Resilience and Relationships

Resilience and strong relationships are key to keeping our Stars fully engaged in their learning and development. Stars Mentors put significant effort into building trust and developing bonds among our young women.

Last week some of our Katherine Stars were taken on an engagement camp to Litchfield National Park, where they took part in a range of challenges designed to build their resilience and strengthen their relationships.

Our young women stepped up to the challenges, successfully completing a high-ropes course and conquering the zip lining, rock climbing and mountain biking activities.

After a relaxing swim in the cascading pools of Buley Rockhole, the group set up camp and sat around the campfire playing night games, before going off to bed for a well-earned rest!

 

Exploring the Army

Stars from across our Darwin programs visited Robertson Barracks Army Reserve for an exciting engagement activity recently, as part of our focus on Education, Training and Employment.

For the first session, our young women were taken to a lawn area to inspect the armoury, where they met with 10 soldiers who demonstrated the steps to launching a missile. Each missile weighs around 40 to 45 kilograms and it took a team of eight men to direct, assemble and fire one.

After spending some time trying on the soldiers’ 15-kilogram vests, along with their helmets and firearms, our Stars began to understand why our soldiers need to be physically fit!

Inside the ‘Dome’ battle-simulation centre they watched a demonstration of the technology in action, which can bring up a location anywhere in the world. Super Stars, Cerelina and Brenda, volunteered to ‘call a mission in’ and had the amazing opportunity to re-enact a missile bombing.

The final part of the visit was spending time with the Military Police. This was very popular because members of the Dog Squad were there to introduce the girls to an adorable puppy-in-training.

The Forensics Team gave an insight into the types of evidence they can gather at a crime scene, the equipment they take with them, and how they decide if something may be a piece of evidence. Our Stars had an opportunity to work through a scenario and identify items of evidence.

Such an inspiring workplace visit for our Stars, who learnt so much about the different career pathways available in the Army and how they might be able to get involved after finishing Year 12.

Lawyers in the Making?

Our Mentors provide many opportunities for our Stars to explore post-Year 12 career or further study pathways.

Recently, our Casuarina Mentors organised for some of our Casuarina Stars to take part in a Bilata Pre-Law Program Day held by the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA).

They were given information about the Bilata Pre-Law program offered by NAAJA and visited two law firms in Darwin that support the program – Maurice Blackburn and Halfpennys.

As part of the day, the students also had the opportunity to sit in on some court sessions in both the Supreme and Magistrates Courts.

Importantly, our Stars were able to gain a deeper insight into what it takes to become a lawyer, what the job involves, and the support offered to Indigenous students by NAAJA.

Sparkling Smiles in Yirrkala!

As part of our focus on Healthy Lifestyles, our Yirrkala Stars have been learning all about dental hygiene.

The Miwatj Clinic Oral Health Coordinator and dental assistants visited the Stars Room to explain the importance of dental hygiene and how not looking after your teeth can impact general health.

Our Stars heard about the negative effects of poor dental hygiene, including the development of plaque, tooth decay, bleeding, gum disease and, ultimately, the spread of disease to other parts of the body.

They also learnt what foods and drinks are good for your teeth, and which are bad – such as soft drink and sugary foods.

The students had lots of fun using a special gel that showed up the bacteria on their teeth, then learnt how to remove the germs by proper brushing and flossing.

Preparing for Work

The Stars ‘Day in the Life’ initiative in Tennant Creek began earlier this year, with senior Star, Shakira, spending a day shadowing a police officer.

The day further sparked Shakira’s interest in joining the police force when she finishes Year 12. Since then she’s been steadily working to develop a range of skills, which will support her application to become a cadet.

She is now undertaking a Certificate III in Business and has begun a placement at the local hospital recently.

The next step is for Shakira to obtain her driver’s licence. She has been having driving lessons with her Stars Mentor, Jemma, and is almost ready to tackle her test already.

You are a super Star, Shakira!

Stars Stress Less

The leadership skills of our Tennant Creek Stars were showcased yesterday, when they volunteered to assist with the NT Department of Health’s ‘Stress Less’ event, held at Tennant Creek High School.

‘Stress Less’ is all about challenging perceptions about mental illness and helping people understand what it means and how to get help if they need it.

Our Stars helped to ensure that all students and visitors had an opportunity to participate in the dedicated program of events, which focused on three key areas: Mindfulness, Looking After Yourself and Looking After Each Other.

Some of our Stars also assisted the special guest speakers – AFL NT legend and former player, Daniel Motlop, and current AFL Thunder player, Ebony Miller – in coordinating the audiences.

The guest speakers spoke to students, staff and visitors about how they have looked after their own mental health – and navigated the inevitable pitfalls – on their journey to success.

‘Stress Less’ was an important event for the Tennant Creek community and we are super proud of the way in which our Stars shone in their leadership roles on the day.

Increasing Engagement

Our Stars Mentors work hard to ensure that the students in our programs are attending school regularly and fully engaging in their learning.

One of the ways they do this is to take our girls and young women on special camps and excursions, where they focus on building trust and strengthening relationships to increase engagement.

Ten of our Katherine Stars were invited by their Mentors to attend a Middle Years Engagement excursion to Mataranka recently.

As part of the day, our Stars visited the Little Roper Stock Camp, where they were given an opportunity to feed animals, including horses, pigs, buffalo and cattle, and handle some reptiles, including a huge python!

After all the excitement, the girls sat together around the campfire for a yarn, while they waited for the billy to boil and the johnny cakes to cook.

On the way home, the group stopped at Bitter Springs, where the girls enjoyed swimming and playing in the beautiful clear water.

Cattle Wrangling in the NT

Two of our Tennant Creek Stars have just returned from the show circuit, where they were able to showcase the skills they’ve acquired as part of their Certificate II in Agriculture.

The young women participated in the cattle competitions in Alice Springs, Katherine, Darwin and Tennant Creek and were very proud to bring home some First and Second place prizes for leading cattle.

The VET course in Agriculture has been an amazing journey for these two young women and they say that, apart from the many practical skills they’ve learnt, they’ve also been able to make a lot of new friends across the Territory.

Super proud of you both, Kalyca and Deja!

Stars in Japan!

Senior Nhulunbuy Stars, Tyla and Siena, had a life-changing experience over the school holidays when they joined a group of students and teachers on the ‘Around the Bend’ tour to Japan

The girls visited Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka. We are super proud of them for being so open to new experiences and having the courage to leave the comforts of home and family to travel all the way to Japan.

Both young women found the experience rich and rewarding. Here’s what they had to say:

Tyla

“The food was pretty good, it was all cheap and top-notch quality – curry udon was my favourite food! The Japanese people were kind and respectful; you could ask them to take a picture for you and they went out of their way to be polite and helpful and take that picture.

“The aquarium was my favourite place, I felt emotionally invested in that place. I really liked the berle sharks, seeing them feeding and how they moved. The baby seals made my heart melt! I felt connected to the animals.

“Overall Japan was just deadly, all I could think was ‘this is great!’ I just didn’t want to leave. “

Siena

“My favourite food is noodles and gyoza, and I went to the home of noodles and gyoza! Bucket list item ticked off!

To me, Japan was the streets – with your friends, laughing and having a good time, walking down a street at twilight with people whizzing past on bikes and cars going every which way. There were lights everywhere, billboards lighting up all over and just people enjoying life. People-watching was one of the things I liked.

“It felt dream-like and surreal. Being in another country without my family on a school-trip – I thought it was going to be hard but I was with a good group of peers who I got to know better on the trip and the experiences just kept rolling one after the other. There were so many moments that I just had to stop and appreciate that I was in JAPAN!

I’d like other young Stars girls to know that home is always going to be here. So, take chances to go and experience another culture. I love sharing my culture, and do it often, so it’s nice to experience another as opposed to sharing my own.”

 

Exploring Future Pathways

As part of our strong emphasis on future pathways, our senior Katherine Stars been supported by Stars to take part in some fantastic programs to develop their understanding of career and study opportunities.

A group of young women participated in the Air Force Indigenous Youth Program, which aims to provide First Nations young people with exposure to a range of skills, trades and lifestyle experiences to showcase the range of careers available within the Royal Australian Air Force.

They were taught to march in unison, as well as having an opportunity to explore some of the RAAF jets and speak with the personnel.

Several of the students said they found the marching training challenging but rewarding.

“They taught us to be proud and not march with our heads down,” says Brittany.

Tasheena said the visit opened her eyes “to all the different jobs in the RAAF. Next year when I finish school I may be interested in their gap-year program.”

Another group of Katherine Stars were lucky enough to take part in the Indigenous Australia Science and Infrastructure Development (SID) School in Brisbane.

The SID School is designed to expose First Nations students in years 10, 11 and 12 to the many study options they can choose if they’re interested in a career in Biological, Earth and Environmental sciences, Chemistry, Information technology, Urban development and planning, and Stakeholder engagement.

The young women participated in a range of hands-on activities, discussions and site visits to give them a taste of university and professional life.

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.