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.

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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.

78th Bombing of Darwin Day

Dripstone Stars were proudly represented by four Year 9 student leaders at the 78th Bombing of Darwin Day commemoration recently, showing respect for our fallen in the defence of Australia.

Darwin was bombed by the Japanese during the Second World War, on 19 February 1942. It was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia.

On that day, 242 Japanese aircraft, in two separate raids, attacked the town, ships docked in Darwin harbour, and Stoke hill wharf. A lot of local wharf workers, who were unloading ships at the time, were killed.

Many of our Darwin Stars are descendants of the wharf workers who perished during the bombing.

Learning the Ropes

More than 40 new Year 7 Stars from some of our Darwin programs got together for some Stars induction activities last week.

These special days give our girls an opportunity to get to know the program and build relationships with each other and the Mentors who will be supporting them throughout their high school years.

It’s also a time to familiarise them with the four important values that guide Stars in everything we do – Respect, Honesty, Commitment and Pride – as well as explore program expectations.

At the first stop, the girls had a lot of laughs giving give ice-skating a try at Darwin’s Ice-Skating Rink – in a hot climate like the NT, this was a first for most of them!

The group then spent some time at Darwin Esplanade taking part in a range of team-building exercises, including Ruckman’s Treasure, Hula Hoop Pass and a volleyball activity.

After a full day, dinner was a time to unwind, have a yarn and enjoy some free time together.

Our new Stars all agreed that the best parts of the day were meeting new friends, seeing new places and trying new things!

Welcome to Stars, Year 7s!

Big Stars, Little Stars

Each week our Nhulunbuy Stars and their Mentors provide an after-school activity program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in Grades 4 to 6.

The aim is to have fun and build relationships so that the younger girls have a smooth transition into high school and the Stars program.

Importantly, the  program also provides our Stars with an opportunity to step into the role of inspirational mentors and for the younger students.

To kick off our 2020 sessions, and welcome the newest ‘Little Stars’, the students visited local recreational area, Banambarrna, for a picnic overlooking the beach, an energetic ‘Troopy disco’, and a spot of footy in the bush!

The younger girls and our Nhulunbuy Stars had a wonderful time having fun and getting to know one another – and everyone’s really looking forward to the next session.

Stars Graduate Receives Awards

Tennant Creek 2019 Stars Graduate, Alana Foster, last week travelled to Alice Springs to receive the Northern Territory Board of Studies Indigenous Award.

Alana received several awards in 2019, including Academic Excellence Awards and the Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation Cadetship.

The Julalikari Council Award is given to a Year 12 student in recognition of their commitment, effort and overall achievement both in academic pursuits and personal development.

The recipient is also given a one-year cadetship in a suitable field within the organisation. Alana will be studying a Certificate 3 in Community Services while she undertakes her cadetship at one of Julalikari’s childcare centres in Tennant Creek.

Big congratulations to Alana on her hard work and many achievements. You are a wonderful role model with a great future ahead of you. Everyone at Stars is super proud of you!

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.