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Challenge set for Kalgoorlie’s new prison officers

Many of the Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison’s newest recruits have had successful careers in other industries but have been drawn to the challenge of trying something new.

Melissa Burnett has lived in Kalgoorlie-Boulder for 20 years and said she hoped to put her people skills to good use in her new role.

“I worked in the hospitality and the retail industry so I am used to dealing with people every day,” she said.

“My passion is people, coaching people and watching them grow.

“That is the best feeling and it’s really good to create change.”

A new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday.A new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday.
Camera IconA new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday. Credit: Kelsey Reid

Ms Burnett said she was also looking forward to getting in the classroom and learning how to take her abilities to the next level.

“It is a better opportunity for me here because I have more opportunities to grow and take my skills further,” she said.

“There is a lot of ongoing training and support, which is very important in this area and that’s what really drew me to this.”

Dave Shilton and his son Braden moved to Kalgoorlie-Boulder from New Zealand several years ago and were drawn to the corrective services industry.

A new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday. Pictured are Dave Shilton and his son Braden Shilton, who are both new recruits.A new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday. Pictured are Dave Shilton and his son Braden Shilton, who are both new recruits.
Camera IconA new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday. Pictured are Dave Shilton and his son Braden Shilton, who are both new recruits. Credit: Kelsey Reid/Kalgoorlie Miner, Kelsey Reid

A former carpenter, Braden said he was looking forward to working in a team of like-minded people to make a difference.

“I am looking forward to be working in a great team, and the people I have met so far are awesome,” he said.

“It will be good to learn some new skills and also help to re-habilitate people to get back into the community so hopefully they can do some great things with their lives after they leave us.”

A new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday. Pictured is new recruit Melissa Burnett.A new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday. Pictured is new recruit Melissa Burnett.
Camera IconA new cohort of officers were sworn in at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison on Thursday. Pictured is new recruit Melissa Burnett. Credit: Kelsey Reid/Pictures: Kelsey Reid, Kelsey Reid

A builder by trade, Dave Shilton said he had received mixed responses when he told friends and family of his career change, but he was eager to start his training.

“There were a few people who looked at you sideways and said, ‘What are you doing that for? Why do you want to get inside a prison?’,” he said.

“Even just sitting in the classroom today, it’s different to what I thought, so I can’t wait to get started and see everything put into practice.”

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