Its our first full week here at Newstart and we have loads to get through!
Wednesday was a big day for the students as it was one of our only classroom based days. We started the day at Yarra Youth services and met with the Undercurrent crew to start our respectful relationships session. Undercurrent are an outside organisation that specialise in all things surrounding relationships and respect. We played a few ice breakers and then split off into male and female groups. The purpose of this is to allow the conversations to be specific to the gender and to allow the young people to feel as comfortable as they can when participating in discussions. During this session each young person participated to their fullest and it was admiring to see how engaged they were and how critical their thinking is on certain topics. After this we headed to Collingwood Alternative School to have lunch, play some volleyball and do some work on character strengths and goal setting. Everyone focused extremely well and were able to take the character strength test, find their top five strengths and set five goals for this term. We called it a day and left excited for tomorrow.
Thursday was a much more active day as we headed to the 1000 steps hike at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk. This hike in located in the beautiful Dandenongs and sees the students walk a 5km hike up a steep 1000 steps. This activity isn't only a physically one that works on endurance and teamwork as a group, but is a learning experience for all the students to understand the exhaustion felt by all Australian soldiers who fought in World War II. All together we pushed through the pain and exhaustion we felt and made it up and back down the steps in record time. At the end of the walk we were all able to reflect and observe the plaques illustrating the lives of those who fought and died on the Kokoda trail in 1942. From here we headed to Trees Adventure High Ropes to complete some challenging obstacle coursers in the tree canopy's. Although some of us were nervous about the heights, each young person got straight into it worked their way through two or three of the courses. It was great to see how resilient everyone was and how great their teamwork and support skills were. Together we all climbed, flew and moved our way though the course to make the most of the day. We left feeling a little tired but happy with the efforts we all made.
Friday was a day of learning as we headed straight for Headspace in Collingwood. We met with Maddi and got stuck into our session. We covered the topics of mindfulness and discussed different ways that we can take care of our mental health. We also learnt about all the services that headspace has to offer. In the session all of the young people engaged well and made the most of this opportunity. Headspace is a great recourse for everyone to have and it was lovely to see the students acknowledge this with their efforts. After this we had a quick bite to eat and met Chris at Melbourne Polytechnic Fairfield campus to participate in a landscaping TAFE tester. The aim of the session was to learn the importance of a straight line. With Chris guiding us through his own example, all the students were off and building the foundations for a brick wall. With this, each student had to learn how to mix and work with the cement, how to measure the correctly, string there section up and then lay the bricks. Everyone remained focused throughout and applied all the tricks and tips that Chris was nice enough to share. By the end of the session Christ was thoroughly impressed with the effort that everyone made and the skills they were able to apply. We helped clean up the workshop and headed home ready for the weekend.