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Enhance Term Week 1 2019

It's the first day of the Enhance 2019 program and we have a lot planned. Throughout this blog I will give you insight into what we have been doing, will provide photos and may include a students recap of the day. We are very lucky here to work with amazing schools, families and service providers. We thank everyone for their contribution and hope you enjoy this blog.

Wednesday started how most day this term will at Collingwood Train station. Brendon and I met the students at the station and were pleased to find they were all there on time. We said a quick hello and drove to Collingwood Alternative School (CAS) to start the day. It was lovely to see that everyone was already introducing themselves and chatting amongst each other with very little prompt from Brendon and I. We used this momentum and got stuck into a bunch of different ice breaker games. Some of these included grouping up with someone that has a shared connection (like same shoe size) and then presenting info back to the group (like their favourite movie). We also gave the group a challenge to pass a tennis ball through everyone hand at the quietest speed and they smashed it! One of the quickest times we have had. After settling in we went into the classroom to explore and set our values for this term. It was warming to see how in-touch with themselves everyone was as we were able to set values based off insight and mutual respect. The values are trust, respect, collaboration (including teamwork, cooperation, and communication), optimism and fairness.We also explored the four types of leadership that we will be focusing on this term which include self-leadership, active followership, peer leadership and designated Leader. After this we had a quick lunch, loaded the bikes and drove to the Yarra Trail to meet Tony from Vic Police. Tony is a long term friend of the program and will be around a lot on the program. After introducing ourselves to Tony we covered bike safety and took off on our ride. With a big shout out to the young people, they road like a group incredibly. Before and during the ride we set the standard that we must 'travel as fast as the slowest person'. It is then the leaders responsibility to ensure this is happening. Each young people did this throughout the ride whether they had leadership role of not. We road all the way to Fed square and back with the young people grabbing the opportunity yo have a quick visit down Hosier lane. Once back at the bus we packed up the bikes, said goodbye to Tony and made our journeys home.

Thursday was an active day on the program as we were doing the Kokoda trail memorial walk (1000 steps) and Trees adventure. We picked up the students from Collingwood and drove straight to the Dandenong Ranges National Park where the 1000 steps are. The 1000 steps is a great way to build up fitness and learn about our history from the second world war. We got off the bus and started the hike by admiring the four values used during the second world war. These are Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice. After a short discussion of this we made our way up to the steps. With credit to the young people they powered through the steps and we made it to the top in record time. Everyone worked well together to stay as a group as the leadership skills they developed yesterday came into play. We travelled as fast as our slowest person and everyone was able to take breaks whenever they felt they needed. It was great to see everyone admiring the view and scenery around us throughout the hike too. After some stretching at the top we made our way down the steps and drove straight to trees adventure. Once here we geared up, went through the safety breach and made our way up into the trees! At the start of this activity it was obvious that a few of us were nervous of heights. With support from the group and some growth mindset training everyone was able to tackle more than one course. It was great to see everyone challenge themselves by going higher and by taking the most of this opportunity. After we had each completed two, three or four courses we took our gear off, thanked Jara from Trees Adventure and made our journey home. It was a big day full of both physically and mentally demanding activities. Everyone did extremely well to make it through the day with a positive mindset.

Friday had a different start to it as we meet the students at Flinders Street station. Being a leadership term this term it was no surprise that each student made it on time with no issues! Once we had gathered together and introduced Patrick (our student on placement this term) we got on a tram and made our way to SYN radio. Once at SYN we got stuck into the workshop. During the workshop each young people had to plan a segment that was then going to be recorded for our own personal use. With no restriction on the topics it was good to see everyone come up with a variety of topics. These included 'would you rather', 'what is the better season', 'near death experiences' and 'how to get out of the friendzone'. The young people also had to be delegated a role and it was awesome to see people take leadership by taking on these roles. Everyone did extremely well to plan and record a funny and entertaining show that will hopefully be played at our graduation. After this we had some lunch in Melbourne central and made our way to the state library. The state library is a beautiful building and a great resource for many people in Melbourne and beyond. Many people don't know that you can use the computers at the State library for free and so we started our session here with this. Each of us put our name down, were allocated to a computer and got stuck into our allocated task. This task was taking the VIA Character Strengths test to find out what our top 5 character strengths are. This was done as efficiently as ever and before we knew it we each had our 24 strengths ranked. Some of us had strengths that we expected while others were surprised. Character strengths are a great tool to get to know yourself and will be utilised a lot throughout this term. After this we all gathered around a table and planned next weeks community project. After breaking off into groups to then come together we had the session nutted out. Everyone was respectful during this and the four leadership qualities that we are working on this term really shined through. After debriefing the day we said our goodbyes and went home.

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