2013 YEAR 2, for R2R.

2013. A big year ahead!
2013 the year that a lot of hard work comes together. The significance of the R2R project will become apparent as this year progresses.
The length of training is significant. Wodonga TAFE has been engaged in providing equitable training options for students who have had difficulty with mental health issues for over 10 years but this is the first course that has run over a two year period. It has been pleasing to note that retention rates for the group have been excellent and despite challenges, student moral and enthusiasm has been maintained at a high level.
The time frame for completing the boats has been tightened but I am informed the student boat builders are on track. We discussed last year options for decorating the boats and plans are afoot to continue fundraising activities.

Safety is paramount and this will be explored fully this year. Students are starting the year with first aid training at St Lukes and I expect some of us will be getting wet this year, practicing with the completed boats before the main trek.
I expect some students will have personal challenges this year that may impact of their ability to participate in the R2R project. Obviously managing ones mental health is the priority but seeing things through to the end is also important. I am confident ‘The Team’ will look after team members and all R2R members will have a role and not be excluded due to possible unforseen health issues. This has been the plan from day one and 2013 sees us with a well bonded group that has developed a high level of trust in each other through involvement with St Lukes and the two days a week training at Wodonga TAFE.
The obvious end product of the boats shows a high degree of skills attainment, the personal development, communication skills, at times ‘healthy debate’, goal setting and team planning is also obvious within the R2R group.

So once again, a big year ahead and the rewards should be huge. The team has the opportunity to achieve something quite unique and special and in the process raise the profile of rural mental health matters in a very positive way.

Bryan Winnett.
Teacher Foundation Studies WIOT. 5.2.13

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