Community Restorative Centre Awards

2023 Fifth Biennial AOD Awards for the NSW Non-Government Sector

CRC staff recently attended the NADA (Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies) Conference 2023, which was held at the International Convention Centre Sydney. Winners of the fifth biennial AOD Awards for the NSW Non-Government Sector were announced at the awards ceremony on May 12, where CRC was honoured with two awards. AOD Transition Worker Chris Sheppard received the AOD Frontline Champion award, which recognises an outstanding frontline worker in a NSW non-government alcohol and other drug service. CRC’s Advocacy, Research and Policy Unit received the Excellence in Research and Evaluation award, which recognises individuals or organisations that contributed to building the evidence base for practices to reduce alcohol and other drugs related harms, for “They’re there to support you and help you, they’re not there to judge you”: Breaking the cycle of incarceration, drug use and release, an evaluation of the Community Restorative Centre’s AOD and reintegration programs.


2020 SHS Good Practice Awards: Excellence in ending homelessness ─ groups with specific needs (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, CALD, LGBTI+) Inner City Women’s Transition Service

The Inner City Women’s Transition Service provides outreach and case management support to people who identify as female exiting NSW Correctional Centres who have complex needs.

As an over represented group in custody, many of whom are also mothers, First Nations women require services that are able to cater to diverse needs, and recognise the impact of incarceration on families and communities.

CRC has ensured continued support of clients through the additional stressors arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted services across NSW.


2022 Miranda Project Gold Award at the Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards

The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia and play a vital role in highlighting effective community-based initiatives to prevent crime and violence before it actually occurs. The Miranda Project was awarded the Gold Award (Community-led) for their work which supports women in contact with, or at risk of contact with, the criminal justice system who have been impacted by domestic and family violence.


2022 Central and Eastern Sydney PHN (CESPHN) Primary Health Awards

CRC’s Transitional AOD Project was awarded for Service Delivery that Meets Local Needs for their work providing AOD support and counselling to people exiting NSW Correctional Centres.  The Transitional AOD Project is designed to address barriers to accessing appropriate support for clients who are at high risk of relapse into problematic and criminogenic AOD use.


2018 SHS Good Practice Award: Excellence in ending homelessness – adults: The Boarding House Outreach Project at the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (partnership with Community Restorative Centre)

Homelessness NSW launched the first Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Good Practice Awards in 2017/18.

Recipients were acknowledged at the Homelessness NSW Conference dinner, in a wonderful opportunity to share the pride we have in the excellence of the sector.

The CRC/Boarding House Project jointly assists with housing and holistic case management, working with all genders on release from prison who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.


2018 SHS Good Practice Awards: Excellence in ending homelessness – diverse groups: Inner City Service for Women with Complex needs

CRC is proud to receive this award as part of the Inner City Service for Women with Complex needs partnership between B Miles Women’s Foundation, Community Restorative Centre and Detour House Inc.

CRC’s Inner City Women’s Transitional Service supports people who identify as female leaving prison who want to return to the Inner City and surrounding suburbs, providing outreach case management, transitional and reintegration services.


2018 SHS Good Practice Awards: Leading practitioner award: Lara Samway from Community Restorative Centre

It is wonderful to see Lara Samway acknowledged for her work with the CRC/BHOS service.

The BHOS program caters to clients who often have complex needs, exacerbated by the cyclic nature of incarceration due to homelessness and lack of other supports.

She has greatly impacted the lives of her clients, and it is a pleasure to see her work recognised in the industry.


CRC’s AOD Team Accept the NADA Excellence in Treatment Award 2018

NADA is the organisation for the non-government alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector in NSW. At the NADA awards night, a thrill of pride ran through CRC when the winner of the Excellence in Treatment award for 2018 was announced – our own AOD Transition Project.

This is a very well deserved honour that recognises of Paul Hardy (for his exceptional leadership) and the entire AOD team who work above and beyond their job descriptions to deliver compassionate, therapeutic care to our clients.

Congratulations to the wonderful AOD team and thank you for your ongoing commitment.


Miranda Project’s Deirdre Hyslop Accepts the Reintegration Champion Award 2017

deirdre hyslop reintegration champion awardMiranda Project Director Deirdre Hyslop accepted the Reintegration Champion Award for 2017, at the Reintegration Puzzle Conference which was held in Sydney this year.

Deirdre has worked tirelessly for many years, and made a huge difference to the lives of people in the criminal justice system in NSW. She is the quiet achiever, and without her vision and tenacity many initiatives would not have seen the light of day.

Congratulations and thank you to Deirdre for everything you have done and continue to do.


Paul Hardy Wins NADA Certificate of Commendation for ‘Outstanding Contribution’ Award 2016

Paul Hardy CRCNADA is the organisation for the non-government alcohol and other drugs sector in NSW, and Paul Hardy, CRC’s Senior Alcohol and Other Drugs Transition Worker, was presented with a Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding Contribution in June 2016. This  award  recognises  the  significant  contribution  of  an  individual  working  in  the  non- government alcohol and  other drugs sector. There were a total of eight individuals short listed, and the competition was acknowledged to be particularly tough.

Congratulations to Paul on this achievement. We thank him for his hard work and dedication, and the care and support he provides to clients in the CRC Transitional AOD program.


Dr Mindy Sotiri awarded the Churchill Fellowship 2015

Mindy SotiriCRC Program Director Dr Mindy Sotiri was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2015, allowing her to travel to the United States and the United Kingdom to research best-practice reintegration services delivered by community sector organisations in those countries. Her research focused on issues related to working with complex needs populations, including people with cognitive impairment, mental illness, long histories of criminal justice system involvement, homelessness, and limited community connection and engagement.

This research included an extensive literature review, hundreds of email and phone conversations with experts around the world, and 26 direct service visits to community based programs in Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Providence, New York, London and Glasgow.

The resulting research paper is titled An Exploration of Best Practice in Community Based Reintegration Programs for People Leaving Custody in the US and the UK, and you can read and download a copy of it here.

More information is available on The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust website.


CRC Case Worker Taunoa Bugmy honoured in 100 Women of Influence Awards 2014

taunoa-bugmyA young Wiljkali Woman from Broken Hill, Taunoa Bugmy, has been honoured in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards 2014 for her contribution to the Broken Hill First Nations community and people affected by the criminal justice system.

At the age of 10, Taunoa started on her journey to becoming an influential young leader in her community. While watching a program on setting goals, she was strongly influenced by one of them: keeping First Nations people out of prison. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make up 23% of the NSW prison population. This is an issue of deep concern that affects many families and communities.

After completing year 12 Taunoa worked in Wilcannia as a Training and Placement Officer for the Australian Government Remote Jobs and Communities Program. While there she developed the case management skills she brought to her role here at the Community Restorative Centre. Taunoa is a Transitional Worker supporting clients for up to a year through the stressful period after leaving prison. She helps them to establish themselves in their community and reduce the likelihood of reoffending and returning to prison.

As a member of the Murdi Paaki Aboriginal Young Leader Program, Taunoa has been able to influence and support other young First Nations people within the Murdi Paaki region. She has worked through the “shame” factor of being successful and having stamped her mark on the community, she is now showing other youth that it is okay to pursue goals and succeed in life.

“Murdi Paaki Aboriginal Young Leaders Program was a program that really influenced who and how I am today by giving me plenty of opportunity to learn other skills and avenues for success.”

This year Taunoa joined 50 young First Nations people from across Australia to participate in a week-long leadership program in Canberra at the National Indigenous Youth Parliament. The parliament promotes youth advocacy, active community leadership and a commitment to democratic processes.

Taunoa is paving the way for other youth to be successful in their life, motivating them to seek opportunities and contribute to society. She is committed to reducing the rates of incarceration of First Nations people, in particular youth, and as a young leader she wants to share the importance of constitutional recognition and influence more young First Nations people to vote so that they can be more involved in political issues.

We are very privileged to have Taunoa Bugmy working with our Broken Hill team. Taunoa is a very determined young woman with a strong drive to make a difference by helping First Nations people and families. Taunoa faces everyday challenges with professionalism and passion. She is a young woman wise beyond her years and a mentor to staff and clients here at CRC, we all warmly congratulate her on being honoured in this year’s 100 Women of Influence Awards

You can read more about Australia’s 100 Women of Influence at the AFR.


Professor Michael Herbert Levy awarded Order of Australia

michael-herbert-levyCongratulations on behalf of CRC Board of Management, Alison Churchill and CRC staff for being appointed an AM Member of the Order of Australia Service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Michael has been appointed an AM Member of the Order of Australia Service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group:

Professor Michael Herbert Levy for significant service to medicine in the field of public health as a clinician, academic and educator.


CEO Alison Churchill Presented with the Justice Medal 2013

alison_churchill_justice_award-2013The Justice Medal is presented to an individual for outstanding achievement in improving access to justice in NSW, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people. This may have been demonstrated in a range of activities over an extended period or work over a shorter period but of exceptional impact.

For more than 25 years, Alison has dedicated her personal and professional life to assisting vulnerable members of the community and their families to access support for their legal problems. She is currently the CEO of the Community Restorative Centre Inc., a specialist service for people with a history of involvement in the criminal justice system, people on release from prison, and their families, that aims ‘to change lives and reduce crime’.

Alison’s work at CRC has spanned two decades and her achievements include growing the organisation from a base of 20 staff to 60, securing funding to expand CRC into a multi-disciplinary, cross-portfolio service for clients, and creating a work culture that encourages staff retention.

Under her leadership, CRC has rebuilt and developed partnerships with key stakeholders, and the organisation has earned respect as a knowledgeable, competent and trusted service provider.

Prior to coming to CRC, Alison was a youth worker and sexual assault worker in Australia and the UK, and she continues to keep in touch with people she has helped in the past. As a community worker, Alison has been described as being “in a class of her own” and as someone who genuinely cares about people. As the CEO of CRC, she has been credited with having a significant role in improving service delivery for people with lived experience of incarceration and their families, and ensuring they have a voice in law reform.