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Darebin/Yarra Program Week Two

This week on the Operation Newstart program was a great way to learn more about what our local area has to offer, in particular the local council Youth Services.

We started off the week on Wednesday by visiting the Northland Youth Centre. This is a really great space outside Northland shopping centre in Preston where young people can use the facilities and meet youth workers. Paul who runs the space gave us a run down of what's available and when young people can drop in and use this fantastic space. While here we also had a visit from Erik from YSS (Youth Support Service) who gave an AOD information session.

On Wednesday afternoon we headed further north to discover some more of the great Darebin City Council facilities in Reservoir. We had a session with Neil at Decibels Youth Music Studio. The studio has a wide range of equipment and a long history of recording and support local young musicians. Our group had the chance to test out some of the instruments and discuss what we could work towards recording for our next session. We're looking forward to seeing what the group can come up with together.

Thursday morning was spent with Mark from the engineering department at Melbourne Polytechnic doing a TAFE Taster. Sessions like this give our students the chance to see what it's like being in a different educational setting as well as learning new skills. Our students had the opportunity to make a coping saw and dog tags. Everyone showed great concentration and attention to detail during this session. Afterwards we headed to Yarra Youth Services in Fitzroy for a digital art workshop with Ange. The students all had a go at hand drawing a design before digitilising it on the high quality computers available at the centre. We will continue working on these designs next week in order to be printed up onto t-shirts.

Friday for us was a chance to get outdoors and spend some time in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. First up we conquered the Kokoda Memorial Track (1000 Steps), where everyone made a great effort to push through the difficult uphill. The students also learnt about the significance of the Kokoda Trail and Australia's involvement in WWII in Papua New Guinea. After this we headed to Trees Adventure for a challenging afternoon amongst the treetops. Every one of the students had a great attitude to this activity and gave everything a go, moving up through the difficulty levels to complete the most difficult course. Great work everyone on a fun, active, challenging day out!

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