River 2 Recovery features on Compass ABC.
As part of Mental Health Week, ABC TV’s Compass program follows an ambitious scheme helping people with mental health issues turn their lives around. This Huckleberry Finn style adventure called River to Recovery, involved participants from Albury Wodonga who spent two years building boats from scratch and then rowing them down the Murray River. The course was designed to develop confidence and trust, but along the way this unlikely group found their river trip was more a journey of self discovery. http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s4096542.htm
ABC TV Sunday 12 October, 2014 6.30pm
Congratulations to Seb, Dave and Maz. All three and other stars featured in the ABC Mental As…………., Mental health week programme. A great deal of effort and personal time was committed to assisting the ABC compass team to produce a mental health week story. It was largely filmed last June and was produced a bit like a re-enactment of the R2R trip. Thanks must go to the Hawksview cattle property management for providing a ‘River like’ setting for the re-enactment. The boats, past and present students, and St Luke’s staff were featured within an idyllic setting and the film emphasised ‘the healing effects’ of the river environment.
What happens in the future will be up to the R2R crew and St Lukes. The outcomes have been very positive regarding students assisting in the mental health field via mentoring and actual employment. Some have returned to TAFE this year and all have gained confidence and are engaged in meaningful activity.
This year we are coming close to completing a training partnership with Albury Wodonga Parklands and a small group of students completing Certificate one in Work Education. Next year we will continue with our REAL Options units in Work Education for students with mental health issues.
After 12 years of developing this unique form of vocational training for students with mental health issues it has been pleasing to see our students from this R2R course gain national recognition via the Compass programme and for one of our courses for students with mental health issues gain some brief time on the national stage.
At Wodonga TAFE we value our partnerships with community support groups such as St Luke’s and fully expect continued co-operation and support in training programmes in the future to assist individuals with mental health issues ‘find their voice’ , confidence and re-engage in the activities of life that are often taken for granted by others.
Teacher Foundation Studies Dept. Wodonga TAFE.
Students from last years River 2 Recovery class have been engaged in filming conversations about mental health issues and thier recent river trip with Suzi Taylor from ABC Open. The Launch for the move is at Wodonga TAFE on the 6th of Feb 2014 5pm. What a great idea and what a great way to end the project. Suzi has been working with the crew now for several months and has followed the projects progress and individual personal developement. The work on the film, story boards etc.., and the effort from the small film crew has been a pleasure to watch. The film evening should be a fitting way to celebrate the students achievements.
The R2R project launch was held on the 22nd of November. (see the R2R Facebook page) http://au.prime7.yahoo.com/v1/news/a/-/local/19973872/river-to-recovery-launch-video/
A great success with a large crowd lining the bank and cheering the group on as they left for the journey down the river. The depth of community support was great to see from fellow travellers on the road to recovery to members of parliament. Tim Fisher was his usual entertaining self and MC at the launch event. The students achieved one of their many aims by attracting media and gathering members of the local community together to raise the profile of issues associated with rural mental health. It is a huge step to take to put ones self ‘on display’ and send a positive awareness message to our community. Seb and Colin gave wonderful speeches and proved to be more than worthy representatives for the student/ R2R group.
Wodonga TAFE via Bryan and Anne Maree visited the rowers on their trip at 12mile reserve and Corowa. The strength of the team was very visible as was the determination of individual team members. We are all looking forward to the final celebrations on the 2nd of December at the end of their journey.
The Murray River starts as a trickle and apparently it is hard to spot its source. However the rowers have found the Murray to be long and wide and together they are navigating with ease and progress is fast and effective. Along the river, anabranchs, billabongs and streams offer many choices. Making the wrong choice is somewhat problematic but not insurmountable. Modern technology is providing improvements all the time via instruments like portable GPS devises. Even better technology is becoming common place and we are all learning new techniques and better ways of doing things to make travel that little bit easier. The River 2 Recovery is proving to be a very apt name indeed. This group of people are improving choices for themselves and others and via this project others will learn new ways of doing things and the hurdles found via community ignorance will not be as high. The recovery process is hard but with greater understanding and equity it can ‘flow more gently’.
All rowers performed very well and the craft all moved through the water in a very stable manner coping with the current with ease. We are all getting close to the start of the trek down the river. TAFE training is coming to a close so it is with some sadness that the students are leaving but also the excitement is building with the expectations of the launch Friday next week, 22nd of November. I hope locals support this unique talented group of people the last two years worth of Thursdays have been an absolute pleasure to be involved in. From little things big things grow on so many levels!