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Banyule/Nillumbik 2016 Week One

We're back in the Banyule & Nillumbik area and our last program for the year is off to a great start! On board are a range of students from some great schools in the area, as well as a whole lot of service providers who can't wait to get on board.

We started off the week at Eltham YMCA leisure centre. The Y will be our base for most of the local days throughout the next eight weeks. Jordan, one of the fantastic trainers at the leisure centre is going to join us for a range of sessions; highlighting the best of what is on offer and the various ways young people can use the gym. We've already shot a lot of hoops, had a tour of the fitness equipment and played some games in the group fitness room. Aside from physical activity, we spent the day getting to know each and other and setting our group values. The students had some great insight into what values are important for creating a safe, enjoyable and supportive environment for all. After a quick vote it was decided that the 5 core values of the group are participation, respect, responsibility, trust and communication.

Thursday was a beautiful day in the sun spent out in the Dandenong Ranges. First up we hit the Kokoda Memorial Track, more commonly known as the 1000 Steps. The amount of steps is always highly debated, with the count this term getting in at around 840. Although this walk can be physically demanding, it was great to get out in the forest and find out more about each other, as the walk really lends itself to great conversation. From here we headed a little further up the road to Trees Adventure in Belgrave. For the last 2 hours of the day we all whizzed around amongst the trees, trying different courses and difficulties. All the staff were incredibly impressed with how much each individual student pushed themselves out there and gave it their all.

Friday held quite a range of activities back around Collingwood. We started off the day by setting up the students' online journals and setting goals. The students are asked to keep a journal throughout the eight week program, which forms part of their assessment at the end of the term. The students are also asked to set both personal and school related goals. Everyone spent time working on these, and we will revisit them throughout the term in school visits. We then finished off the day at Melbourne Polytechnic Fairfield campus for a landscaping taster. Tim showed us around before everyone had a go at paving, which takes a great deal of care and precision. The group worked hard and it was a great way to finish off the week!

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