Mr Ray Kidney AM

 

Ray Kidney was a member of the National Executive of ACPC during the 1980s and held the position of President of the International Prisoners Aid Association (IPAA) in 1987 when ACPC held its 13th National Conference in Adelaide in conjunction with IPAA and the World Society for Victimology.

Ray began his career as a probation officer in what was then the Children’s Welfare Department of South Australia . After 13 years working with youth, he left the Public service to head the Prisoners Aid Association, which was eventually renamed Offenders Aid and Rehabilitation Services, or OARS. He dedicated 25 years in a continuous quest to improve the way men and women were guided when they left prison, and thereby reduced their potential to re-offend. Methods of rehabilitation that had never been used in South Australia were implemented. Post release houses were a contentious issue, as no one wanted one in their street. However time and again local residents learnt that those in these houses were ordinary people who needed help. The Government of the day saw the potential in many of the projects that were established and were financially supportive, confirmation that OARS were heading in the right direction. Ex offenders were employed in initiatives such as restoring historic railway stations, the Old Adelaide Gaol gardens and boardwalks along beaches.
As President of IPAA Ray facilitated the sharing and exchange of information relating to offender welfare and rehabilitation and crime prevention amongst countries as far apart as Canada, Egypt, Iceland and Nigeria.

After his retirement from OARS Ray continued to care for offenders and their families as coordinating Chaplain at the Adelaide Remand centre
He was awarded the Order of Australia for his work in this and other areas. He died on 22 October 2010.
[ Extract from Obituary in “The Advertiser” , Mrs Margaret Kidney]
 

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