100+ Stars Unite on Goldfields Camp in WA

More than 100 students in Years 7-10 and 26 staff from 13 Stars programs in Perth, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Mandurah and Warnbro travelled to Kalgoorlie in Term 2 for a week full of culture, sport and socialising at the Goldfields Camp.

It’s the second camp in Western Australia of its kind and the 2024 number of attendees doubled compared with the year prior which highlights the popularity of the camp is growing amongst students.

The Goldfields Camp was kindly hosted by the Stars team in Kalgoorlie, and it was a terrific success, as students left the camp enriched, inspired, and more connected to their heritage and the broader community. Participating schools included:

  1. Balga Senior High School, Perth
  2. Belmont City College, Perth
  3. Butler College, Perth
  4. Cecil Andrews College, Perth
  5. Coodanup College, Mandurah
  6. Eastern Goldfields College, Kalgoorlie
  7. Esperance Senior High School, Esperance
  8. Gilmore College, Perth
  9. Girrawheen Senior High School, Perth
  10. Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, Kalgoorlie
  11. Lynwood Senior High School, Perth
  12. Swan View Senior High School, Perth
  13. Warnbro Community High School, Warnbro.

The camp experience is recognised as critical to the Stars program as it enables First Nations young women to meet peers from other local areas and helps build community and pride for culture. It also serves as a wonderful incentive and reward for students who have made a consistent effort to attend school and been an enthusiastic participant in the school community.

Feedback from a Stars Mentor

Stars Program Coordinator for Swan View Senior High School, Kellie Tucker, said the highlight of the camp was certainly Bush Day with local Tjupan Elders.

“The Goldfields camp was absolutely amazing and the best camp I have ever been on. We spent the day on Country with Elders who showed us how to find and hunt honey ants. Most of the girls tried tasting them and agreed they did taste like honey!” said Kellie Ticker.

“To go out and on Country was a big highlight as many of the Stars girls don’t experience anything like that as most of the attendees are born and raised in the city, so it’s not surprising that the girls have all put their hands up to go next year.

“The students got to be part of something bigger that their own school community, and it was terrific to see the Kalgoorlie young women proudly showcasing their part of the world. The Stars Kalgoorlie team made us feel like family up there. Even though all our girls are Indigenous, we have girls from all different backgrounds, and it was great to see the girls get together. It’s great for the girls to experience that as a collective we’re more powerful too.”

Feedback from Stars students

“The whole camp was great. It was a nice time to get to know girls from the other Stars programs,” said Ella.

“I liked that Tenique came in and gave a pep talk about careers and that there is always a light at the end of a dark tunnel,” said Alissa.

“The bush day was good and the honey ants were delicious as well,” said Raichelle.

The Goldfields Camp program

Favourite activities ranged from the netball carnival to an Indigenous guest speaker on ‘Women in Mining’, watching movies, and a memorable buffet dinner. Key components of the camp are outlined below:

1. Cultural Immersion: Our Stars enjoyed spending time the historical WA regional centre of Kalgoorlie, where they learned about its significance and rich cultural heritage. This immersive experience included a Welcome to Country and dinner together in a local restaurant.

2. Sports Carnival: The netball competition was a great icebreaker as many of the girls are competitive when it comes to sport. It helped the girls work together as a team, have fun and build camaraderie with students from other schools. Everyone who competed was a winner!

3. Cultural Activities: The highlight was engaging in an Indigenous cultural activity with the Tjupan Elders of the Goldfields region. This allowed students to connect with their roots and gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous traditions, food, and storytelling from the local area.

4. Health and Wellbeing: Recognising the importance of health and wellness, we engaged with local health provider, Bega Garnbirringu Health Service, who delivered a workshop and discussions on topics relevant to young Indigenous women. This empowered students with knowledge and tools for their physical and mental wellbeing.

5. Career Exploration: It was terrific to meet First Nations role model and lecturer in Resources and Infrastructure for TAFE guest speaker, Tenique Adams, who generously shared her story about working in mining and the many opportunities in mining in Goldfields and WA.