Yirrkala and Nhulunbuy Stars teamed up to venture out to Wanuwuy (Cape Arnhem) for a one-night camping adventure. The trip was offered to students who have showed commitment to increasing their attendance and growing within the classroom and in their engagement with their peers.
Our time was largely spent hunting (a few cheeky beach naps were snuck in!), as an incredible array of native foods was on offer- the girls spent hours collecting maypal (oysters) and luring in fish with hand reels.
Program Officer Rosie led an expedition into the mangroves at low tide to gather dhanpala (mud mussels), which were smoked on hot coals on the beach and shared with the Clontarf boys camping further up the beach. The boys continued the exchange of food, spearing and delivering fish and fresh crays to us to enjoy for breakfast.
After a night curled up in our swags under a full moon, we journeyed to the flood plains for more dhanpala and a game of cricket.
The camp, with its focus on participation in cultural activities and healthy lifestyles, was fantastic for our wellbeing. Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala Stars look forward to many more shared activities together.
Each year the Stars Foundation program invites our Year 12 students from across the Northern Territory to attend an induction. On the first evening the girls were treated to a lovely dinner at the Trailer Boat club where the girls spent time getting to know one another. The next day was all business! Commencement of the Induction Day activities at Charles Darwin University where Linzi Houghton (CSC Yr12 Co-ordinator) spoke with the girls about potential challenges that they may face in Year 12 and strategies to resolve any obstacles to ensure that the girls succeed. The girls then had to move out of their comfort zones and get involved in a group activity where they had to meet new people and ask them different questions about life, school and their future. It was a great experience for the girls to practice their public speaking skills. Next on the agenda was a presentation from the Indigenous Leadership panel, Tanyah Nasir and Deb Anstess-Vallejo, who gave inspiring guidance about keeping your head held high, being proud of yourself and striving no matter the obstacles, to fulfil your ambitions. The girls then went on a Career Speed Dating adventure where they were given exposure to eight industries where they could ask questions about study pathways and salary information about the different industries. After lunch the girls were spilt into three groups to participate in a community activity, at either Wagaman Primary School, Anglicare Op-Shop or PAWS. This gave our Stars a look into options as to how they can give back to their community. Now it is time to put all this into action and have a successful 2017 and make active choices towards realising their full potential.
Stars joined the Nhulunbuy Boarding School on a day excursion to Wangurri homeland Buymarr on Monday 24th April. As part of our ongoing support of Stars students who are part of the boarding cohort, we transported girls out for a day of fishing, collecting maypal (oysters) and cooking damper to enjoy alongside the freshly-speared mud crab the boys contributed to the feast. The journey out there was part of the adventure and the girls gained insight into 4WD recovery and how to safely drive the track. We had a fantastic time focusing on wellbeing through participation in traditional cultural activities. Thank you to Nathan Djerrkura from the Transition Support Unit for sharing his beautiful homeland with us!
To celebrate a successful start to 2017 we treated the year 11 and 12 girls to a surprise reward. The girls were treated to a hair wash, cut and style and a facial. They were all super excited for the afternoon and were looking very confident and proud of their new hair. This group of girls have had the highest attendance in the school and have been working really hard to obtain all their credit points to complete Year 12. Great work Super Stars!!
The Yirrkala Stars senior girls had Charlie King pop in for a visit. He showed us some great footage of Tiwi Island and Galiwinku saying “No More” in the form of a song and a rally at a football game. Charlie talked to the girls about the statistics of domestic violence and what we can all do to help prevent it and hopefully eradicate it. The girls then linked arms with the senior boys and together said “No More” to domestic violence in Yirrkala.
Harmony Day celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity, it’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging. This special day was celebrated at Sanderson Middle School, with the STARS Girls showing off their culture with face painting and traditional dance.
Term 1 community involvement with our STARS Girls at Sanderson Middle School involved the Year 9 volunteering each week at PAWS Darwin, which is a re-homing program for abandoned or unclaimed animals. Their duties included, cleaning kennels, feeding, bathing and walking the different animals that were there each week. This was a very enjoyable and successful term at PAWS with a chance to continue on for the rest of the year.
Senior Stars students recently paid a visit to the Fire Station as part of the Work-Ready theme of their Stars contact time. Station Officer Colin Snowden guided us throughout the station and introduced us to the equipment necessary to detect fires, as well as extinguish them. The girls thoroughly enjoyed their insight into a firefighter’s role- especially the part where they tried on (rather oversized!) uniforms.
In the last week of Term 1, the Katherine Stars girls were asked to help run a BBQ at a youth week Pop up Youth EXPO held at Katherine High School.
The Pop up Youth EXPO had a number of local organisations setting up stalls to inform students about the youth services in our region. Organisations included; The Katherine Police, Anglicare, YouthworX and Centrelink.
Sandra Nelson MLA-Katherine, kindly donated supplies for a sausage sizzle for all students who attend Katherine High School, which the Stars Foundation students were pleased to cook! The girls showed great community spirit and volunteered their time to tirelessly cooked all through lunch to provide their peers with a tasty feed.
During Term 1, eleven students from Katherine Stars took part in the Certificate I in Business Course run by GTNT. The course took place at Charles Darwin University, Katherine and ran over an entire week. Each day the students were introduced to a new topic relating to business and how to become a competent worker. Topics included resume building, identifying OHS hazards and students learnt basic communication skills within the workplace. By undertaking this course students have become more aware of the life skills they possess and have learnt how to transfer these skills into a work environment.
The Stars Foundation offered an incentive trip at the end of 2016 to senior students who demonstrated respect, commitment, honesty and pride throughout the year and who had high attendance and completed all work. The girls enjoyed many activities such as zip lining, learning to surf, wildlife park visit, a Teppanyaki banquet, skirmish and indoor ski-diving. After all the excitement during the days the girls would come back to their waterfront home and fish off their own private jetty. What a perfect way to end the day!