Claire Seppings has received a 2015 50th Anniversary Churchill Fellowship to study the rehabilitative role of ex-prisoners/offenders as peer mentors in reintegration models. Claire is traveling to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and United State of America.
Claire’s aspiration to bring about reformative change in the criminal justice system is driven by her extensive professional and lived experience. Graduating as a Social Worker from Monash University, Melbourne in 1984, she began her career with the Department of Social Security. Claire became a Naturopath in 1995 and conducted a healthy living program in Bendigo Prison in 1997. Claire’s lived experience comes from her journey with a former partner and their revolving prison journey, one of four decades of state care and prison experience. In recent years Claire managed Centrelink’s Victorian Justice Services Program for 10 years, during which time she developed extensive relationships with non-/government sectors. Her creation, establishment and evaluation of many innovative projects to reduce recidivism and community impact, gained high-level recognition. In 2008, Claire received the Minister for Human Services Award for Exemplary Service to Customers and Stakeholders. In 2012, she was awarded the Victorian Custody Reference Group (VCRG) Dennis McMillin Access to Justice Award. On the 31st July 2015, Claire was one of 23 Victorians awarded their 2015 50th Anniversary Churchill Fellowship by the Honourable Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria at Government House.