Operation Newstart is an intensive eight-week program designed to help year 9 students who are having a tough time at school and provide opportunities for self-empowerment.
The program aims to re-engage youths attending Victorian State Secondary schools through a variety of experiential, vocational and therapeutic activities.
Groups of nine students from eleven different schools in the Geelong region participate in the program with a primary focus to improve student’s motivation and attitude towards school.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) has partnered with the Operation Newstart program to help foster environmental stewardship and provide meaningful learning opportunities.
GORCC Education Activity Leader Peter Crowcroft said the environmental education aspect of the Operation Newstart program was a fantastic opportunity for students to explore their local area and develop an appreciation for the natural environment.
“Programs such as Operation Newstart are an excellent way to help keep students interested in school and improving their education. I noticed a big difference in the student’s positivity from the start of the semester to the end, which is really encouraging.”
“We place a big emphasis on volunteering and working in the environment and the benefits from engaging with their local communities, which has led to a more positive attitude towards school.”
Nearly 2,500 teenagers have come through Operation Newstart since it was established in 1997 to help youths who are struggling to stay motivated at school.
Operation Newstart Geelong Program Manager Nick Sack said he was proud of all the Operation Newstart graduates and the many friendships and experiences they have had this term.
“We’ve seen a new level of confidence with the participants, particularly while out in nature, exploring and doing some hands-on environmental work to help protect the coast at Point Roadknight in Anglesea.”
GORCC offers schools and groups the opportunity to engage in hands on learning opportunities that will equip them with the skills and knowledge to work with, understand, respect and protect the Great Ocean Road coastline.
For more information about GORCC’s free Environmental Education Programs, visit www.gorcc.com.au.