Due to funding constraints, this location’s operations have been suspended until funds to support a Polie Office and an Educatin Department facilitator can be found.
Operation Newstart Beginnings
The first Newstart was established at Mt Erin College, Frankston in 1997, Operation Newstart Southern. We have now grown to 7 programs, 6 across metropolitan Melbourne and 1 in regional Victoria. Southern was followed by Western which commenced in 1999, followed by Northern, 2001, Southeastern, 2004, Shepparton, 2007, Casey, 2008 and Eastern, 2009. During 2008 Newstart directly assisted 192 high risk students. Since 1997 over 1,000 students have participated. In 2009, more than 200 students will undertake the course.
click here. to see more of Newstart’s beginnings and comments made by Peter Hillary, mountain climber and adventurer, after 10 years of Newstart operation.
Operation Newstart Shepparton
Operation Newstart Shepparton (ONSh) commenced as a concept in mid 2006 when Save the Children Australia (SCA) approached Victoria Police in relation to commencing a program to support at risk youth in the Shepparton area. Save the Children Australia has been active in the Greater Shepparton region for over 40 years operating a Kindergarten for disadvantaged children and their families in Mooroopna. To the great credit of all involved Operation Newstart Shepparton went from initial concept to have the first intake of students in February 2007 in a little over six months.
A brief overview of intakes 1 to 8 – February 2007 – December 2008 saw 63 students participate, made up of 51 males and 12 females aged between 14-16 years. 54 of the 63 students graduated. Significantly greater numbers of students who graduated are involved in meaningful study or work than those young people who did not graduate. Highlights include one student going on to be elected as school vice captain for 2009 and another student being appointed as the first student representative on the ONSh Newstart Consultative Committee. As one part of the evaluation process ONSh works in partnership with Goulburn Valley Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and utilise an evaluation tool referred to as the Strengths and Difficlties Questionnaire (SDQ). This questionnaire covers pre and post program responses from participating students, teachers and parents. 82% of parents and 100% of students believed their problems since coming to the program were either “A Bit Better” or “Much Better”.
If you are a past participant of one of the Operation Newstart programs, we would love to hear from you, so visit our guestbook to bring us up-to-date with what you’re doing now.
What We Do
Newstart participants do not necessarily fall into the “low academic achievers” category that many label those students/young people who fail to make it in the school environment. In fact, many of the participants have proved to be ‘gifted’ but as a result of a variety of circumstances have been unable to demonstrate this characteristic consistently in the formal school setting. One of the main aims of this program is to find the key to unlock the individual from his/her current situation and allow him/her to move on to the positive next phase in either their secondary schooling or post secondary schooling stage. The program is very much based on the notion of finding a more innovative way of letting young people help themselves. (John Burrell, past principal Mount Erin College, 1998)
In ONSh 8 x students spend a school term with a Police Officer, Teacher and Youth Worker Facilitator. Together they provide a multi-layered intervention of activities that creatively engage and challenge each student in a process of change. They include adventure based activities, involving problem-solving and team-building, music therapy, TAFE taster vocational orientation visits, and working in sessions with parents/carers and students to rebuild relationships. They develop a wide range of skills, building self esteem and respect.
Operation Newstart Funding
Across all Newstart programs the salaries of the Teacher and Police facilitators are paid by DEECD & Victoria Police. The schools where the participating students are enrolled contribute a small portion of funds they receive for each enrolled student. All other funding is raised from the communities where each Newstart is located or through sponsors, philanthropic organisations and charities.
Save the Children Australia is a strong supporter of all Newstart programs and as outlined above has contributed significantly to the establishment of Operation Newstart Shepparton. Save the Children Australia currently employs the Youth Worker facilitator to support the police and teacher facilitators at ONSh.
Your Support Welcome
If you are interested in how you can support Operation Newstart please contact our Executive Officer, Phil Wheatley – see contact us . You can support Operation Newstart financially via our electronic link by going to the Donate button at the top of the page or by contacting our Executive Officer Phil Wheatley. All donations to Operation Newstart are tax deductible.
Newstart means lower levels of offending and victimization and better outcomes for young people and their families.See also the Operation Newstart Western Progress and Evaluation Report (1999-2006) PDF Document – 1.08MB