– Fr. Bill Fleming, sdb, Director Boys’ Town 1973-1980
2015 was another big year for the Fleming unit with a program designed to challenge the boys striving towards their personal goals. It has been pleasing to see the way in which the boys have developed and grown throughout the year.
Term 1: ‘Walk the Talk’
The year of 2015 was launched with the exciting theme of ‘Walk the Talk’ which dared the boys to commit to making positive changes through taking action. The boys spent a lot of time enjoying the warm summer weather through a range of outdoor activities, including swimming and body boarding. As part of these experiences, the boys were challenged to identify risk and make positive life decisions. The boys were exposed to Maori culture through the study of the film ‘Whale Ride’, as part of their English program. As well as this, the boys were involved in a group building project where-by they completed a chicken coop design and rebuild. Throughout the term the boys were also involved in the preparation of a range of meals whilst also having the opportunity to dine at some local restaurants.
Term 2: ‘Embracing Change’
Term 2 was another busy term in the Fleming unit with the boys working towards their personal goals whilst also focussing on accepting and embracing change. The boys travelled to Yarrabin Holiday Camp in the Blue Mountains for a highly enjoyable Horse Riding Camp. PDHPE focused upon men’s health. As a part of this, the boys were very active through mountain biking and weekly yoga sessions to help clear the mind. A major highlight of this term was the technology project where by the boys worked cooperatively to plan, design and build a herb garden for the unit. It was great the way the boys were able to communicate and work together.
Term 3: ‘Positive Minds’
The boys, throughout this term, concentrated on working towards developing a more positive outlook on their lives. This set the theme for the snow camp to Smiggins in the Snowy Mountains. The boys had an amazing experience skiing in awesome and challenging snow conditions. It was great to see how quickly they were able to improve. The Social Skills class focussed on how thoughts can affect feelings and behaviours. The boys had the opportunity to explore how their own thoughts impact on their inner world. The Food Technology focus for the term was on producing quality, cheap and easy to prepare family meals. The knowledge and skills developed throughout the term were put on display at family night which saw each of the boys plan, prepare and cook delicious meals for their families.
Term 4: ‘Independence’
The final term for the year was action-packed with the culmination of the much anticipated move into the awesome new workspace. Developing independent living skills was a major focus for the term with all boys challenged to step up and become more independent and responsible for themselves. Highlights included a trip to Bundeena house, coastal walk and the 24hr Bear Grylls survival camp, all of which were great experiences which challenged the boys in a positive and engaging manner. Added to this physical activities, resulted in improved fitness levels for both the boys and the staff. Peer pressure was the focus of the Social Skills class. Scripts were devised to illustrate some of the realities faced by teenagers, then acted out and filmed. Overall, 2015 was a positive experience for the young people of the Fleming unit. We wish those moving on the best for the future. We look forward to continuing to work with those returning in 2016.