We are coming towards the end of the term and the days are getting colder and the students are bonding together better than ever! After this week there's only two weeks left, so make sure you keep the date free for the Graduation ceremony where we celebrate the achievements of the young people over the program.
Wednesday of Week 6 started off at North West FM radio station. We were lucky enough to be able to speak on ‘Environmentality’, where the students talked to presenter Jaime about the Newstart program and their visit to the Woodlands Historic Park to assist in the conservation of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot. We were really impressed by how seriously they undertook this and all of the information they were able to remember. Keep an eye out for a link to the podcast up on the blog hopefully in the next week or two so you can have a listen. Wednesday afternoon we went to visit Headspace Craigieburn. Here we met Michelle & who ran us through a great range of activities about mental health and emotional responses. Headspace have a lot of really helpful information about mental health issues as well as providing a range of services for young people, so we really encourage young people to make an appointment or check out some of the info available online.
Thursday was our biggest day activity for the entire program- caving! We met the students nice and early at Collingwood before driving out to the Labertouche Cave, about 1.5 hours from Melbourne. On the way we picked up Chris, who is very experienced in taking groups through the cave. When we arrived at Labertouche we prepared all the necessary equipment- which included making sure everyone had a helmet and head torch, harnesses for being lowered into the cave entrance, as well as an emergency bag containing first aid, spare batteries and other important items. After this we made our way along a bush track before getting to the cave.The group did incredibly well to work together to make it through the pitch black, boulderous spaces; spending a couple of hours climbing over, under and around the huge rocks that form the cave. This activity takes a huge amount of both mental and physical strength, and it was impressive to see how all the students overcame the challenges and pushed through to the end. It’s really difficult to describe the experience of caving, and I think it’s probably best to ask the young people themselves what it was like for them!
Friday was a quieter day, but a great one nonetheless! We had a visit from Sandra and Sharon from Next Step/Kangan Institute in the morning who spoke to the students about writing a resume and gave some great advice on future study options. This was really useful for the students to get some direction in where their secondary education can lead to best support their potential future careers. In the afternoon we headed to Imax to watch a great doco called ‘Under the Sea’. It was a great way to see out the week before the weekend.