Joan's cover image

Joan RUSSEL

Year of Award: 1966 Award State: Tasmania Legal > Penal And Parole
To observe overseas female probation, parole & prison procedures - UK, USA, Sweden, Canada
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Over eight months Jean visited 331 prisons (maximum, minimum and open); she also visited parole, probation, detection and apprehension departments, as well as courts and correctional and rehabilitation institutions and agencies. She attended conferences, and visited alcoholic, drug addiction, psychiatric and diagnostic clinics, pre-release and probation hostels, work release centres, halfway houses, social welfare and employment agencies, research units, and staff training centres.

She used a pedometer to measure the 2500 km she walked!

Tasmania’s first female probation and parole officer, at the time of her Fellowship Jean was based in Hobart.

Using the experience from her Churchill Fellowship, Jean worked to ensure that financial expenditure on probation services was not lessened, that regular liaison between the judiciary and the probation service took place, that the role of volunteers was not underestimated and that female probation officers were paid at the same rate as their male counterparts.

Jean retired in 1971, having been a probation officer for 16 years – and, more remarkably, for that same period a sufferer from multiple sclerosis.

On retirement her desire to help others never flagged. It was born from her period of war work, followed by deaconess training at the Presbyterian Missionary Training College in Melbourne and then her work as Tasmania’s first female probation officer.

Her consideration was always more for the well-being of others than for her own personal needs.

She was a strong supporter of the work of the Society for Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers and a keen angler.

Jean died in 2003.

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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