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Yarra Term 2 Week 2

Hello everyone!

We have had a great start to the program and we are lucky to have a great group of young men with us this term. Brendon and I are looking forward to getting to know the students more as the program moves forward.

Wednesday was our first day and it is always one of the hardest because people do not know each other yet and we feel shy and a little apprehensive to begin with. We spent the morning doing some ice breaker activities so that everyone was made familiar with each other and got to know each other's names. We talked about our individual values and set our group's code of conduct, highlighting our group values and goals that we will carry with us through the entire term. For the afternoon, we went boxing with our instructor Sal at the gym in Maribyrnong. We spoke about attitude and having a positive mindset not only during this program, but for our individual lives. Sal sets a great framework for the program and it was so great to see all students putting in all their efforts. The session was fast pace, raising everyone's heart rates and we all were breaking a sweat! Some students had a spar with Sal in the ring after our boxing bag session and we were impressed! :) The students did extremely well in participating and giving it a go, finishing the day on a high.

Thursday we had a big day! We started off completing the 1000 Steps (Kokoda Trail) which the students pushed through with finesse. Students took turns in leading the group and they all did a great job in that role. We had discussions about the differences between high and low resilience responses which meant that if we are facing a challenge and it seems too difficult to continue, we change our mind-set to be more positive and encouraging. We will focus on this throughout the entire program. For the afternoon, we went to Trees Adventure, a high ropes course in Belgrave. Some students faced challenges such as heights and using their upper body strength to complete the course. They all did really well! The students' feedback for the day was great as they all enjoyed it. Each student acknowledged a certain character strength they used throughout the day, helping them to start thinking about what makes them great as a person.

On Friday we spent the morning at Collingwood Alternative School (CAS) working on our journals and creating goals for the term. We went to Melbourne Polytechnic in Fairfield to do some landscaping in the afternoon. The TAFE visit is designed for the students to gain an insight into what can be offered and what requirements are needed. In the landscaping activity, students were introduced to how to make a pavement using sand and bricks. All students gave it a good crack and was committed to completing their task. All students showed impressive practical skills and determination. Well done everyone! What a good start to the program :)


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