There have been few spare moments in the life and times of Claire Seppings, and she is still going at a cracker pace. Claire grew up in Doncaster, Melbourne and completed secondary school education at Methodist Ladies College (MLC) Kew. At seventeen Claire enrolled at Monash University, graduating with a Bachelor of Social Work. She began her social work career with the Department of Social Security. Beginning with backpacking and exploring New Zealand, Claire caught the travel bug, and trekked around America, UK and Europe with her best friends from MLC. Back in Australia, Claire met, fell in love and married in historic Castlemaine when she was appointed Chief Social Worker at the Bendigo’s Home and Hospital for the Aged. Not long afterwards along came baby Annie and the couple built a hobby farm with milking goats and poultry. Simultaneously Claire developed an interest in naturopathy and with that conducted a healthy living program in Bendigo Prison. Returning to social work in 1998 Claire ended up leading the Centrelink (Victoria) Justice Service Program. Throughout this period, she developed substantial relationships with government and community sectors, her creation and establishment of many innovative projects to reduce recidivism and community impact gaining high-level recognition. Over the period 2008-2012 Claire won numerous agency awards for this work with the ultimate culminating in winning a Churchill Fellowship in 2015; to study the rehabilitative role of ex-prisoners/offenders as peer mentors in reintegration models. Her aspiration to bring about such change in the criminal justice system was driven by her extensive professional and personal experience. The personal coming from her journey with a former partner's revolving prison life. Claire’s Churchill Fellowship raised the antennae of Deakin University who appointed Claire in 2017 to develop, coordinate and trial an Australia-first peer mentoring model based on her findings. They called it “Straight Talking”. In 2020, Claire was selected to join the Policy Impact Program (PIP) which identifies and advocates ideas that try to address current issues in Australia leading to her presentation in Parliament House, Canberra titled 'Breaking the Cycle' involving researching recidivation prison reformers. Claire is still a Social Worker with Centrelink now known as Services Australia. Her criminal justice expertise continues to be sought. Claire is Chair of the Victorian Custody Reference Group and a Member of the Women's Correctional Services Advisory Committee.


To study the rehabilitative role of ex-prisoners/offenders as peer mentors in reintegration models

To study the rehabilitative role of ex-prisoners/offenders as peer mentors in reintegration models

United Kingdom
Community Service
Claire Seppings

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