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Hello Everyone!


This is the final blog for our Merri-Beck group, so here is our last weeks recap.

On Wednesday the 20th we met up with the crew at Oxygen Youth Space and spent the morning working through the workbooks and catching up on any sections missed throughout the term. After spending most of the morning reflecting on different parts of the booklet, we had some lunch and some time to chill out. After lunch, we got prepared for our bike donation in the afternoon. The group was tasked with teaching a small group of students at John Fawkner College the ABCDEs of bike riding as well as helping get more confident riding. We were able to have this opportunity with the help of The Bike Shed, who donate, repair, and help educate young people about bikes. They donated 5 bikes for us to donate to the students at John Fawkner. The group was a bit nervous about presenting what they learned but once they got engaged it was easy-going with the donation being a success.

On Thursday the 21st the group met up again at the Oxygen Youth Space to continue with work on our booklets and graduation preparation for the next day.  Once we were all caught up on the missing sections we had Auri, Alex and Hamish (Placement Student) set themselves up at different locations to help the crew with different sections of their speeches for Graduation Day. The sections included writing about their favourite moments during the program, a time when they were challenged, and what character strengths they built or used. The group used the rest of the time before the lunch break to organise their places for the presentations and learn how the graduation day would work. Feeling nervous about the presentation, the leaders ensured that the crew would do great so the confidence was slowly growing.  To finish the day we got to meet up again with Sal the boxing instructor who put us through our paces to get the heart rate pumping. We got the chance to get into the ring and spar with Sal which was a great way to end the day before having some time to reflect on the term since we first met Sal during the first week of the program. We then dropped the crew off at Collingwood Station for the last time on the program.   

Friday the 22nd was our Graduation day for the Merri-beck crew. The day was met with amazing weather and heaps of support for the young people graduating. Loved ones and people who supported the program throughout the term were in attendance to see how the term panned out. To begin we were greeted by Operation Newstart Victoria leader Phil Wheatley who gave the audience an overrun of how the program works and its objective for young people who are on the program. The students then took over, with everyone taking their time to introduce themselves and present their speeches to the audience while they had pictures of them showing behind. The group did very well to step and present so well even if they were nervous to begin with. Once we finished with the speeches, it was onto the movie which was a collection of videos taken throughout the term and it was met with lots of laughs and a round of applause at the end. Once done with the movie we welcomed Auri and Brendon to present the students with their awards, and then the students presented awards thanking our partners for their support before closing the ceremony. To end the day, there was food for everyone while there was time for photos and some good chats.


This has been an amazing term and with all of the support from families, friends, merri-bek council and schools we have seen great growth and development in all of our young people! Thank you all for taking part and we look forward to seeing how you go back at school!


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