Social procurement partnership helps prisoners create a better future

Green Fox Studio trainees at Borallon Training and Correctional Centre'

Green Fox Studio trainees at Borallon Training and Correctional Centre

A social procurement partnership, between the Department of Energy and Public Works (DEPW) and Green Fox Studio, has provided graphic design training and work opportunities for prisoners at the Borallon Training and Correctional Centre.

Green Fox Studio works with prisoners to provide a foundation of work experience and learning, to help them gain employment when they return to the community and reduce the risk of reoffending.

The opportunity

When DEPW required an A3 poster for the departmental procurement plan, an opportunity was presented to align with key performance indicators in the plan, by contracting a local social enterprise to undertake the work and provide social outcomes for the community.

Engaging a social enterprise aligns with the commitment in the Queensland Procurement Policy to increase procurement spend with genuine, quality social enterprises.

The solution

In pursuing the Queensland Procurement Policy social enterprise commitment as part of procurement planning, it was decided to look for capable, competitive social enterprises to meet the supply need. As a low value procurement, a direct (sole source) or 'limited' procurement option was adopted, and a quote sought from Green Fox Studio, a certified social enterprise, to confirm value for money. An assessment was made that the procurement represented value for money and directly supported the Queensland Procurement Policy social enterprise commitment, therefore delivering benefits in accordance with the policy.

Green Fox Studio worked with the prisoners to develop 2 concepts for the poster, which incorporated DEPW's corporate identity, infographics and symbols.

Both concepts were professional and high quality, with the final artwork delivered on time and on budget.

The outcome

While the end product and engagement with Green Fox Studio overall was highly positive, perhaps the most significant benefit was the meaning, confidence and sense of purpose provided to the prisoners involved in the project.

A prisoner described their experience:

“Working with Green Fox Studio, on design projects for the Queensland Government, has been a surreal experience. I never thought that I would be able to do such a thing from prison and it has changed my perspective on meaningful work.

Recently, I worked as part of a team on a design project for DEPW. On many occasions I've seen their building in the city – but I never thought I would ever be 'good enough' to do meaningful work for such a recognisable institution.

I was tasked with creating a poster for their procurement plan, using all of the knowledge taught to me by the team at Green Fox Studio. This was a real-world job that would be seen by hundreds of people and I was really nervous, especially as there was a deadline.

I provided a few different designs and was asked to make a couple of changes by the Green Fox Management and the client. I've never been in a position where my contributions have ever been taken seriously, and it was very different liaising with a big organisation like the Queensland Government, to complete something that we were both really happy with. I have never really received positive feedback and it was very empowering.

I'm more confident now and am starting to learn what it feels like to contribute positively in a real-world environment. Knowing that some of what I have worked hard at is being used by such a large and recognisable brand makes me feel like I can accomplish more.

I am focussed on spending my time in prison developing the skills I have learnt at Green Fox Studio as much as I can. Simply realising that I can do good work and contribute meaningfully is something I have never experienced before and I want to restart my life with this in mind.”

The outcomes of this procurement reinforce that social enterprises, like any other supplier, can deliver on contractual commitments and produce high quality, value for money products alongside social outcomes. The experience gained through successfully quoting and contracting with government enables social enterprises like Green Fox Studio to show their capability in future quotes for both public and private sector clients.

More information

To find out more about Queensland Government social targets and commitments and social procurement, visit our websites: