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Hi Everybody!

On Wednesday the 7th, we began Week 7 with an exciting day ahead! We collected the group from Collingwood station and started the day off at the Collingwood Children’s Farm. This farm, which we have visited before, is a non for profit organisation, founded in 1979 to support and engage local children experiencing adversity. We met once again with the lovely Nhi who works at the farm and she gave us an introduction to the continuation of the woodwork activity we began the week before. The students had the opportunity to sand and scrape the wood to soften the surface and then oil the wood. This woodwork activity gave a little insight into what people do when they work with wood and a simple activity that can make the wood smoother and shinier. The students then explored the farm and their many animals, including cats, horses, sheep, peacocks, goats and many other birds. Some of the animals even let some of our crew pat them which the students enjoyed. We then had lunch and the students had the opportunity to purchase food from the cafe which we all ate together. We then hopped on the bus again and headed around the corner to Bunnings in Collingwood and we were met by Keely the events co-ordinator. Kelly introduced herself and the career opportunities at Bunnings. The students had the opportunity to ask her questions about their careers and we then had a tour around the building. Keely then sent the students on a scavenger hunt to find items that could be used to fix a hole in the wall, being rewarded by picking a colour and making a sample paint with the help of Keely and Bunnings staff. We ended the day with a debrief accompanied by a complimentary drink shouted by Bunnings. The students were reminded of the importance of respect and good listening skills, something we strive to build in our program.

On Thursday the 8th, we collected our crew and headed to Collingwood Alternative School to have a quick discussion about our values and respect and to pack the bus full of gear for our rafting and caving camp! We then drove to Warrandyte State Park on the Yarra River and we were met with Allistair and Mik who work with Rubicon Outdoor School operated by The Department of Education and Training. We got geared up with life vests and wetsuits, having some lunch before a safety briefing and heading onto the river. We then wrapped our heads around how to turn and control the raft which helped us navigate getting through rapids along the river. A few of us got stuck on some rocks but with teamwork and some guidance from our skilled leaders, we managed to get moving back down the river. After a couple hours of rafting, we packed up our boats, got changed and thanked our instructors for all their help throughout the day. We decided to head home and not continue the camp due to some of the students' behaviour throughout the day. Our final camp is to identify and utilise our built skills over our term of program, and is seen as both a celebration and assessment of our students. As such this decision was made to make the best impact and time for growth for all students involved.

On Friday the 9th, we decided to invite the students who presented positive behaviours the day before to lead us and have a day of fun activities in the city that they have chosen. This day was planned and organised by students for students, as a way to continue our assessment of their growth throughout the program. We started off the day with a brainstorm and then we hopped on a tram into the city. We headed straight to The State Library of Victoria to look at the Ned Kelly exhibition which had his armour and gun. We also admired the paintings which showed how Melbourne looked at European settlement. We then had the opportunity to head to The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) which had exhibitions about film, cinema and Australia’s film history. We then headed to Southgate for lunch and some ice cream, supplied by the program as a thankyou for the students continual good behaviour and development on the program. After lunch we made a short walk to Kingpin in Crown to enjoy some bowling and laser tag! The group had amazing bowling skills and laser tag was super fun and got our hearts pumping. It was overall an awesome day for us!

This week has been a tumultuous one and something that everyone can take from. Even those who did not attend Friday should be proud of how they have developed thus far and will have plenty of time to reflect on in the coming week.

This week will not be attended by a student review.

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