Participants hit the ground running in 2021!

Young women on OC Connections day support activity with toy dinosaur behind her at the Melbourne Museum
Young women on OC Connections day support activity with toy dinosaur behind her at the Melbourne Museum

After such a challenging 2020, it’s lovely to see participants and staff so excited and engaged with the extensive range of activities that form the Day Support program at OC Connections (OCC). 

We recently chatted with Jasmine (Jazzy) Howlett, a Support Worker at OCC who is passionate about engaging participants in new and challenging activities. Jazzy was excited to fill us in on what’s been happening in her regular Tuesday program called Learning for Life. 

Participants Jack, Cassie and Haris are in the Tuesday group organised and run by Jazzy each week. The Learning for Life program is for participants who want to visit new and exciting places and enjoy educational experiences. In 2021 the group has already ticked off some of Melbourne’s favourite locations, including Melbourne Museum, State Library Victoria, NGV, ACMI, Myuna Farm and The Ian Potter Centre. 

Each week, after the group collectively plan their day, they head out to their chosen venue. The group decided that their first excursion in 2021 was to be to the Melbourne Museum. Cassie loves animals and is especially interested in dinosaurs, so visiting the dinosaur exhibit in January sounded like an excellent choice. 

Jack, Cassie and Haris and two support workers spent much of the day at the Museum visiting the dinosaur walk, getting up and close with the skeletons, posing for pictures and looking at the animals. 

The participants especially loved the dinosaurs, trains and the forest gallery. Some didn’t enjoy the mind and body exhibit as it was a bit dark and scary in some parts!

We stopped for lunch and enjoyed a walk in Carlton Gardens afterwards. On the train trip back to OCC, a few of the participants roared like dinosaurs, and Jack even did some actions!

Jasmine Howlett, Support Worker, OC Connections

The goal of this program is for participants to learn more in an area of interest. Jazzy told us that Cassie loves animals and wants to learn more about all aspects of animal keeping. On the trip to the Museum, they learned a lot about ancient species and many other animals.  

The initial trip was so popular that the group recently returned to the Museum, tying in a movie at IMAX Melbourne where they saw the film ‘A beautiful Planet’ in 3D.

Jasmine Howlett

The format of the Learning for Life program usually involves travelling to the destination in the morning and immersing themselves in the new experience. 

The afternoon is spent back on-site at OC Connections. The group consolidates the morning’s learnings with practical exercises and activities based on what the group learned during the day.

During the term, participants build a portfolio of their work that illustrates their achievements. This term, participants have been busy creating posters, completing scavenger hunts, and making booklets about their day.

Jazzy says she is looking forward to seeing some wonderful portfolio creations at the end of the semester!