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Hello Everyone! I hope all of you have been well, we surely have been on the program! So here is our weekly breakdown for you :-D

On Wednesday the 8th we collected at Collingwood station, and after a battle with the trains due to the temporary Optus shut down, we all headed off for the travel to Torquey. The crew were a bubbly and happy bunch, chatting, eating and singing along on the ride. When we finally arrived to the Torquey Surf Academy, we greeted Brad, our surf instructor for the day, and got fitted for our wetsuits. After the gruelling act of slipping into these tight but warm suits we headed to the beach and began our surf lesson. The crew acted out their movies on the sand, trying the initial standing motion and getting comfortable with the boards before hitting the water. Staying within the flags the group went headfirst into the water shuffling with their boards further in. Everyone did well to give it a try, with Brad and our facilitators supporting their experience, all reached to their knees on the boards while catching a wave, some even standing if only for a quick moment. When we had finally exhausted ourselves throughout our 2 hour session, we took our boards back and thanked Brad for the day before changing for a comfortable ride to our accommodation. The Bancoora Surf Life Saving Club is a space greatly and appreciatively utilised during most our terms, and is a cabin set up, even holding a pool table and tv’s. After putting away our things, we began to unwind. When we finally came to dinner, everyone joined together and began cooking and preparing the group dinner. Post-meal, the crew decided upon a few group games of werewolf, and pool before having their individual check in’s with Auri for the half way point of the program. When everyone had been chatted with, the crew relaxed to a few more games of pool before heading to bed for the evening.

On Thursday the 9th we awoke early to prepare for a morning swim session. Making a group meal and preparing individually we all greeted our second instructor Kev, for our surf session. When we headed to the beach by our accommodation, the crew stood in awe of the beautiful view, looking out as we travelled to our surf spot. With another introductory session on the sand, Kev took us through the steps of standing, before touching on enjoying the moment and the space we were at, something we all could do well to remember. When the crew slipped to the water they were quick to adapt and utilise the skills they had developed the day previous to catch some waves. The group did amazingly, standing for longer each time their stood atop the wave. They also played amongst themselves splashing and trying different surfing techniques during our session. When we finally finished we thanked Kev before handing back our suits and boards. The rest of our stay was breezy, cooking, cleaning and eating before have a reflection time as a group about where we see our future going based on some road pictures. When we finished in the space we locked up and headed home, arriving for a 3pm drop off.

On Friday the 10th we met our crew at Roxburgh Park Station for a morning session at the Roxy Youth Space. Here we delved into an open discussion around respectful relationships. We discussed relationship values, consent, healthy relationships, LGBTQIA+, amongst other topics. The crew were greatly involved controlling the flow of the conversation, and asked and answered questions throughout, furthering others and their own understanding of these topics. Once we finished we had some snacks before playing some down ball and slowly heading off to Broadmeadows Leisure Centre for a session of palates. The group was unfamiliar with this space, and although beginning on a bit of a fumble, slipped into the routine and followed our instructor through our session. When finally finishing up we headed for our final session of the day, meeting our partners for the community bike donation at Broadmeadows Collingwood English Language School (BCELS). When we arrived we met with Kylie, the wellbeing worker who was eager to introduce us to the space. BCELS is a schools for newly arrived individuals from all backgrounds, teaching young people English before transferring into local schools in their areas. Working alongside BCELS we were introduced to 3 sisters, ages 14, 10, and 8, newly arrived from Kenya. Our group introduced themselves and as did the girls, a translator and Kylie, nervous from the new interaction. After asking some questions back and forth we spoke about our project and how we were to come back to teach and donate the bikes to the girls. They were nervous but also very excited talking about previous experiences with bikes and how excited they were to have their own bikes. After this meeting we thanked them before moving on for the day finishing at Broadmeadows station.

Once again we had a very eventful and reflective week, and all our group did well to voice their questions and take part in our days together! Congrats everyone!


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