The young achievers of Intake 35 of Operation Newstart – Casey graduated on Thursday 16 June, in front of family, friends, sponsors, volunteers and partners at the City of Casey Council Chambers in Narre Warren.
Making the formalities that extra bit special was a presentation from Freemasons Foundation Director Tim Clark of a cheque for $35,000 to go towards the continuation of this valuable program.
“I was proud to hand over a donation today to kids that are really trying tomake a difference and better their futures,” Tim said.
Operation Newstart is an innovative re-engagement program for young people aged 14 -17 attending Victorian State Secondary schools who are at significant educational risk. Many are at risk of expulsion, have failed to attend school regularly and are at risk of not completing their secondary education.
Operation Newstart Victoria Executive Officers Mr Phil Wheatley and Mr Ross Miller were also in attendance, Phil saying how important it is for these kids to have the kinds of opportunities that Operation Newstart provides.
“I am so pleased to see these kids growing and progressing as young adults, and I hope they all continue successfully in life, taking with them all of the skills they have learned through the program,” he said.
Completing the Term 2 program for Casey was Paige Batson, who was also awarded a ‘high achievement’ certificate, Khya Kerr, Sarah Lunny, Emma MacDonald, Mohammad Mohammadi, Amber Percival and Josh Wilkinson.
All participated in rock climbing, mountain bike riding, rafting, and hiking activities as well as a session with the Channel 9 News Team and the CFA learning about fire safety and first aid. These activities have strengthened confidence in some, and built leadership skills in others.
Find out more about Operation Newstart at http://onv.org.au