Stars Culture Shines Bright

Our Sanderson Middle School Stars shone bright at the recent NAIDOC school celebrations, which gave all students and staff an opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Islander culture.

Many of our Stars showed their obvious pride in their culture by assisting with the activities, including painting, performing Yolgnu and Torres Strait Islander dances, didgeridoo lessons and bracelet making. And everyone was treated to a feed of delicious buffalo sausages and kangaroo stew!

To finish off the celebrations, one of our super Stars, Mahlea, did a fantastic job as co-MC for School Assembly.

Later, in the Stars Room, a morning tea was provided to staff, Stars students and their parents. Displayed around the room were canvas paintings created by our Year 9 Stars as part of their Indigenous Language class assessments.

It was a really proud day for our amazing girls and young women!


Spring onto Palm Island!

As a reward for 90 per cent school attendance, a group of our Thuringowa Stars were taken on a special trip to Palm Island recently, to join in the celebration of the island’s annual Spring Festival.

The Spring Festival is the largest annual community event on Palm Island and is an opportunity for its people to celebrate culture and showcase the strength and diversity of the island’s families and history.

The contemporary Aboriginal name for Palm Islanders is ‘Bwgcolman people’ (pronounced Bwook-a-mun), which means ‘many tribes – one people’. This is because during the so-called ‘Protection Era’ in Australia, people from over 40 tribes were displaced from their homelands and sent to Palm Island Aboriginal Reserve.

This was the first visit to Palm Island for many of our Stars, and they were fascinated to learn more about the island’s people, history and culture.

Champion Stars Rewarded

Our Champion Tennant Creek Stars were rewarded with a camping and canoeing trip to Lake Woods with students from Elliott School recently.

Water levels were low, but spirits were high, as the girls were enjoyed being coached on canoeing techniques by Pam Dillon, Barkly Region Sports Coordinator.

After all the physical effort, our young women had fun preparing some bush tucker and setting up camp around the fire, showing fantastic teamwork.

The camp was a well-deserved reward for all the girls who have been champion Stars so far this year, consistently living out the Stars values of Respect, Honesty, Commitment and Pride.

Well done, Super Stars!

Spike Stars!

Our Nhulunbuy Stars joined the ‘Dawurr at Dusk’ community event recently, playing in a volleyball competition held at the local boarding house for students, service providers and community members.

Teachers and other NHS students joined our Stars team – ‘Spike Stars’ – for an enjoyable series of games and quite a few laughs on the court.

Our Stars didn’t make it to the grand finals, but they had lots of fun trying! And they enjoyed playing on a giant waterslide followed by a disco, a delicious dinner on the lawns, and some late-night footy!

The ‘Dawurr at Dusk’ evening was a fantastic local initiative designed to build rapport and provide a great night of fun and entertainment for young people in Nhulunbuy.

Health and Wellbeing in Jabiru

Jabiru Stars learnt more about Healthy Lifestyles and Wellbeing during Women’s Health Week.

Sessions on nutrition and the dangers of too much sugar in the diet were followed by some netball games, which not only got the girls active, but also helped them prepare for the upcoming Stars Netball Carnival.

Other sessions during the week focused on mindfulness, through guided meditation and yoga, and on looking after your own wellbeing, with the girls preparing their own personalised self-care plans.

Women’s Health Week finished off with a session facilitated by Martina and Alicia from Jabiru Health Clinic, who spoke to the Year 5 and 6 girls about menstruation and how the female body works.

Retail Skills Session

As part of our focus on employment and study pathways after Year 12, our Haileybury Rendall Stars attended a Youth Retails Skills session hosted by Casuarina Square Centre Management in Darwin.

Our young women were delighted to meet with representatives from one of the cosmetic companies in the Centre, where they learnt what study and experience staff needed to be employed by the company.

After explaining the importance of hygiene and store presentation, the staff did a role-play with Tahlia to show what a successful interaction with a customer would look like.

They demonstrated what type of language they would use when talking to customer, the sorts of questions they would ask, and how they would ensure that the customer was happy with the products selected.

Our young women were then given an opportunity to practise what they’d learnt by performing role-plays, with one of them playing the role of the customer and the other playing the make-up artist.

Our Stars were eager to make the most of this opportunity, asking lots of questions about the demands of working full time, the seating and lighting arrangements used in the store, and also what products would be needed to create their own make-up kits.

Marie said her “favourite part was learning how to do make-up and to communicate with other people”, while Sami said hers was “learning how to put makeup on our friends and meeting the girls who work at the store”.

The session helped our Stars learn more about something that interests them – cosmetics – while also gaining a practical insight into working in customer service and retail.

Drink Water, Stay Healthy

Our Yirrkala Stars learnt about the importance of keeping their bodies hydrated with water during Women’s Health Week.

During a Healthy Lifestyles activity, they discovered that sugar not only dehydrates the body, but can also damage your teeth and impact your general health over time.

Our Stars were shown how to read the packaging information on a range of different types of drinks – soft drinks, orange and apple juice, milk, energy drinks, coconut milk and water – to find out how much sugar they contain.

By using this information to count out how many teaspoons are in each drink into empty cups, the girls were able to see just how much sugar they contain – and they were shocked to learn that a 1.25 litre bottle of one popular soft drink contains 36 teaspoons of sugar!

Our Stars got the Healthy Lifestyles message loud and clear – drink water!

Stars Hit the Airwaves

Senior Stars at Tennant Creek were rewarded for their hard work, dedication and commitment with a trip to Alice Springs recently.

After some fun activities, including bowling, shopping and a visit to the cinema, our young women hit the airwaves at CAAMA Radio, where they met with the morning show host, dedicated a song to their fellow students, and recorded a ‘shout out’.

The station manager took them on a tour of the building and even offered the girls an exciting opportunity to train for radio broadcasting when CAAMA visits Tennant Creek later this year, which some of them are seriously considering.

Stay tuned!

Challenge and Inspire

Last week Year 9 Stars from our Heatley program were taken on a camp to Paluma to recognise their dedication to achieving their individual goals at school.

The young women participated in a range of activities designed to challenge and inspire them, including a high-ropes course, the Leap of Faith, stand-up paddle boarding, and a 5km return hike to a waterfall.

The camp aimed to build resilience, develop skills and confidence, and strengthen trust among the girls and we were proud of the enormous support and respect they showed one another as they undertook the different challenges.

Well done, you Super Stars!


Sunrise Yoga in Darwin

Earlier this week, Stars from all our Darwin programs were up bright and early to take part in a sunrise yoga session at Dripstone Beach, as part of our focus on Wellbeing.

Haileybury Rendall School’s Head of Boarding and yoga instructor, Miss Viv, gave our Stars an insight into some basic yoga poses, stretches and breathing techniques.

This was the first time most of our young women had ever tried yoga and they were intrigued to learn about how yoga focuses on the union of mind, body and soul and helps to promote inner understanding and foster a sense of calm.

It was a beautiful morning down at the beach, and our Stars finished the yoga session off with a delicious BBQ breakfast and fruit salad, followed by a leisurely walk along the shore as the sun rose in the sky.



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.