Carving a path with persistence and professionalism

Southern GWN's new Chair, Jennie Farrar-de Wagt, is the Development Partner for the Southern Region at the Department of Corrections Ara Poutama Aotearoa. Jennie continues the trend of Southern GWN Chairs by bringing a wealth of experience and a professional and practical approach to the role.

Jennie has worked for the Department of Justice/Department of Corrections since 1983. Her work involves leading the transition to a new model of Learning for Corrections, and providing the Regional Commissioner, HR Manager and Senior Leaders with information on the capability, gaps and priorities of their frontline staff.

After initially considering a career in the Police, Jennie followed their advice to add a ‘few strings to her bow’ first. She has worked for the Department of Justice/Department of Corrections since 1983 – except for an OE stint in the US and UK in the second half of the 1980s. Her roles have been varied and include Prison Officer, Supervision Officer, Unit Manager, Programmes Co-ordinator, Specialist Training Advisor for New Facilities, Learning & Development Facilitator, Facilitator for New Prison Staff, and Regional Emerging Leader Programme Facilitator.

Jennie graduated with a Law Degree in 2008. “This was a highlight for me that I actually had the persistence to keep at it, while working full time and raising a family,” explains Jennie. “The other highlight that springs to mind is my time as the Specialist Training Advisor for new Facility Prisons at Auckland Women’s, Springhill and Otago Corrections Facility. I really enjoyed the couple of years I worked on these projects and got to meet many wonderful people working at these facilities.”

When Jennie isn’t working or volunteering in her new SGWN Chair role, she is collecting pedal cars with her husband (who also works for Corrections) on their 10 acre rural property (and she’s also indulging in her love of repurposed jewellery!)