The Grampians region covers a stunning swathe of Victoria steeped in historical significance. Natural wonders, opulent architecture, open space and delectable dining – the area has it all.

Now, the Tree Change Package makes it easier than ever to slow down and start a new life here.


Corrections Victoria is supporting new prison officers at Hopkins Correctional Centre (Hopkins) to move closer to their workplace. If you are interested in moving to the Grampians area, you may be eligible for the Tree Change Package.

  Tree Change Package benefits

  • $8,000 Grampians sign on bonus. Six months after commencing as a prison officer at Hopkins, you will receive a cash payment of $4,000. Then, after one year’s full-time employment, you will receive an additional payment of $4,000.
  • Up to $10,000 in relocation reimbursements. These funds cover expenses directly incurred by your need to move closer to your workplace. Expenses can include travel, temporary accommodation, removal, storage and more.  *Please note conditions apply.


You will be eligible for Tree Change Package benefits if you are successfully placed as a new prison officer at Hopkins and you:

  • currently live more than 100km from Hopkins
  • are willing to move to a home within 100km of your new workplace.

Read the complete list of eligibility requirements at the bottom of this page.

Now all you have to do is decide where in the Grampians you want to live.

The Jardwadjali people, the Traditional Owners of the lands, call the mountain range Gariwerd. It is one of the most significant Aboriginal rock art sites in South East Australia. 

Learn about a career as a prison officer

Village life

If you're looking for a big change from the big smoke, bunking down in a small town might be the ticket.

Consider a move to AraratStawellSt. Arnaud or Horsham. All offer the country hospitality and close community ties many tree-changers crave.

If you’re seeking new friends, you could get involved in sports clubs or community organisations. You will meet interesting people from all walks of life. Popular industries in the area include agriculture, tourism, and food and wine production.

If you prefer tranquillity and time to yourself, though, you could grow a veggie garden and spend evenings relaxing at home.

Or you could enjoy a mix of both. Either way, you will likely have more space, more money in the bank and more time to enjoy both.

The best of both worlds

Not everyone is cut out for small-town living. If you still need a bit of hustle and bustle, then Ballarat marks the spot.

Throughout this regional city, you'll find glorious gardens and lavish, historic buildings. This is the inheritance of the famous gold rush that kicked off in the 1850s. Wannabe prospectors sailed from all over the world praying they’d find a fortune in their pans, and many did. Ballarat's population swelled as a result. And a glorified sheep station became a city in the space of a few years.

Current residents enjoy a slightly humbler life. They relish reasonably priced property, great schools and varied shopping options. The 'Rat also boasts the kinds of services big cities have, as well as fast public transport direct to Melbourne.

Ballarat offers tree-lined streets full of historic charm and character. Its centre is a hub of vibrant community life, boasting cafes, markets and friendly locals. 

Wide open road for wanderlust

Wherever you settle in the Grampians region, you will be close enough to experience its breathtaking natural beauty.

The Grampians National Park is famous for spectacular lakes and jaw-dropping panoramic views. Search ‘Grampians lookouts’ and you’ll get the idea. Many hotspots are accessible by car and are a great place to clear your head. Others might demand you get your compass out and find your own way.

The park is so expansive, it doesn’t matter whether you love to camp, ride, fish or swim – you’ll be able to find your own corner to cherish.

The same goes for the Grampians region. Sprawling and diverse, everyone can find a place to call home. Where’s yours?

Apply to become a prison officer now

Being a prison officer

Learn about the role and the benefits you will receive in your career as a prison officer.

Application process

Find out more about the role requirements, recruitment process and how to apply.



Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the $8,000 Grampians sign on bonus, you must:

  • have applied to become a trainee prison officer after 9 May 2024
  • not be an employee of the Department of Justice and Community Safety when appointed as a trainee prison officer
  • have completed your probationary period and had your employment confirmed in accordance with the provisions within the VPS Enterprise Bargaining Agreement
  • not be subject to formal under performance processes or proven misconduct
  • be employed as an ongoing prison officer* after 6 months of continuous service† (to receive the first bonus)
  • be employed as an ongoing prison officer after 12 months of continuous service (to receive the second bonus).

* Part-time employees will be paid a pro-rata value, based on the percentage of full-time hours they’re contracted to work.
† Continuous service means the total time you have spent working as a custodial officer (including time as a trainee prison officer).

The up to $10,000 relocation reimbursement assistance is available to employees:

  • with ongoing prison officer roles
  • new to public service
  • living more than two hours away from new work location
  • to help with costs like travel, freight, temporary housing and storage.