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Final Blog


Hi everyone, here’s our final blog of Term 2 2024!


Today marked the start of our final week with an exciting lineup of activities. We gathered at Collingwood Station for Our first stop at Northland Time Zone for an exhilarating round of laser tag. Splitting into two teams, we embraced the challenge with enthusiasm and teamwork. The competition was fierce, and both groups showed exceptional strategies, making for two thrilling games that brought out the best in everyone.


After the adrenaline-pumping laser tag, we headed to CAS where we met Tony and his colleague from the Victoria Police, who joined us for our next important task – bike donation to Collingwood Language School. Next, we had the privilege of visiting My Ride, a local bike shop, where we engaged in a brief discussion with an ex-professional bike rider and collected brand new bikes for the donation. Back at CAS, we prepared ourselves for the afternoon's activities. Our task was to teach a small group of students at the school using the ABCDDEs of bike riding and to help newly arrived students gain confidence in riding bikes. It was a rewarding experience as we shared our knowledge and skills, creating a sense of empowerment and independence among the students. Upon arriving at the school, we were warmly greeted by the students who eagerly awaited our bike donation. The initial nervousness melted away as our group confidently presented what they had learned, engaging the students with patience and encouragement. The donation ceremony was a success, with four bikes gifted to deserving students who now can explore their surroundings and enjoy the freedom of cycling. 


On Thursday we made our way to the Yarra Youth Space and participated in a drug and alcohol presentation with Youth Worker Bede. Students learnt all about how drugs affect the body, learning the difference between depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens. As well as the risk factors that occur when taking illicit drugs and drinking alcohol. Bede’s presentation helped students understand the overall impacts of drugs, it was incredibly informative and thoroughly helped educate students. After this students begun working on their speeches for their graduation. We went through all the activities in the term, focusing on what character strengths each student used. We also spoke about our favourite and least favourite activities from the term and some our funniest moments. We then headed off to our final boxing session for the term. Meeting up with Sal, we got straight into it doing warm ups in pairs with the boxing bags before heading into the ring. Jaymee, Kaea and Kazuki all did amazing jobs in the ring with Sal giving him a run for his money, all showing great improvements since the first session!

On Friday we had our Graduation! It was a great turn out at the Yarra Youth Space with so many family and friends coming out to celebrate the students! Students were gifted an Operation Newstart Hoodie to wear as they present their speeches and were presented with their awards. After Brendon gave a great opening speech about the program the students then led the show, each preparing a brief speech about their time on the program, including a character strength and an activity they enjoyed and displayed the best! Students were then presented with a framed Operation Newstart Certificate and a booklet with all their achievements from the term. We showed off pictures of the crew from the activity they chose and followed the speeches with a movie presentation of all the funny and great moments from the term! Following this, students presented certificates to some our partners and supports for the program, each student presented them with a certificate and thanked them for their support and contribution! A special thanks to Lee Chia coming out representing the Community Bank of Clifton Hill - North Fitzroy whose contribution to the bike donation program is greatly appreciated. Another thanks to Keely from Bunnings for coming out and supporting the crew, Bunnings has kindly supported us with vouchers that go towards our camp equipment! A very big thankyou to all staff, family, friends and partners who were there to celebrate the graduates, your dedication and support has gone a long way and helped the students immensely!



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