Today was a bit strange for us all as as we normally hold the grad at the local youth space and have all the parents, service providers and program supporters come along to celebrate with the team. Due to COVID-19 restrictions this wasn't an option and so we could only have the students and Newstart staff. Regadless we pushed on and had a great ceremony.
We picked up the students from Collingwood station, caught up on how we have been going, rehearsed out speeches then got straight into the grad. With the camera set up and microphone ready each young person got up and recited their speech well. They spoke of their character strengths, what they enjoyed on the program and what they intend to achieve at school. After a speech from Brendon and myself we gave out their certificates and ended the ceremony with a round of applause.
This term was extremely trying for the students and they should all be proud of themselves for pushing through the disruption of COVID-19 and making it to this ceremony. Everything they achieved on this program is due to them, their hard work and their resilience. They should look back on this experience with pride and should know that nothing is out of their reach. A big thank you to all the supporters of this term and for everyone for adapting to the chaos that the term was.
Although we've had a set of holidays, global pandemic and whole term put before us the team made it to graduation and ended the program on a high. Well done again to the Term 1 2020 Operation Newstart graduates!