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Hey Everyone!

Well we’re almost there, second last week! And here is what we accomplished.

On Wednesday the 23rd, we began our week collecting and preparing for a very important part of our program, giving back to the community. Every term we choose an English language school within the district and donate bikes to the newly arrived students. The Operation Newstart crew are in charge or not only building the bikes but introducing them to the students and teaching them how to ride. The group took part in a quick reflection on the past week, which helped them to review achievements and alter their goals for their newly founded growth. After this we split into pairs to prepare the bikes for the primary aged students. Everyone took part in assembling and testing each bike and did well in participating to the best of their abilities. Next we all headed to the Craigieburn campus of Collingwood English Language school. The students were all eager to learn and the group did well in engaging with the younger students, and created a lovely rapport with them before helping them develop their english and biking skills. Overall the crew did a great job in making these students comfortable and put smiles on their faces with their new bikes.

Next, Thursday the 24th, we were quick to collect and head off to one of our most anticipated days, CAVING! To do the caving day with any group we wait to see how each person within the group goes throughout the program. This day requires many of the skills we aimed to grow throughout our entire program, including self-regulation, teamwork, leadership, bravery and perseverance. These aspects are so important in fact we highlighted them before and after in preparation for the caving session and in reflection of the entire day. Entering the caves is one of the biggest challenges, as it is a seemingly small space when you look from the outside, but once within we were able to chat and calm one another in our ways of supporting each other. The group did well to persevere as they progressed throughout the caves, taking small moments of breathers before attempting additional caves as a group. At the end of the day everyone faced their own challenges, proving not only to the group but themselves, that they can overcome their fears and achieve new heights with the support around them to cheer them on.

On the last day of the week, Friday the 25th, we had a very exciting day planned. Meeting at our usual time but at Flinders Street Station we all collected to do The Amazing Race! Melbourne Edition. Splitting up into two groups we corroborated our thoughts on our lists and set off on our journey around the city. Each group is led by the young people, who only gain advice from the leading worker, (Brendon or Alex), when they are unable to progress on certain questions or riddles. This led the groups around in circles to answer questions before finding their own groove to their question groupings. Each group was able to collect a variety of answers, photos and items as they went on this city journey. After this run around we collected as a group and reviewed our team working and leadership before setting off for a delicious lunch at the Melbourne Central food court. Once done we then headed off to face our fears once more this week, going rock climbing! During this activity the students are left to utilise their listening skills, alongside their communication and determination as they scale the walls. Everyone had a partner, and while one was scaling the rocky walls the other protected them by controlling the rope as they climbed, also known as belaying. Everyone was excited and many were able to defeat their dislike of heights to experience the feeling of being one with the walls.

This week went amazingly and everyone really did face their fears, whilst enjoying themselves as a group. WELL DONE EVERYONE!


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