Welcome to the blog for our first Whittlesea specific leadership term! We are working with a great bunch of young people who have been recognised by their schools as having a lot of leadership potential. Over the next five weeks we will be doing a wide range of activities with the group to continue building leadership and team work skills.
Our first morning was spent at the fantastic Whittlesea youth space The Edge. We did a range of ice breaker games before formulating group values. These values will shape the term and have been highlighted by everyone in the group as being important to ensure the program is safe, enjoyable and achieveable for everyone. After a vote, the key values chosen by the students were Respect, Communication, Effort, Trust, Cooperation and Team Work. As we'd spent a lot of the morning sitting and talking, we headed out to Latitude in the afternoon to get physical and build on our group dynamics. Everyone had fun on the trampolines, playing basketball and dodgeball, practicing their flips and having a go on the climbing walls. All of these exercises were great practice for the next day- caving.
On Thursday we all jumped on the bus and headed away from Melbourne to Brittania Creek Cave, set in a beautiful forest reserve east of the city. Once we arrived we all put on overalls, sturdy shoes and a helmet with a torch. Upon seeing the opening of the cave there was quite a lot of apprehension however all the students spent the next few hours moving smoothly through the cave as a team. It was wonderful to see some really great communication, as well as a lot of support both physically and verbally. Doing this activity so early in the program can make it extra challenging as the students aren't familiar together as a group yet, however it was impressive to see how tightly they worked together to not only get through the cave once, but twice! Check out the great photos below.
Our final day on the program for the week was spent at Thomastown Community Hub. Here we met Hayley, one of the staff at the hub (run by Whittlesea Community Connections), who told us all about the different programs and community groups run out of the space. It was great to learn about the wonderful space, and while there we spent time helping out with a painting project. This was a great intro to get thinking about what our community projects will be over the rest of the program. Unfortunately our afternoon activity of skateboarding was postponed due to the weather, however we headed to Mill Park library instead to do some research on homelessness, an area highlighted by the students as one they would like to find out more about.