The Department of Justice is recruiting men and women with and without trade qualifications to work as vocational support officers to fill vacancies at Greenough Regional Prison. Greenough laundry officer Margaret Swinton is part of a team of VSOs who oversee the prison’s commercial laundry, employing as many as 40 prisoners — some of whom complete the TAFE Laundry Certificate II. Ms Swinton came to the job as a colour consultant running her own painting and decorating business in Perth. “It’s a win-win situation,” she said. “The department has a willing and dedicated staff member and I have a good solid job which I love. “My partner and I moved to Geraldton to work here and we enjoy the town, we love having the beaches almost to ourselves, and we like the work.” Besides doing all the prison’s washing — such as prisoner clothing, bedding, towels and kitchen uniforms — the laundry supplies and washes blankets and towels for the police lock-up. It also services major clients such as Geraldton Hospital and various mines. “Being a VSO provides great opportunities,” Ms Swinton said. “You encounter a vast range of personalities, abilities and skill sets to create an ever-changing team of workers to achieve our workload commitments.” Ms Swinton enjoys seeing prisoners take pride in their work. “I hope that by assisting in creating and maintaining a positive and stable work environment for them, it will help them when seeking gainful employment when they are released,” she said.