Stars is continuing to close the gap in education outcomes, with 96 per cent of our senior girls completing Year 12 in 2017. This is a stunning achievement, particularly when you consider the overall national rate of Year 12 completion for Indigenous people was as low as 65.3 per cent in 2016. The figure was even lower in the Northern Territory at just 39.1 per cent (Closing the Gap Report 2018).
Read our newsletter to find out more about the great outcomes our program is achieving with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
In Term 3 Week 10 Dripstone Middle School teamed up with Sanderson Middle School to produce beautiful, unique pieces of art to sell to raise money for Camp Quality. The showcase was an astounding success, selling over half of the total paintings and raising over $220. Our girls are extremely proud to support such an amazing organisation, and felt special having their works of art on display for their teachers; family and friends; and Minister Lauren Moss who happily supported the girls’ initiative by purchasing 2 paintings! A massive job well done to all the girls who created paintings and helped to organise the showcase.
During week 2 Stars Year 8 and 9 contact time, students went to the RUOK? day conversation convoy event at Lindsay street complex. The girls participated in a number of activities which helped give them the skills, motivation and confidence to start a conversation with anyone they might be worried about. The girls learnt that by asking, listening, encouraging and checking in with someone who they think may be struggling, could potentially save their life.
During Term 3 Yirrkala Stars volunteered every Friday after school to our local animal shelter PAWS Nhulunbuy. The girls always looked forward to having a cuddle with the cats and dogs as well as ensuring their homes were clean and that there was plenty of food. Yirrkala Stars also helped PAWS with a BBQ fundraiser, which was a huge success. Stars will continue to help PAWS throughout the year.
In Week 9, the Year 10 & 11 Stars girls participated in a LOVEBITES Workshop. LOVEBITES is a respectful relationship program that focuses on Domestic & Family Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention targeted towards teens. The day consists of videos, activities and discussions on the above topics with emphasis on awareness and looking out for each other. Constable Dani Mattiuzzo, School Counsellor Natalie Brookes, Eirini Mbouti and Hannah Robbins from the Education Department were there to help facilitate. The girls finished the day with art work pieces to represent what they have learned.
In Week 9, the Katherine Stars girls organised a friendly Aussie Rules competition between all Stars Programs. Seven teams from Darwin, Tennent Creek, Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala travelled to Katherine to compete. It was a hugely successful day with the teams playing 3 -4 games each. It was a great opportunity to meet the other Stars programs and to have a friendly competition. Good work to all the girls that participated!
On Friday of week 3, Stars CSC was paid a surprise visit by members of the Australian Cricket Team, who are in Darwin for a 3 day game before they depart for a tour of Bangladesh later in the month.
Players, including Dave Warner, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazelwood and James Pattinson spent time with CSC Stars Year 11 Integrated Learning class taking about their pathway through school and into elite sports. Players also answered questions from students regarding playing for the Australian Cricket Team, including how much Dave Warner earns following the issue of new Cricket Australia contracts. Josh and Jackson also tried some local Salty Plum, which wasn’t to their liking.
At the end of the visit, players signed the CSC Stars Wellbeing photo board and presented Stars CSC with a playing shirt signed by the current Australian team. Stars CSC would like to sincerely thank the players for taking time out from their busy schedule to spend time with us.
In Term 2 and 3 the year 7 Stars class visited the Katherine Fire Station. Station Officer Bernie showed the girls around the station, what types of jobs they get called to and what equipment they have to wear when fighting a fire. The girls also learnt about fire safety and what sort of experience they need to volunteer or work as a fire fighter. They even got to have a go at the fire hose!
On Tuesday 29th September, the year 7 Stars contact time class visited the Katherine Community Radio Station. The girls got to experience firsthand how a radio station works, they got to pick their own songs to play, learnt how to answer a call from a listener and learnt about the different types of community services that advertise through radio. Sienna Johnson was even brave enough to speak on live radio! Well done!
Week 4 saw Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala Stars visit Darwin to support talented Indigenous songstress Shellie Morris and her band on stage at Darwin Festival. 10 young women from our programs bravely performed backup vocals in both English and Yolngu Matha to a sold-out audience at The Lighthouse in Festival Park, alongside Program Officer Rosealee Pearson. We are exceptionally proud of all the senior girls who participated.
Whilst in Darwin, Stars paid a visit to the NT Water Police shed in East Arm, as part of our Education, Employment & Training pillar of the Stars plan. Sergeants John & Christopher led us on a guided tour of their workplace, explaining all the roles the Water Police undertake and showing us where their rescue operations are undertaken from. The highlight of the visit was when we joined the search-&-rescue team on board their fastest patrol boat and explored Darwin Harbour at a fast pace- the girls were in awe! Stars also paid a visit to HMAS Coonawarra for a tour of the armoury and to gain insight into a naval career, as well as The 34th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards exhibition at the Museum & Art Gallery, to view some of East Arnhem’s own amazing artistry on display.