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Jamie, Louise and Jade’s Stars Story

Jamie has a wonderful smile and powerful story that leaves an impression of unforgettable strength and wisdom for anyone lucky enough to meet her.  Jamie is from Western Australia and is proudly the first member of her family to complete Year 12.

Jamie has been with the Stars program at Girrawheen Senior High School for the last three years and has been self-motivated to get up at 5am and commute for one hour each way on a bus to school, before typically returning home at 5pm the same day.

“I just made the decision that I’m going to put in the travel time and I’m obviously going do my work when I get home. Stars has got me through high school and has supported me with my work and other things outside of school,” said Jamie.

“It feels amazing to graduate because I once thought I couldn’t do it, but I did! It feels good to have Jade and Lou give me help and support. It’s nice to have someone to talk to and it helps to have someone you can trust.

“I want all the girls in Stars at Girrawheen to go for it. Stars support and help you with everything and even if you’re way behind on work, they will help you push through it. I’ve got more options now that I’m finishing school, and next year I want to work at the airport and perhaps I can put bags on planes and then look into all the opportunities working with an airline can offer.”

The Stars Foundation rewards each Year 12 student with a dream interstate trip of their choice which is planned amongst students and Mentors alike.

The highlight of Jamie’s trip to Melbourne was meeting her older brother for a tour of the MCG. Although Jamie’s brother recently travelled to WA especially to join her family members for her graduation, it was special to see him away from home. Jamie loved Melbourne and her first impressions were that it’s busy and people are rushing a lot compared to home.

Each Stars student has dedicated Stars Mentors in the Stars room of their school to help support them through school.

Louise’s perspective as a Mentor

Stars Program Coordinator at Girrawheen Senior High School, Louise Ockerby, said Jamie visited Stars in Year 10 as she was seeking greater support and connection with staff and students, and she enrolled a week later.

“It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Jamie in the past and she has had to overcome some obstacles in life that some young people wouldn’t be able to cope with. During the past three years I have witnessed Jamie’s success in every aspect. I couldn’t be prouder of her and the strength, resilience, and commitment she has shown to come this far in her personal, schooling and home life,” said Louise Ockerby.

Jade highlights Jamie is an inspiration

Stars Mentor, Jade Sandilands, also worked closely with Jamie and is fast to point out Jamie’s pure determination.

“Jamie’s character is extraordinary. People light up when they see her and she’s tough, she’s resilient and her determination shines through. When Jamie sets a goal, she will work as hard as she can to reach that goal and Jamie has been doing this all her life. She’s had a lot of struggles in the past and it’s all credit to her in how far she has come in overcoming these challenges,” said Jade Sandiland.

“Jamie has set a standard for her younger siblings and she’s an amazing leader in the Girrawheen program. The Year 7s look up to Jamie like she’s a big sister and she’s helped create a great sense of belonging and community where the other girls feel so supported and safe. Jamie has great relationships with our girls, and she will stand up for them no matter what. She’s always got our back and her character is one in a million. She’s an inspiration.”