Hard Work and Determination

Hard work and determination are being displayed in Tennant Creek as several of our senior Stars fulfil the requirements for their Certificate II in Agriculture.

Last week our Transitions Manager and Regional Manager visited the young women at the Juno Centre, a large property around 10kms from Tennant Creek, where they are undertaking their training.

Three of our senior Stars took them on a quick tour of the centre, showing them the ‘food ladder’ garden and some of the horses they are working with as part of their studies.

At the time of the visit, some of our Stars were assisting their trainers in testing cattle, so our Managers were lucky enough to see them in action!

Super proud of the fantastic work ethic being demonstrated these young women as they work hard towards achieving their qualification.


Learning to Weave in Yirrkala

Yirrkala Stars in East Arnhem Land have been learning the art of weaving with pandanus this week.

Pandanus has traditionally been used by Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, and parts of Western Australia, to weave baskets.

It’s not a quick process. In fact, the steps that need to be followed before the pandanus is ready to weave are difficult and time consuming.

Our young women have been learning the first steps in the process this week.

First, the pandanus is collected from the bush. The leaves are very spiky and great care needs to be taken as they can cut your hands and bury tiny needles in the skin.

Then the leaves are separated, the needles stripped off, and the inner leaf peeled to leave thin strips. These are left in the sun to dry.

Once the strips have dried, our Stars will be taught the next step in the process.


Pursuing Her Dream!

Townsville Stars Graduate, Myleisha, is pursuing her dream to join the Defence Force!

So far, she has passed the aptitude test, interview, and medical examination – and has been accepted into the Army as a Combat Engineer.

But she still needs to overcome one last hurdle – the fitness test.

To support Myleisha to maintain and build on her fitness while  gyms are closed due to coronavirus, our Queensland Transitions Manager, Emma, has been helping her to structure some different workouts and body-weight exercises.

Myleisha and Emma completed their first workout together this week and they plan to exercise together once a week.

Everyone at Stars is super proud of Myleisha’s commitment and dedication to pursuing her dreams!

Commemorating ANZAC Day in Jabiru

Eight of our Jabiru Stars showed fantastic community spirit on Anzac Day by volunteering their time to give generously to their local community.

These dedicated young women were up early, cooking up a storm and serving locals at Jabiru’s first ever ‘drive-through’ Anzac Day breakfast.

Locals were asked to stay in their cars, and make a gold-coin donation, while our super Stars took orders, put meals together, and individually delivered them to each car – all while maintaining social distancing and strict hygiene requirements.

Over 150 bacon and egg sandwiches were served, along with hundreds of cups of much-needed coffee!

Our Stars managed to raise almost $800, which will be donated to Legacy to help provide support to Australian families suffering after the injury of death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force service.

Special thanks to Roger, Thilina and Ebony for your awesome work, Mercure Croc Hotel for the use of their facilities, and West Arnhem Council for providing the food.

Well done to our Jabiru Super Stars – Ashanti, K’Sharnae, Daisy, Letisha, Leah, Lizzy, Keira and Layla – for showing such great commitment!


Stars Ready to Deliver Remotely

Strong and trusting relationships are at the heart of the Stars program.

The strength of these relationships is what now places us in the best possible position to provide meaningful support to First Nations girls and young women in our programs during these uncertain times.


Tennant Creek Artists Inspire

Some weeks ago, our Tennant Creek Stars had the opportunity to visit some local women artists at RISE-Ngurratjuta.

The women have been meeting each week to work together on making quilts and creating beautiful paintings.

RISE-Ngurratjuta is a partnership between RISE Ventures and local company, Ngurratjuta/Pmara Ntjarra Aboriginal Corporation, and provides participants with opportunities for training, skills development and employment.

One of the artists, Paula, was proud to show the girls her latest work, depicting Karlu Karlu (the Devil’s Marbles), which will be entered into the 2020 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

Although most of the women were aunties, grandmas, and extended family of our young women, our Stars were still amazed to see them at work and walked away full of pride at their artistic talents.

The girls were gifted with some beautiful hand-made hair accessories before they said their farewells.


Stars are Kickin’ it!

As part of the Stars program in Townsville, more than 30 of our young women have committed to attending weekly Taekwondo training classes with Master Renee from South Pacific Taekwondo.

Not only will the girls be learning the discipline and skills of Taekwondo, they will also eventually be graded on their proficiency and work towards belt advancement.

Over the past two years, our Stars have been working with Master Renee and her team to learn the general principles of self defence.

During this time, however, Master Renee became so impressed with our young women that she applied for a grant to create a special ‘Stars Taekwondo Class’.

At the end of last year, Master Renee was successful in her application and will now run classes for 35 of our young women for the remainder of this year.

Apart from the technical skills of Taekwondo, this training will support our Stars to further develop their resilience, commitment and confidence.

Our Townsville Stars Mentors have been thrilled to see these young women working to execute the moves, developing their mental and physical strength, and showing such pride in their achievements.

Making Connections

Year 10 Casuarina Senior College Stars were taken on an overnight induction camp last week, with the aim of making connections with each other and their Stars Mentors.

After school they enjoyed some fun in the pool, followed by a lovely dinner picnic at the Nightcliff foreshore.

The following day the girls spent some time at Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours, an Aboriginal-owned and operated family business, where they enjoyed taking part in some traditional weaving, berry collecting and a water welcoming.

Our induction camps are an important way for our new students to learn more about Stars and the values that are a critical part of everything we do – Respect, Honesty, Commitment and Pride.


Star Performers!

A group of talented Thuringowa Stars recently danced at the official launch of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Project at the newly built North Queensland Stadium in Townsville, home of the North Queensland Cowboys NRL Team.  

Our amazing Stars, along with boys from Clontarf Academy, performed in front of more than 250 people, including other students, teachers, Department of Education staff and government officials, and many community members.

It was wonderful to see how much pride and confidence our young women displayed as they performed their cultural dances. 

Kick Start for Year 12

Year 12 Stars from our three Townsville programs recently spent two days taking part in a range of activities to help kick start their last year of schooling.

A focus on study and employment pathways began with a mini ‘Careers Expo’, giving students an opportunity to explore options, with presentations from James Cook University, Ambulance Queensland, Bank of Queensland, and several large retailers.

This was followed by a tour of James Cook University’s Indigenous Research Centre, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are supported if they choose to attend the university.

A visit to SEED Foundation gave our Stars an opportunity to hear from various Indigenous men and women who are working in the health sector and help them get a sense of employment options.

A bunch of team-building activities, including raft building and beach Olympics, helped our young women connect with one another and realise that they are not alone in their Year 12 journey.

It was wonderful to see our Stars – the third group of Year 12s since our programs began in
Townsville – becoming mature, thoughtful young adults who consistently display the Stars values of Respect, Honesty, Commitment and Pride.

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.