In Term 2 and 3 the year 7 Stars class visited the Katherine Fire Station. Station Officer Bernie showed the girls around the station, what types of jobs they get called to and what equipment they have to wear when fighting a fire. The girls also learnt about fire safety and what sort of experience they need to volunteer or work as a fire fighter. They even got to have a go at the fire hose!
On Tuesday 29th September, the year 7 Stars contact time class visited the Katherine Community Radio Station. The girls got to experience firsthand how a radio station works, they got to pick their own songs to play, learnt how to answer a call from a listener and learnt about the different types of community services that advertise through radio. Sienna Johnson was even brave enough to speak on live radio! Well done!
Week 4 saw Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala Stars visit Darwin to support talented Indigenous songstress Shellie Morris and her band on stage at Darwin Festival. 10 young women from our programs bravely performed backup vocals in both English and Yolngu Matha to a sold-out audience at The Lighthouse in Festival Park, alongside Program Officer Rosealee Pearson. We are exceptionally proud of all the senior girls who participated.
Whilst in Darwin, Stars paid a visit to the NT Water Police shed in East Arm, as part of our Education, Employment & Training pillar of the Stars plan. Sergeants John & Christopher led us on a guided tour of their workplace, explaining all the roles the Water Police undertake and showing us where their rescue operations are undertaken from. The highlight of the visit was when we joined the search-&-rescue team on board their fastest patrol boat and explored Darwin Harbour at a fast pace- the girls were in awe! Stars also paid a visit to HMAS Coonawarra for a tour of the armoury and to gain insight into a naval career, as well as The 34th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards exhibition at the Museum & Art Gallery, to view some of East Arnhem’s own amazing artistry on display.
Community involvement with our STARS Girls at Sanderson Middle School has involved the Year 9 group volunteering each week at PAWS Darwin, which is a re-homing program for abandoned or unclaimed animals. Their duties included, cleaning kennels, feeding, bathing, walking and exercising the animals. This was a very enjoyable and successful term at PAWS with a chance to continue on for the rest of the year.
Each Wednesday students volunteer their time at the local RSPCA animal shelter. They carry out duties such as laundry, sweeping, making enrichment toys, sorting through donations and also get time to play with the kittens.
Students also participated in the Youth Week event “Couch surfing” where students designed and painted an old couch to help raise awareness for homelessness in Australia. Students had the opportunity to meet and mingle with various organisations like the NT Police, Head Space, Catholic Care NT, CAAPS, Anglicare and many more.
The CSC Stars year 10 camp this term took us to Craw Claw Island, where we were joined by the NMS Stars year 7’s. We started with a visit to the Territory Wildlife Park, then made our way on the dirt track to Crab Claw. During our time there the girls enjoyed activities such as fishing, swimming, walking in the mangroves collecting Long Bums and Peri Winkles. Overall the girls enjoyed their visit, making new friends, learning life skills and having a cultural experience.
On the 22nd of June, 10 middle-years Stars from Katherine High School visited Parliament House. During the visit the group attended a Parliament sitting, went on the Chief Minister’s tour and were invited to have lunch with our local member, Sandra Nelson. The girls also enjoyed meeting the Member for Arnhem, Selena Uibo, who talked about coming from humble beginnings and always pursuing your dreams. We were also lucky to have a surprise visit from the member for Nightcliff Natasha Fyles, the Minister for Education, Eva Lawler and the Honourable Michael Gunner, Chief Minister, to end our visit.
On Tuesday 30th May a group of year 8 Stars girls attended a work place visit at the local Food Ladder as part of their contact time. The girls received a run down on how to care for plants and they also got to check out the produce growing in the green house and taste test some kale & rosellas. On our departure, Food Ladder presented the girls with very healthy beetroot, cucumber and egg plant.
On Friday of Week 6, a small group of Stars girls were selected to represent Sanderson Middle School and Stars at the National Sorry Day commemorations at Jingili Water Gardens. The girls were volunteering at the event by pinning purple Hibiscus flowers and purple ribbons on the elderly ladies and also escorting them to their reserved seating. The girls got to catch up with family and also got to meet new people who are long distance relatives. The Mayor of Darwin, Katrina Fong Lim, was also present at the event and the girls were lucky enough to grab a quick photo and assisted her with her uniform and chain. The girls enjoyed the event so much that they took the time to escort one of the elderly ladies around the event to visit stalls and have a good old fashioned yarn with her about her younger days.
On Friday 26th of May 2017 the Dripstone Stars program participated in the community event ‘National Sorry Day’ at the Jingili Watergardens. National Sorry Day marks the date the Australian Government made an official apology to Indigenous Australians. Stars students served tea/coffee and damper to members of the Stolen Generation and had the opportunity to listen to their stories of strength and adversity.
Feature photo: Tamiah-Rae Wilson and Ekyra Newton-Aragon serving the ladies from Stolen Generation coffee and damper.