Swinburne University of Technology academic Kerry Tucker was today announced as the Patron for Families, for VACRO (Victoria Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders).
Ms Tucker was presented as the patron by Justice David Harper, a former judge of the Supreme Court, during a ceremony at VACRO’s Melbourne office.
Ms Tucker said that being named as a Patron for Families was something she was both proud and appreciative of.
“To be able to formally represent VACRO is an honour. I have unofficially done work with them for over five years, so to be acknowledged for this is quite exciting,” Ms Tucker said.
“VACRO do great work for disadvantaged women in the community, and they play an important role in the transition of women back into society after spending time in the Australian prison system.”
The organisation is close to Ms Tucker, as she has spent over five years in a maximum security prison herself.
“When I left prison, it was not easy to adjust back into normal life again. In fact, after being out for a week, I actually wanted to go back to prison,” Ms Tucker said.
“As a mum to two my two daughters, I found it difficult to again take on parenting responsibilities and start a new life upon my release. I want to be able to help other women who are in a similar situation to what I was in, showing them that there is hope, even when they feel as though they will never re-adjust back into society properly.”
“I hope that during my time as a VACRO Patron for Families I am able to raise awareness of disadvantaged women in society, by educating the general public on how we can better support these women as they try to overcome their personal struggles.”
Ms Tucker will also be the guest speaker at the City of Melbourne’s International Women’s Day breakfast today, where she will talk about her experiences in prison, and how she made the journey from inmate to university lecturer. She will also appear on Network Ten's The Project tonight, which airs at 6.30pm, AEST.