The First Ever SA Program in an Australian Prison

It all started over nine years ago but that story is for another day. Fast forward to about one year ago. Let’s say from the start that this whole story was inspired by an Amazing Loving Higher power. Three members of the Australian Newcastle Monday night Beginners Group formed a SA Prison Committee.

The Committee was made up of a young man in his 20s who was new to SA, an older man who was also new to SA, and a youngish old-timer/friend from the USA who was our guide.

We rang the Cessnock jail Program Coordinator and asked if the prison would be interested in running a SA program in its compounds. They said they would be interested but we would have to create a proposal for them. We worked tirelessly to put a proposal together and submitted it to the Program Coordinator. We waited for weeks for a reply but received nothing. Until one day, we finally got the reply that the proposal had been rejected. We were devastated. But we did not give up, NO WAY.

We sent over 100 emails to prison chaplains, prison officials, and others. And got many rejections. It felt hopeless … like throwing darts in the dark.

Somehow we kept going!! Then we got a big opportunity to apply to run an SA prison program in all the prisons of New South Wales, which is a state in Australia. We applied with high hopes but again to no avail. Another big disappointment. We really wanted to give up but our American friend kept building our hopes up.

Many more emails followed and many more disappointments. One day out of the blue, we got an email from a priest at the Junee Correctional Center informing us they were going to run our SA program in their prison in 2021! Late December, we received the first three requests for sponsors from prisoners of Junee.

We are so much looking forward to how God will continue to unfold His story of helping our brothers and sisters in prison.

Monday Night Beginners Group Prison Committee, Newcastle, Australia

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