Exploring Opportunities in Health

Exploring work and training opportunities in the health sector was the focus for VCAL Stars from Haileybury Rendall School recently, when they were taken on a visit to Charles Darwin University.

The young women were given an introduction to some of the opportunities available in health studies at the university, meeting with some Lecturers who gave them an insight into all the different areas available to study.

They also spent some time in a university classroom hearing from the Head of Nursing, who explained what our young women could expect if they decided to study at Charles Darwin University after completing Year 12.

Next stop was another classroom, which was set up as an Emergency Room with simulated bodies and all the medical supplies and equipment that are used when a patient arrives in the ER.

Our Stars enjoyed trying out all the equipment, but they were especially drawn to the simulated ‘test baby, which they all wanted to hold and fuss over!

A fantastic opportunity for our Stars to learn more about the many and varied opportunities available to them in the health sector.

Reward for Achieving Goals

Katherine Stars who achieved their attendance and behaviour goals were lucky enough to be taken on an engagement camp to Jabiru and Kakadu National Park recently.

They participated in a range of cultural experiences, including the cruise along Yellow Water Billabong, where they confidently shared their cultural backgrounds and knowledge of country with the local tour guide and tourists.

After the cruise, our young women enjoyed an art class with local Bininj people and then took some time to explore Kakadu’s popular Burrungkuy (Nourlangie), which is known for its World Heritage rock art, colourful birdlife and fantastic walks and lookouts.

The process of setting attendance and behaviour goals and then reaching them was very satisfying for the girls, as it showed them that if they try hard, they can achieve what they want to achieve.

We know that, with the encouragement and support of Stars and their families, these young women can do anything!

Sharing Bush Recipes

Some of our Jabiru Stars, who are studying Tourism at school, took part in the annual Taste of Kakadu festival last week.

Our young women led bush cooking demonstrations for families, fellow students and tourists to the region. Delicacies included buffalo tongue, green ant salt, file snake, fish, damper,and much more!

The students worked hard for weeks to prepare the cooking site, source the bush ingredients and practise their public speaking skills.

Taste of Kakadu is a bush food experience unlike any other and it was wonderful to see our young women confidently sharing their families’ favourite recipes!

Staying Safe

Nhulunbuy Stars recently had two sessions learning some self-defence and self-preservation techniques from Nhulunbuy Police’s Community Engagement Officer and two Aboriginal Community Police Officers.

They visited a local gym with the officers to learn a range of techniques, including how to create distance in threatening situations and how to use non-confrontational techniques to keep themselves safe.

The officers also emphasised the importance of trusting their instincts, especially if they feel that a person or situation is potentially threatening. They also explained the legalities around self-defence.

Our Stars were then given an opportunity for a Q&A session, where ACPOs, Dennis & Heleama, shared their pathways into policing, how they came to settle upon a career in the police force, and how they navigated that journey with their families and communities.

The young women not only got some practical tips on how to protect themselves in dangerous situations, they also got an interesting insight into career opportunities in the police force.

Work and Wellbeing

Our senior Yirrkala Stars spent three days at a residential camp designed to get students away from distractions at home and school, support them to finalise any outstanding assignments and nurture their wellbeing.

The camp for Years 10 to 12 was organised by senior school staff at Yirrkala Bilingual School and supported by our Yirrkala Stars Mentors.

Every morning the students worked on their assignments then, after lunch, spent the afternoon taking part in wellbeing activities, including fishing, hunting, swimming, collecting pandanus leaves, telling stories and cooking up a feed over the camp fire.

The camp not only supported students to complete their work, it also helped to build stronger relationships between Stars Mentors, school staff and students.

It was such a success that more camps are being planned for Terms 3 and 4.

Top Awards for NT Stars

Two of our amazing NT Stars won top awards at the NT Group Training Awards on Friday night.

Year 12 Casuarina Stars graduate, Raelene Collins, won Indigenous Apprentice of the Year. Raelene is hosted by Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin and has recently completed her Certificate III in Laboratory Skills.

Since completing her traineeship, she has commenced a Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Darwin University, with the support of Menzies School of Health Research, where she continues to work part time.

Current Jabiru Star, Catherine Ralph, won School-Based Apprentice of the Year. Catherine completed her Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management with Kakadu National Park Rangers and is now undertaking her Certificate III.

These two shining Stars consistently demonstrate the Stars values – Respect, Honesty, Commitment, Pride –  and are superb role models for other Indigenous young women.

So proud of you both!


Staying Engaged

Last week Tennant Creek senior Stars spent three days on an engagement camp at the Juno Centre, a large property around 10 kilometres from town.

The focus was on identifying goals and exploring ways to engage more fully with school and community programs to enrich their learning and vocational development.

Our young women learned more about the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle from representatives of Barkly Health and Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation.

They also worked with women from Stronger Families and some community Elders to make different types of bush medicine, using ingredients and methods that have been used in the same way for many centuries.

There was also a range of fun activities, including bike-riding, some indulgent body pampering and a facial, and hot chocolate and a yarn beside the campfire.

On the final morning, each Star presented their personal mission statement to the group – and we were thrilled to identify a dentist and a midwife in the making!

Stars Mentors will now work intensively with each young woman to develop a holistic plan to help her achieve her goals.

Walking Against Violence

In the searing tropical heat, more than twenty of our Nhulunbuy Stars last week walked 10 kms as part of ‘Support the Walk’, a local initiative raising awareness of family violence and the need for more safe spaces and shelters in the region.

Kicking off with a BBQ breakfast in the small community of Gunyangara, our young women walked to Nhulunbuy alongside community members and representatives from local businesses and NGOs.

It was an incredible feat on behalf of both the community and our Stars, who managed the walk with very few complaints, despite the intense heat of the sun.

So proud of our young women for giving back to their community and supporting such an important cause.

Unleashing Their Inner Scientist

Our Year 8 and 9 Pimlico Stars were able to unleash their inner scientist at Townsville’s Museum of Tropical Queensland this week.

The Museum’s ‘Sciencentre’ is a discovery zone designed to allow students to explore the world of science and discover how science challenges the human body, exercises the brain and stimulates the senses.

They went Biking with Boney, where they learnt about how the body works and how our joints move. Then it was on to Bullseye, where they challenged each other and tested the speed and accuracy of their throw, and Disappearing Body, where they couldn’t believe what they were seeing!

Each activity encouraged our Stars to follow their curiosity, ask questions, test their ideas and use their imaginations in a hands-on way.

They were able to challenge their friends, solve puzzles and learn about how science is part of our everyday lives.


Making a Difference

Year 10 Jabiru Star, Letisha Lami Lami, recently completed her Practioner Training in 3a – the Abecedarian Approach Australia – as part of her Certificate II in Community Studies.

The 3a approach aims to provide practitioners with a range of evidence-based techniques designed to support the personal, social and academic development of very young children.

This qualification means that Letisha will now be able to implement evidence-based teaching strategies when she works with children in the Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program.

FaFT is an early learning and family support program specifically designed to improve developmental outcomes for remote Indigenous children by working with families and children before they start school.

Letisha is now undertaking a school-based apprenticeship and we are super proud of her. We know she will make a difference!

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.