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NSW Students’ Welcome Arrival Of Stars

In Semester 2 of 2023, Stars opened its first programs in schools in New South Wales, including James Fallon High School in Albury, Inverell High School, South Grafton High School, and Tumut High School. This initiative involved working closely with school leaders and First Nations community members prior to recruiting Stars Mentors best suited to the role.

Stars Founder and CEO, Andrea Goddard, said the wonderful response to the program by students and family and community members alike has been heartwarming.

“The NSW Stars story is a great example of collaboration between community and education leaders which is gratefully underpinned by our longstanding partners in State and Federal Government, business, and philanthropy,” said Andrea Goddard.

“We are especially thankful to the Department of Regional NSW and Snowy Hydro Limited for their support of our recent NSW expansion. We look forward to helping empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women further afield across the state and the country, to make active choices towards realising their full potential in all aspects of their development and wellbeing.”

The demand for Stars Foundation is largely driven by community and school leaders. The growth of the organisation relies on recommendations and word of mouth support from First Nations people, which is very strong and ensures the organisation grows from strength to strength.

Students’ response to Stars

The following insights from eight Stars students across NSW best brings to life the power of the Stars program and its positive impact on students’ lives.

“I joined Stars in Term 4 2023 as I needed extra support with school. I now come to school all the time and go to class with the Stars support. Bernice (Stars Program Coordinator) is a great support, and Stars has already helped me out of my comfort zone. The highlight was when Stars took us to Green Valley Farm for the Day.”
Yr 9 student, Inverell High School, NSW

“Stars has made me more motivated as the staff make school more fun and interesting. They have helped me be more outgoing and committed and the highlight so far has been our travels.”
Yr 9, Inverell High School, NSW

“I like the Stars Mentors and how Aboriginal girls have their own safe space. The Mentors help me get to class when I’m nervous and they pick me up for school in the mornings. They also help me with my homework and any assessment I must do. A highlight was our camp last year in Narrandera, and I’m looking forward to our NSW carnival. The best thing about Stars is we get to do lots of outdoor activities and get to learn more about culture. Stars Mentor, Nat, helps me in Stars and in school as she makes me feel supported and I feel safe around her. Stars have supported me already in many ways. My family and community agree Stars is deadly because we get our own safe space.”
Yr 9 student, James Fallon High School, Albury, NSW

“I enrolled with Stars because of the opportunities offered and the support provided to each student. Stars give me a safe place to go during school and it makes me happy and is something to look forward to. The highlight has been going on our Year 10 camp last year and building relationships. The best thing about Stars is the support and guidance and encouragement from Stars staff. They offer different options which can help me with big or small issues, and they are very supportive and are always willing to help in any way they can. They have also shown me different career pathways. The Mentors have taught me more about myself and given me confidence to have a go at things that I wouldn’t normally. My family feels less worried knowing I have the support of Stars and that there is a welcoming and safe place for me to go to in and out of school activities.”
Yr 11 student, James Fallon High School, Albury, NSW

“I joined Stars at the start of 2024 because of the opportunity to build a stronger connection with Aboriginal girls and to learn more about our culture. I also attend school more regularly and I am a leader for the junior girls. The highlight is getting together as a group and being involved in activities. The best thing is having a place to go when needed and being welcomed no matter what. Stars is keeping me motivated to do the things I want to do.”
Yr 12 student. South Grafton High School, NSW

“Stars has made me enjoy school and improve my attendance. The highlight has been being included and meeting new people and the best thing about Stars is the support and care from Lisa and Shez. My study and work plans after school are to explore becoming an interior designer and university courses, and Stars can help me on this journey. The Stars Mentors have taught me more about myself and have given me confidence to have a go at things that I wouldn’t normally. My family and community agree that Stars is very helpful and supportive in every way.”
Yr 11 student, South Grafton High School, NSW

“I joined Stars early this year because I wanted to learn more about my culture. Stars have changed my school attendance because I feel like I have people to speak to now. The highlight has been finding more ways to socialise with people. The best thing about Stars is that it’s a safe space, somewhere to call home and we can enjoy good food. Trish and Lakota (Stars Mentors) don’t give up and constantly push me to be better. I want to work in childcare, aged care or hospitality and Stars can help. Stars have helped me be able to handle things better and not judge others. My community love it, and they think it’s a good way for all Indigenous girls to come together.”
Yr 11 student, Tumut High School, NSW

“I joined Stars in Term 4 of 2023 to learn more about my culture. I’m in less trouble and I get to school on the bus, and I’ve got more opportunities now. The best thing about Stars is the food and people who care about us and realising the girls are there for you. Stars means I have a safe place to go to when everything is overwhelming.”
Yr 10 student, Tumut High School, NSW

Stars from James Fallon High School at Harris Farm Market in Albury

 

Some very lucky Stars from South Grafton High School had the pleasure of meeting Jaimie Chapman from Gold Coast Titans NRLW squad.

 

Stars from Inverell High School enjoying the Tamworth Regional Gallery

 

Students from Inverell High School thoroughly enjoyed the Years 9-11 Stars camp.