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Stories from the Pacific

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Welcome Phil McCarthy, New National Director for PF New Zealand
Prison Fellowship New Zealand is thrilled to announce the appointment of Phil McCarthy as their new National Director starting 1 October 2013.
Recruiting victim participants: Australia
The PF Australia chapter in Queens land received an invitation to run the Sycamore Tree Project® two to three times a year at the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre. To make this happen, the ministry needs to build strong relationships with crime victims living in the community close to the correctional centre. Jason Wickes, the Sycamore Tree Project® for PF Australia’s Queensland chapter, provided an overview of the strategy he is testing.
Sycamore Tree Project® from a Victim’s Perspective
Recently, Martin Howard, Sycamore Tree Project® (STP) facilitator in Australia, and Ross Thompson, a victim participant, spoke about their experience in an 18 minute radio interview. Ross spoke of the impact of losing his son in a brutal murder.
Sycamore Tree Project® in Fiji’s Women’s Correctional Centre
“Having female inmates as part of the course has been an eye opening experience for all of us,” said PF Fiji’s executive director Dan Savou after facilitating his second Sycamore Tree Project® (STP) course. The course, which ran in the Women’s Correctional Centre in late 2011, included eleven female prisoners and two victims.
Australia Hosts Camps for Inmates' Children
PF Australia's Kamp-for-Kids is changing the lives of prisoners' children.
Encouraging STP Facilitators in New Zealand
Earlier this year, PF New Zealand brought together seventeen facilitators for a Sycamore Tree Project® conference. The event provided an opportunity for discussing issues, sharing experiences and resources, and training. Along with the interaction among the facilitators, the event also featured speakers from PF New Zealand management.
Where Hardened Criminals Find the Light
The 13 November edition of the Dominion Post featured Prison Fellowship New Zealand's (PFNZ) faith-based prison unit at Rimutaka Prison. One inmate participant, who describes his crime as “minutes of madness,” says “Being here makes us accept what we done was wrong. I think it's harder here than mainstream prison, because the expectations are a lot more.”
PF New Zealand’s Faith-based Unit
Te Korowa Whakapono — the PF New Zealand faith-based unit that opened in October 2003— seeks to reduce offending of the 60 individuals involved in the programme at any one time. Along with the Operation Jericho aftercare programme, the unit provides a therapeutic and restorative community built on Christian principles and practices to provide effective rehabilitation and reintegration.
Helping Churches Learn about Restorative Justice
In early September, PF Australia (South Australia) mailed sermon notes about restorative justice to 140 of its supporting churches. The notes, written by coordinating chaplain Bill Reddin, were meant to encourage the churches to prepare for the International Restorative Justice Week observed during the third full week of November.
STP Going Strong in Western Australia
On 9 August, PF Australia (Western Australia) celebrated its 34th Sycamore Tree Project®. The course, the fifth to be run in Casuarina prison, included twelve prisoner and seven victim participants. They each reported meeting their personal goals for participating in the programme. Participant comments included:
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