“Ash got to know adults who reside outside his comfort zone. A wonderful outcome of this program is that children get to see police as, not someone they have to be threatened by or try and ‘get the better of’, but as human beings, people and mentors.”
Parent Intake 13
“I write this letter to you both to say a big thankyou for looking after Kerry over the past 8 weeks. The program has been invaluable to Kerry’s development and since his participation in the program I have noticed a change, he is more confident and has a more positive view on things, he is more willing to give things a go rather than saying that everything is too hard. Kerry was lucky to be chosen for the program and I believe that all secondary school children should be given this great opportunity.”
Parent Intake 14
“I feel compelled to write to you, as a parent and as a Victorian, to express my admiration, respect and appreciation for the wonderful work that you do at Operation Newstart South Eastern………… Sauron’s delight and sense of achievement, together with the Graduating Certificate and beautifully presented folder and video memento were simply inspirational and a credit to your dedicated efforts. Whilst through a number of my community involvements, I am aware of some of the Victoria Police’s admirable community engagement functions, I was not aware of how amazingly proactive Victoria Police is in engaging and mentoring our youth.”
Family Friend Intake 19
“Chelsea was a Year 9 student who came from a very difficult family background. Chelsea was disengaged from school, had conflict with her peers and due to ongoing truancy was achieving low academic results.
Chelsea was then referred to the Operation Newstart Program. At first, like many students, she was hesitant and nervous about attending. It was interesting to watch the change in Chelsea particularly after the first camp. There was a noticeable difference in her confidence and she was very proud of pushing herself beyond her comfort zone, particularly with carrying a heavy backpack and reaching the top of the mountain!
At Graduation, Chelsea was glowing. She received an excellent attendance record and persisted, despite having a few motivation issues about halfway into the program.
After Chelsea returned to school, things went well for a few weeks, however her school attendance deteriorated again and she left our school. Her successful completion of the Operation Newstart Program was considered favourably and she was then accepted into a Community VCAL Program.
Feedback from the Community VCAL Program was positive and Chelsea has continued to attend this program. Chelsea has shown leadership qualities and is considered a valued member of the class, assisting with orientation of new students.
I believe the Operation Newstart Program gave Chelsea valuable life and social skills. She experienced such a wonderful variety of activities, which otherwise she would never have had the opportunity to do. For Chelsea to succeed in Community VCAL this was attributable to her time with Operation Newstart.”
Student Welfare Officer
Keysborough College-Springvale Campus
The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more
important than facts, more important than past, more important than future, than education,
than failures and successes, more important than what others say or do, more important than
appearances, skill or abilities.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice regarding the attitude we embrace upon our lives
from that day, we cannot change our past, we cannot change the inevitable, we cannot
change the way people react.
The only thing we can do is play on the one thing that influences the way we live, and that
thing is attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens and 90% how we react to it.
We are in charge of our destinies and our attitudes.
Operation Newstart has helped me immensely towards becoming the man I one day hope to
become. Ad I am completely indebted to Chris and Sharon, thank you so much for this opportunity.
I leave this program with some of the best memories I could have ever dreamed of, a dozen new
friends who I hope got the most out of this program as humanly possible.
I would like to quote Eleanor Roosevelt, for what she said basically sums up my experience on this
program: “You gain strength, courage and confidence in every experience in which you look fear
in the face; you must do what you think you cannot”.
I will retake my seat a reformed young man who hopes you enjoy the rest of your day. Best
wishes for the future.
Speech by Chris Owen at Intake 24 Graduation Ceremony