Prison Director Tayla Yandall strives to provide a supportive environment that creates better pathways for both staff and the people in prison.
What is your current role?
I’m proud to be the Prison Director of Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility in South Auckland.
What does service in the community mean to you?
Giving back and connecting through people has always played a large part in my work. It means being a contributor to change and giving back to the wider community while keeping them safe.
In my role, I strive to create a space that changes the experience for our staff, and the people whose lives are affected by coming here to Auckland Women’s. By changing the environment, we hope to create better pathways and job satisfaction.
How does your work make a difference?
Our focus will always be to keep our communities safe, however we are also a part of someone’s journey with the opportunity to support how they navigate our systems. This support looks different for different people and includes such areas like interventions, education, vocational training, and connection with other agencies, whānau and communities.
Acknowledging the trauma and experience of our people and how this contributed to where they are today it is important to me that our services, our resources, our people and our day-to-day interactions enables this healing. This in turn contributes to their rehabilitation.
What achievements are you most proud of?
One of my greatest achievements is being able to be present and available as a mum to my 4 children whilst doing a complex role that I love each day.
In my role as a mum and as a Prison Director, I have a community of people, both home and at work that enable me to do both jobs well.
What are 3 words you would use to describe your work?
Aspirational, Demanding, and Rewarding.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
It’s the people that make the job – whether that be our staff or the people in prison. I get to meet a lot of interesting people with diverse backgrounds that teach me something new every day.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the public service?
I’d say to take opportunities as they come. There are a lot of transferable skills across various public sector roles. I started 11 years ago as a Probation Officer and I wouldn’t have known then that I’d be where I am now.