ACE Darwin Dinner Series – September

Wednesday 29th September 2021

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Members of the ACE Northern Territory Darwin Branch Committee invite you to join us for the SEPTEMBER ACE Darwin Dinner Series.

This month’s theme: “Education and employment go hand in hand. Education gives pathway to employment, opens endless opportunities. Therefore one must discover his/her passion and the passion will lay the foundation for his/her success in their future education and employment prospects”.

The Northern Territory (NT) has the highest rate of imprisonment in the nation and Aboriginal Australians are over-represented in NT’s correctional facilities, accounting for 83.9% of the prison population (ABS, 2020).  The recidivism rate – that is inmates that re-offend and return to prison – is also high at 74.1% (ABS, 2020). However in total there was decrease in imprisonment rate of 7% per 100,000 adult population. (ABS, 2020).

Lack of education and poor work history are two of the eight criminogenic factors that NTCS addresses through prisoner education and training. (Annual Report AGD, 2019-20). NTCS programs and services facilitate the provision of targeted criminogenic needs and innovative programs to address offending behaviours. Training, educational and employment opportunities give prisoners the best chance for rehabilitation and reintegration, supporting prisoners to commit to education, training and employment, and contribute to the community. (Annual Report AGD, 2019-20)

In 2015, the NT Department of Correctional Services (now NTCS) and Batchelor Institute operationalised a seven-year Service Level Agreement (SLA), marking the beginning of a highly productive collaboration specialising in education, training and workplace skills development in NT prisons

Our collaboration epitomises evidence-based industry-best practice in the Australian corrective services and vocational education and training landscapes, while supporting a range of local industries with skilled labour.  As an important element in prisoner rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community, the fully integrated partnership model, which includes peer prisoner trainers, has been replicated by inter-state correctional services counterparts.

Special Guest Speakers

Dr Rajesh Koppula PhD, MA (HRDEd), BEd, BTh, BA, BPh

Director, Corrections Project – Batchelor Institute

Dr Rajesh (Raj) Koppula currently manages corrections project in NT. Raj has 20 years of teaching and senior level management experience in India and Australia.  After portraying the role of a Principal at Heralds High School, Hyderabad (India), Raj immigrated to Australia in 2010. Since arrival, Raj gained experience of working in the remote Aboriginal communities of East Kimberley, Western Australia and Top End remote Aboriginal communities of Northern Territory and Immigration Detention Centres in Darwin (Berrimah). Prior to taking the role of Director, Corrections Project, Raj also worked as Senior Lecturer, Corrections Project, Batchelor Institute at Darwin Correctional Centre (DCC). Raj had a stint as an Industry Vocational Education and Training Officer (NTDCS) at DCC.  Raj has strong expertise in building and managing new projects, exploring new employment and education opportunities along with professional development background, and in the strategic policy development and implementation, monitoring, analysing and evaluating change management process.

Raj is passionate about working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and working on various projects to enhance the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and particular interest in chalking out strategies to reduce the recidivism in Northern Territory of Australia.

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