Tykeira, Jess and Camilla’s Stars Story

Stars Program Coordinator, Camilla Sawford, at Butler College in Perth beams with pride as she shares Year 12 Graduate, Tykeira Slater’s story. Camilla proudly highlights that Tykeira has a 98 per cent school attendance rate and has been School Champion Girl in running for the last six years.

Stars Mentor, Jess Rule, said she was lost for words to describe Tykeira and summed up that she is the type of person everyone needs in their life.

“Tykeira is confident and independent and is certainly a role model. She is wise beyond her years and I’m lucky I got to work with Tykeira and her supportive Mum. Tykeira has a very bright future ahead and she is going to succeed in any job that she sets her mind to,” said Jess Rule.

The Stars Foundation program began at Butler College in 2021 and Tykeira joined when she was in Year 10. Since this time, Tykeira has been supported by Camilla and Jess who work closely together to mentor and support First Nations girls and young women at Butler College.

Tykiera’s reflections on Stars

“The end of year ceremony was really good, and I loved it as my Mum, Aunties, stepdad, Nan, and sister all came to my graduation. The environment was just so exciting and when I did my speech at assembly the reality of leaving kicked in, and by the end of the ceremony I was excited,” said Tykeira.

“I wasn’t fully comfortable with Stars initially and it took me some time to get into it, and by Year 11 and 12 I loved going to the wellbeing sessions and one-on-one lunches. The extra support has made a big difference, especially knowing there was a room of people I could go to if I needed help with anything. If I had any problems with teachers and schoolwork, I knew the Stars Mentors were there for me.

“Stars is a place where we can chill out, and although we can go to student services, the support at Stars is different as it’s a space for new ideas and where we can be ourselves.

Tykiera’s reflections on her Mentors

“The best part for me was building my friendship with Jess and we are close now and will have a lifelong friendship. Stars has made building connections with others much easier.

“I love Jess as she’s a very warm, welcoming, and energetic person.  She would chase me up on things and say, have you done this and have you done that. She just helped me get my passport and she’s helped me get on track and do what I need to do. If I have issues with my teacher, Jess can email them and she’s someone I can talk to and she’s now one of my favourite people.

Tykiera’s plans beyond school

“Stars has helped set me up for the future by helping me find casual work and figure out what I want to do in the future. I have made some enquiries about the Army and after a short holiday break, I’d like to pursue my interest in the beauty industry and we’re exploring TAFE courses. I’d love to be a beauty therapist as I love doing eyebrows, lashes and skincare and I’d love to run my own business and be my own boss, so TAFE is probably the best way to get to that. I also enjoy running so I may explore coaching too. Stars helps provide the links and connections that will enable me to get to where I want to be.

“To anyone thinking of joining Stars, I’d say take the chance. It may seem scary at the start but once you get comfortable, it makes life so much easier having Stars’ support. Meeting new people can sometimes be scary, but the welcoming Stars community makes it easy.”