Hi Claudia, Ryan,
Regarding the position of Prison Officer, I've done some more research and have found out that I do not require a university degree if I can obtain Certification III in (possibly just one of) the following:
• Justice Studies
• Criminology and Criminal Justice
• Correctional Management
• Human Services
• Forensic mental Health
• Correctional Practice – Custodial
I've tried to ascertain the particulars of which/how many courses to take but it seems that VETASSESS can't advise me on this. I did some digging and came across some information on the training.gov.au site: the CSC12 - Correctional Services Training Package. This information provides a link to the College for Law, Education and Training, which offers distance education, and to ignorant me, this seems like it might be a possible way to go. But I'm wary, not being in the know and not wanting to spend time and money on something that might not be what they're looking for, so I'll have to look into this further.
Regarding my employment and studies...
I am currently on a year leave (October 2013 - August, 2014) from my position from the government, on a scholarship studying in Japan on exchange between Canada and Japan. In doing this, I am still retaining my position and seniority. Last year I attended 2 terms of university (September 2012 - April 2013), during which time I was able to work reduced hours to accommodate my academic schedule. Prior to my return to university, I worked 4 successive years of full time hours.
When I was much younger, I pursued a Civil Technology degree but did not complete it. When I returned to university in 2012 I wiped my record so my GPA wouldn't be lowered, so I doubt this education would be considered relevant. I'm currently working on BA in Asian Studies, which might possibly turn into a double major involving Film Studies as well. My studies involve an overall perspective of Asia but my intent is to focus on Japanese language, culture, history, which also ties into my film studies, and this is being realized on my current academic exchange. This education is not directly related to my career but it's something that I'm finding personally rewarding. Were I to successfully immigrate to Australia, I would look into the possibility of pursuing and completing this degree on the side after securing employment.
I'm very open-minded about searching for employment in Australia as far as position is concerned. Youth corrections, community work, group home, work with special needs, etc., or really anything that can start me off in my new home. As far as where I want to immigrate to, I am intent on either Adelaide or Melbourne. I'm not sure about other factors that might award me extra points. I've received a lot of training on the job for various skills like nonviolent crisis intervention, suicide intervention, first aid, etc. I also have skills in photography and related software, as well as web design, but these are self-taught and not tied to any form of certification.
Thanks for your responses!