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Assessment Task 2: Agency Visit

Operation Stitches is a non-profit charitable organisation that reaches out to
children in the inner city Public Housing sector of Richmond, Fitzroy and
Collingwood. They want to help young people make good life choices to
bring about positive change(Operation Stitches, 2009). Operation Stitches
tries to help and support children who are disadvantaged by the
environment they have grown up in. The children who need and seek
support from Operation Stitches have usually grown up being surrounded by
drug abuse, suicide, family and racial violence and abandonment.
Operation Stitches is supporting the future of these young lives through
constantly presenting positive life choices with various mentoring programs,
workshops and community activities. The programs provided by Operation
Stitches are homework clubs which run twice a week, Super Saturdays, One
Eighty and Saturation. Homework club is split up into junior and senior one
on one tutoring sessions. These programs build the students selfconfidence and create a greater desire for regular school attendance and
learning (Operation Stitches, 2009). Super Saturday is a program that
provides a fun filled weekend program that is presented in a positive
environment through exciting games, activities, crafts, prizes and
food (Operation Stitches, 2009). The program is catered for primary aged
children to have fun, build relationships with one another and for Operation
Stitches volunteers to provide mentoring and support for them. One Eighty is
for older children in high school. It is a specialised program that caters for
inner-city Public Housing youth that have boundless energy and are often
bored with their environment that can lead to inappropriate
behaviour (Operation Stitches, 2009). Within these workshops they get to be
involved in and experience photography, dance, computer skills, car
mechanics, healthy cooking, fashion and graphics. Each elective is run with
the purpose of giving youth an opportunity to learn new skills. The results
of these workshops have proven outstanding amongst the youth. Many have

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an ignited passion for what has been taught and wish to develop their newly
acquired skills further (Operation Stitches, 2009). Lastly Saturation is an
activities day scattered throughout the year at each public housing estate to
give children a fun day where they can enjoy themselves playing different
sports games, going on carnival rides, eating food and art and crafts. It is all
free and provides children with a safe and positive atmosphere where we
encourage them to make good choices and to come to the different
programs Operation Stitches offers. These events also promote social
inclusion within a culturally diverse multicultural community. All that
Operation Stitches provides is free of charge and held on their estate, where
they live (Operation Stitches, 2009).
Operation Stitches program imparts core community life values and skills
such as respect for self and others; law and order; self-discipline; honesty;
good manners; love of family; forgiveness of others and honour of country.
This is all taught with an anti-drug, anti- violence, anti-crime emphasis teaching the difference between right and wrong choices and the
consequences of choices made (Operation Stitches, 2009). Operation
Stitches aim is to never discriminate against anyone, but to help those in
need and to encourage and inspire children to be the best that they can be.
According to the Values Education Strategies (2009) it is important to
encourage an atmosphere of openness, acceptance and respect by being
sensitive to students needs. Respect their feelings and, particularly with
young people, err on the side of caution regarding their emotions.
Operation Stitches shows this through their compassion and willingness to
support children's needs in their programs and in their ability to make the
children feel at home with them.
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 protects people across Australia from
unfair treatment on the basis of their race, colour, descent, or national or
ethnic origin in different areas of public life. It also makes racial vilification
against the law(Australian Human Rights Commission, 2009). This

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legislation is a major part of Operation Stitches as they try to protect and

inform children of their rights against prejudice and discrimination in their
lives that they may experience from day to day. Director Chris of Operation
Stitches states that they make sure the children understand their own
rights, by informing them on what they can do to protect themselves from
discrimination. The children are informed during programs such as One
Eighty for older children in high school or when children ask questions
regarding this Act. As UNICEF (2005) states in Article 2 All children have
these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do,
what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or
girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are
rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis. This supports
Operation Stitches mission as they want to help and support the children to
make positive choices in their life to be able to live to their full potential.

Operation Stitches gets in contact with local schools that are near the inner
city public housing to encourage teachers to get children to come to Stitches
home work club. As Director Chris Templeton (2013) of Operation Stitches
says teachers are normally happy to have our support for their children, as a
lot of children fall behind in the classroom and do not have the support and
encouragement at home to do their work, making it very hard for teachers to
keep the children engaged. Operation Stitches also lets the school know
when they will be having a Saturation Saturday carnival for the kids to have a
fun time and to encourage them to get involved in different programs. A few
teachers will often come down and get involved themselves with the

Operation Stitches deals with many children who may have a mental health
problem of some sort. A mental health problem occurs when someone's
thoughts or feelings are troubling them, to the extent of affecting their day
to day activities or relationships (Commonwealth of Australia, 2004). The

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children who go to Operation Stitches are very disadvantaged in some way,

whether that be drug abuse, their family situation, discrimination or
abandonment, they are having to deal with huge problems at such young
ages. It would be very common for these children to have mental health
problems. Educators and carers can create meaningful relationships with
their students by giving positive as well as constructive feedback, and by
taking an interest in each child as an individual - even simple things, such as
knowing them by name and saying hello can help (Commonwealth of
Australia, 2004). As said by Director Chris Templeton (2013) from Operation
Stitches we are big on building relationships with the children who come
through our doors. We want the children to feel safe and at home here with
us. Our programs are about building self-confidence and self esteem in the
Operation Stitches is an amazing agency that helps, supports, encourages
and inspires children to make good choices in their life to grow up and
achieve all that is in their heart no matter how disadvantaged the
environment they grow up in is (Operation Stitches, 2009).

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Australian Human Rights Commission (2009). Racial Discrimination.Retrieved

22nd April, 2013, from

Commonwealth of Australia (2004). Risk and Resilience. Retrieved 20th April,

2013, from



Operation Stitches (2009). Mission. Retrieved 22nd April, 2013, from


Operation Stitches (2009). Programs. Retrieved 24th April, 2013, from


Operation Stitches (2009).Bringing hope to the inner city kids. Retrieved

22nd April, 2013, from

admincitywide/Stitches/ index.shtml

Operation Stitches (2009).Volunteer. Retrieved 20th April, 2013, from


Supporting Student Wellbeing Through Values Education (2009). Student

Wellbeing and Values Education. Retrieved 21st April, 2013, from

b046-4413-0d4c-8179dc83458d/ Supporting%20Student



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UNICEF. (2005). Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved 20th April,

2013, from

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Tayla Corrigan