MERRI-BEK WEEK 7 TERM 3 2023
Sad to say we’ve reached the final week of our program :(.
On Wednesday the 6th, we collected the crew at Flinders Street Station, for our city experience day. We first got to exploring by seeing the ACMI free exhibit, moving on to see the many new and old ways people experienced entertainment through puppets, film and even video games. The crew were amazed by the exhibit and had a thorough look through as they got to interact with many of the displays. Once done we headed off to Melbourne Central to get some well deserved lunch and chatted about our next session, Rockclimbing. It can be a very nervewracking event and relies on the aspects of trust and resilience throughout the activity. When we had all our fill we headed off to Hard Rock, and indoor climbing gym that has great heights and large glass windows showing the city around and below us. We all started with a trial climb to get used to the act of climbing but also allowing our partners we paired with to practice belaying, a way to support someone while they climb. The crew faced their fears well and pushed themselves as far as they could while feeling safe to continue and it was a lovely exciting day to finish up our term.
On Thursday the 7th, we all met at the Oxygen Youth Centre to work on our speeches for the graduation. After many pre-games of uno and ping pong, it was time to write the speeches, focusing on activities completed and moments of growth they noticed within themselves. Everyone put a lot of thought and consideration into what they would say the next day, considering both the highs and the lows. After this we unfortunately had to change up our plans as Sal our boxing instructor was not well. This lead to a mass uno game that went on for over 20 minutes! Tempers were tested and alliances made. With this having the crew fully engaged we took the next game as an opportunity to incorporate our reflections on the program with some uno, designating curtain colours with questions for the group.
Red – What was one of your highlights from the program?
Yellow – What is something you’ve learnt about yourself through the program?
Green – What is something positive you’ve noticed in someone else here?
Blue – A free question to ask whatever you would like.
As the game of uno continued, everyone began to notice more and more aspects of themselves and the program that they might not have thought about before. We finished off the day a tad early and left the crew all pumped for the day ahead of them 🙂
On Friday the 8th, the final day of Operation Newstart Northern commenced. Families, school representatives, and activity instructors attended this special event, to celebrate the accomplishments made by the incredible people in the program. Each young person read out loud the speech they had worked on the day and night before, speaking about their favourite activity and what they learnt about themselves from it. Ending the speeches with them being individually congratulated on their growth and completion of the program, they all enjoying the sweet feeling of their new Operation Newstart hoodies they got. Commencing with a video of the past 7 weeks, made by Alex, caused many moments of laughter and smiles from everyone watching, as we got to see how jam-packed the program had been! Finishing the day by thanking the companies, the individuals part of Operation Newstart and the individuals who volunteered their time, during the past 7 weeks, with Auri, Spencer and Alex bringing it to an end by saying a few words, about the amazing young people who took the jump in joining the program, which who have grown tremendously.
From everyone here at Operation Newstart Northern, we thank all the amazing young people involved in the program and their efforts to reach outside of their comfort zones. We all shared different highs and lows, however, we all came together in the end, recognising not only our individual growth but the people around us as well, creating a new, Operation Newstart community. You should all be proud of what you have accomplished this term with us!