional Centre, located about 7 kilometres north of Maryborough, is a multi-purpose, secure custody facility, that acts as a remand and reception centre.

Trained volunteer chaplains serve on a weekly roster system as part of an ecumenical team to provide non-denominational pastoral care to the 15 correctional centres around Queensland from Palen Creek in the south to Lotus Glen in the far north. Pastoral care in correctional centres is independent support that is non-judgemental, non-threatening, accepting, other centred and confidential.  This pastoral care is for all inmates, including all cultural and ethnic groups in any age group or gender. It facilitates support in a manner consistent with a person’s own faith/spiritual journey without seeking to proselytise. We offer hope through our chaplaincy service and have a positive impact on the social, emotional and spiritual well-being of people in custody.

Our chaplains provide Sunday faith-based services on a 6 weekly rotational basis, shared with the 5 other service providers.  Chaplains can provide pre-approved faith articles to prisoners such as bibles, devotional material and other theological books, as well as access to correspondence bible studies.  Chaplains can refer inmates to counselling and other re-entry services.  Additionally, chaplains may be called on to assist with critical incidents and deaths in custody, including the facilitation of funerals.

The chaplaincy role is based in Correctional Centres. Most centres require travel as they are usually out of city areas.  The centres can be quite large and require a general level of health to manage the walking required to access units. This role has an element of risk and requires intentionality to maintain professional boundaries and ability by centre rules.  Full training is provided in the form of a 1 day custodial awareness session and a centre induction before you commence your chaplaincy training.

Chaplains are required to follow the directions of Queensland Corrective Services personnel at all times when in the centre. Chaplains are accountable to the Chaplaincy Team Coordinator and the service provider (UnitingCare Queensland).

Six different service providers are represented at each correctional centre. Your team size will vary depending on the size of the centre.  You may have a number of other chaplains serving a centre on the same day.

Tasks involved include:

  • Work in an ecumenical team environment
  • Attend a correctional centre 1 day a week to provide pastoral care to inmates
  • Distribute religious material to inmates
  • Refer inmates to post-release service providers
  • Facilitate Sunday faith-based services at a correctional centre on a rotational basis
  • Assist with incidents or deaths in custody
  • Attend monthly chaplaincy team meetings
  • Attend monthly online training with UCQ
  • Attend 3 days of annual in-service training in Brisbane

This is a great opportunity to:

  • Do something new and different
  • Experience the joy of making a meaningful difference
  • Enjoy social interaction with others

Skills Required:

  • Knowledge and Understanding of Pastoral Care
  • Prior experience in the area of Pastoral Care or willingness to obtain
  • Some training in the area of pastoral care
  • Mature faith in Jesus Christ and regular attender of a Christian church
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Strong empathy for others
  • Accepting and respectful towards people of all backgrounds including those of different cultures, religion, language, age, morality, gender and sexual orientation.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Strong Professional boundaries and high standards of ethics
  • Willingness to work within the guidelines of the State Chaplaincy Board and regulations of Queensland Corrective Services
  • Intentional with Self-care practices

UnitingCare values diversity in our organisation and we have some principles in place that will help to promote both inclusion and access.  If you have any other accessibility requirements, please discuss these at the time of the interview.