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Connecting Connect ting peo people & communities PAKENHAM OFFICER Thursday, 13 July, 2017

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Childcare caters to culture Ryan Road Childcare and Swim School’s recent smoking ceremony was a taste of things to come for the Pakenham preschool centre. The 4 July ceremony, coinciding with Naidoc Week, was the start of the centre’s dedication to recognising and celebrating Aboriginal and Indigenous cultures. “We’re looking forward to imbedding Aboriginal and other cultures into our daily practices,” Ms Rowland said. “We really want the centre to be an inclusive place for everyone.” The centre is investigating the possibility of a monthly smoking ceremony, and Ms Rowland said parents of the childcare were supportive of its plans to explore other cultural practices. Hayden with NAIDOC Victoria Chairperson Lidia Thorpe during the smoking ceremony. 169922 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

$30,000 from boss A 45-year-old Pakenham woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $30,000 while working at an Officer supermarket. Michelle Walker, a store services officer at the Woolworths supermarket, had allegedly told police she stole to cover utility bills as well as toll and Sheriff fines, Dandenong Magistrates’ Court heard on 10 July.

She had allegedly told police she’d smuggle out cash in a handbag or a sock, and later manipulate records to cover the loss. The issue was uncovered after Walker took a call at work that her mother died in the early hours of 27 February. She allegedly continued working for 54 minutes, refloating the checkout registers with cash before telling her manager that she had to leave

due to her mother’s death. As other staff completed the floats, they noticed $30,940 cash missing from six registers. Walker’s work on the register floats had been unchecked since March 2016, police told the court. In that time, she had access to cash from the registers, office and safe, but there were no other charges of misappropriation. On another occasion, Walker had

swapped $9000 of $100 notes from the Officer store with $50 notes at Woolworths’ Pakenham Central store. While no money was detected as missing, the move was considered not the supermarket’s usual practice, the court heard. Walker’s employment was terminated, and she was arrested by Cardinia CIU detectives in May. Magistrate Barry Schultz adjourned the matter so the unrepresented Walker

could seek legal advice. “It is a serious matter for which you could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment,” Mr Schultz said. Walker told the court she hadn’t sought a lawyer because she’d been in a lot of denial, recounting her mother’s recent death. “Well, that’s what brought it all to light,” Mr Schultz replied. Walker will next appear at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 28 August.

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News - Pakenham Officer - 13th July 2017  
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