A Starring Role

Yirrkala Stars girls took part in a theatre-style performance of an ancient Yolŋu creation story this week, along with other students from Yirrkala School and community Elders.

‘Yawulŋura’ is a bilingual and intergenerational production incorporating theatre, dance and a mix of contemporary and traditional music.

Students from Years 4 to 10 rehearsed with Corrugated Iron Youth Arts for one month before the performance and senior Stars student, Kaya Munungurr, provided great leadership during rehearsals by translating for the other students and modelling good listening and positive behaviour.

The performance was part of the Yirrkala Dhäwu project, a two-year collaboration between the Yirrkala School, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, Buku-Larrŋggay Mulka Yirrkala Arts Centre and co-directors Sarah Hope and Banbapuy Ganambarr.

Read more.


Yirrkala Stars Student Meets Prince Charles

Yirrkala Stars student, Kaya Munungurr, was thrilled to be part of the Traditional Owner group that welcomed His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to East Arnhem Land this week.

Even more exciting was that Kaya got to meet and speak with Prince Charles as he had a close look at the print she has been working on all term.

“I was really nervous to talk to him, but he was nice and kind,” Kaya says.

“He asked me what my print was about. He also asked what the words wangarr (totem) and bapurru (clan) meant. I’m happy I got to meet him.”

These are the words Kaya wrote to accompany her print in the exhibition, which Prince Charles is reading in the photo:

My name is Dhurumul Munuŋgurr. I am a Yolŋu woman. I was born in Gove hospital and grew up in Yirrkala. My moiety is Dhuwa. My skin name is Galiyan. My bäpurru is Djapu. My waŋarr is mäṉa. My yirralka is Wandawuy. I speak Dhuwaya, English and Dhuwal.

This photo was taken at my school. This portrait is about my mother’s clan. I chose these designs because I really love them. I made this portrait because I wanted to show the world my mother’s culture.

My strengths are being ralpa, training for football, helping, leading, and caring. I am good at football, maths, English, and different types of sports. I am also good at hunting, swimming, listening, and chilling with my family.

My dreams when I graduate are that I really want to find a job with a good education. Also I want to get an ATAR university certificate. The people that will support me are my mum and my dad, Stars and my teachers.

Shining Start for Queensland Stars

It’s been a brilliant start to the year for Stars Foundation’s three new programs in Townsville, Queensland!

More than 250 girls are being mentored and supported to be the best they can be across the three schools involved – Heatley SC, Thuringowa SC and Pimlico SC.

Since the beginning of 2018, our Queensland Stars have been taking part in some exciting and challenging activities around the four elements of the Stars Plan: Healthy Lifestyles, Wellbeing, Community, Culture & Leadership and Education, Training & Employment.

From regular fitness training, healthy cook-ups, and learning new skills, to taking part in community, culture and leadership activities, the girls have seized the fantastic opportunities provided to them by our amazing Queensland Stars Mentors.

Feedback from school principals and staff at the three schools has been wonderful, including this from an experienced teacher at Heatley Secondary College:

“I have been fortunate enough to spend time in and around the Stars room. There is a definite ‘energy’ that encompasses not just the room but flows out to surrounding areas and playgrounds.

It is amazing how the Stars Mentors are developing leadership and compassion in our senior students. It is obvious that RESPECT is a value that the program is reinforcing … I believe our girls are generally showing more respect for themselves and for others since the Stars program has been in place.

What a blessing to our community!”




Star Portraits!

Stars girls in Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala have been pursuing the complex art of portrait photography this term and were proud to have their beautiful work exhibited by Anglicare at its International Women’s Day (IWD) event in Yirrkala on 8 March.

The girls worked hard all term to learn how to capture not just a ‘likeness’, but also something of the personality or mood of their subject. They learned how to frame their shots effectively and use studio lighting to create different atmospheres.

Using each other as models, they worked on honing their skills, and then each girl wrote to a female role model within the local community, inviting them to have their portrait taken. The portraits then became part of the IWD exhibition.

Year 7 Stars student from Nhulunbuy, Shea McSherry, was thrilled to win the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for her evocative portrait of Yirrkala School Co-Principal, Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr-Stubbs. Maybe a future career for Shea!

Stars is Closing the Gap – 96% Year 12 Completion Rate in 2017

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.

Stars Newsletter_TERM ONE 2018

Camp Quality

Dripstone – Art showcase to raise money for Camp Quality

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.

Yirrkala Stars

Yirrkala Stars – PAWS Nhulunbuy : Community Engagement

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.

Yirrkala Stars

No means no

Katherine Stars

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.

Workshop Workshop Violence is not the answer Consent

Stars Foundation Girls

Football Carnival

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!

Stars Foundation Girls Stars Foundation Girls Stars Foundation Girls Stars Foundation Girls

Stars Foundation
To support and enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to make active choices towards realizing their full potential in all aspects of their development and wellbeing.