The important jobs that correctional officers do will be recognised this Friday, January 17, for National Corrections Day in Goulburn and at other correctional centres.
One of those officers is Goulburn local Dave McDonald.
His workmates reckon that from the day he was born until the day he dies, Mr McDonald's will have had Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) looking after him.
That's because his father Colin worked at Goulburn Correctional Centre and Dave has spent the past 40 years there also as a correctional officer
He has no plans to retire, even after recent bypass surgery.
CSNSW has employed eight members of Dave's family, with his brother Michael, daughter Ashley, nephews and their partners also having worked at either Goulburn or Bathurst prisons or Community Corrections offices.
In total, the McDonald family and their descendants have dedicated almost 150 years of their lives to CSNSW, with Dave, Dad Colin and brother Michael contributing 111 years alone.
Dave McDonald and his family are among 10,000 Corrective Services NSW staff who will be celebrated on National Corrections Day for their dedication in rehabilitating offenders and keeping the community safe.
The theme for the 2020 National Corrections Day theme is 'We Are Family', focussing on the camaraderie of CSNSW staff who work together like one big family.
The McDonald clan has deep roots in the Southern Tablelands, with Dave's parents coming from Taralga before settling in Goulburn to raise their family.
He has fond childhood memories of walking the 500m from the family home to the prison to wait for his Dad to finish work.
Despite the close childhood ties to the prison, he left Goulburn when he finished school to work in a bank in Sydney.
However, the big smoke was a bit of a culture shock and when the bank wouldn't transfer him to Goulburn his Dad suggested he join him at the prison.
Dave says working in a prison environment was daunting at first, but it was good to have his father to show him the ropes. His brother joined him at Goulburn a year later.
"There's not many jobs where you can work with your family and it was really great to work with Dad and my brother," Dave says.
"It made the bond a lot closer and it was good to have someone to bounce things off."
Dave has no plans to retire as the job keeps his mind active and he enjoys the comradeship.
"My work family means everything to me. Like siblings, you love them one day and fight with them the next, but you need to rely on them. They can tell if something has gone wrong and they can often help you," he said.
NSW Minister for Corrections Anthony Roberts said the 'We Are Family' theme this year focuses on the camaraderie of Corrective Services NSW.
"Correctional staff do vital work rehabilitating offenders, in an environment that is often challenging and volatile," Mr Roberts said.
"Every day they work together like one big family, to support one another and meet the challenges of the job. We saw this just recently during the bushfire emergency, as staff banded together to assist each other and their communities.
"Like all families they have different characters and perspectives, but it's critical in a correctional environment that they come together to work as a close-knit team and I'm proud to say Corrective Services NSW staff do a fantastic job of that."
Staff across the state will be holding morning teas and lunches, and raising funds for chosen charities, including NSW Rural Fire Service, Australian Red Cross and the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES).
CSNSW staff are deeply affected by the NSW bushfires with many officers volunteering for the NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service. Unfortunately, some staff lost their homes and property.
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin praised staff for their dedication to their work and ongoing commitment to their communities.
"I'm proud to say our corrections staff are some of the world's best," Mr Severin said.
"Corrections is a tough environment and our staff are performing difficult work, which is mostly unseen by the rest of our community.
"Our teams work closely together and are also committed to their communities, fundraising and assisting where possible in times of need."
In the lead up to National Corrections Day, CSNSW discovered about 200 family units working in the organisation - and there are likely more. This is mostly due to parents recommending the career to their children or people meeting their life partner on the job.
Corrective Services NSW employs 10,000 staff including custodial officers, security and intelligence officers, inmate services and programs staff, psychologists and parole officers.
Corrections Day was established by Corrective Services NSW in 2017 before it was adopted nationally and by New Zealand in 2018.
We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don't forget to subscribe at www.goulburnpost.com.au/subscribe/