East Arnhem Homelands Camp

Nhulunbuy Stars were invited by the Laynhapuy Youth Program to the homeland community of GanGan – ancestral land of the Dhalwaŋu people – to take part in a training session and game with AFL NT and the Geelong Cats, along with Homeland students from Wandawuy, Dhalinbuy, Yilpara and GanGan.

Our Stars came together with other young people from surrounding Homelands and Nhulunbuy for skills-building in the shade of the basketball court, followed by a fast-paced and hilarious game of footy on GanGan’s community and youth built footy oval. Even our Stars Mentors braved the heat to have a run!

After the game, GanGan community showed the young people their warm (and uniquely Homelands East Arnhem!) hospitality with a welcoming bunggul and manikay (dance and songline ceremony).

The next day saw our Stars participate in a discussion around alcohol and drug issues, followed by basketball, a tug-of-war with the staff, and a special tour of Gan Gan’s beautiful freshwater spots with Traditional Owner, Billy Gumana.

Stars and Magpies!

As part of Stars Foundation’s focus on Healthy Lifestyles and Wellbeing, our Tennant Creek Stars were lucky enough to spend some time with four visiting female athletes from Collingwood Magpies AFLW team this week.

Ruby Schleicher, Chloe Molloy, Eliza Hynes and Erica Fowler spent two fantastic days with our Stars, running training sessions and coordinating fun activities based around the importance of exercise, making good choices, and leadership and confidence building.

The players were also accompanied by well-known Indigenous leader, Jodie Sizer, who was appointed to the Collingwood Football Club Board in 2017.

At the end of the two days, our young women invited the visitors into the Stars Room for a healthy cook-up and a yarn, where Jodie and the players talked to them about future visits to the Tennant Creek program.

After having had such a great time, it was a bit sad for our young women to say goodbye to such inspirational role models, but our Stars are looking forward to hosting another visit in the future.

Rewarding commitment

Our  hard-working and committed Nhulunbuy Stars were taken on an overnight camp recently, as a reward for excellent school attendance.

Apart from celebrating their school attendance, the camp also focused on building skills and developing stronger relationships between the younger students in the program.

Under the guidance of their Mentors, the girls were responsible for setting up their campsite, collecting firewood and building a campfire, and helping to cook their own meals, which gave them an opportunity to further develop their leadership, initiative and independence.

The girls also embraced their creativity and curiosity, through bushwalking, nature photography, dancing around the campfire, and wildlife observation – including watching pods of dolphins feeding and sea turtles making their way from shore to nest.

Our Stars also tried their hands at fishing and crabbing, but the winds worked against their hand-reel casting – and the crabs must have heard them coming!

Celebrating Mums and Bubs with Elders

Year 9 Nhulunbuy Stars took part in special women’s ceremony celebrating Mums and Bubs with local Elders recently, as part of a program focused on pregnancy, birth and parenting.

The program was delivered in East Arnhem Land through an innovative partnership between the ‘Core of Life’ pregnancy and parenting program, local community members and Yolngu Elders.

As part of the partnership’s commitment to assisting in the passing on of traditional Indigenous women’s knowledge to the next generation, our students took part in a women’s ceremony to celebrate and support mothers and babies.

Our wonderful young women participated with interest and enthusiasm. We were particularly proud of Middle Year student, Shea, who not only exemplified the four Stars values – Respect, Honesty, Commitment, Pride – but also listened attentively to her Elders, following their guidance in gathering and preparing for the ceremony, and showing care and respect for them throughout the afternoon.

A Rising Star

Our amazing 2017 Stars Graduate, Raelene Collins, was honoured to win the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award at the Group Training Northern Territory (GTNT) Training Awards on the weekend.

Earlier this year, Raelene also won the Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year award at the GTNT Training Awards.

After graduating from the Stars Casuarina program, Raelene began a Traineeship with GTNT, hosted by the Menzies School of Health Research, and completed a Certificate III in Laboratory Skills.

She is now studying towards her Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Darwin University and working casually with Menzies.

Raelene is now off to the National Group Training Awards, which will be held in Brisbane in late November. She truly is a rising Star!

Stars Culture Shines Bright

Our Sanderson Middle School Stars shone bright at the recent NAIDOC school celebrations, which gave all students and staff an opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Islander culture.

Many of our Stars showed their obvious pride in their culture by assisting with the activities, including painting, performing Yolgnu and Torres Strait Islander dances, didgeridoo lessons and bracelet making. And everyone was treated to a feed of delicious buffalo sausages and kangaroo stew!

To finish off the celebrations, one of our super Stars, Mahlea, did a fantastic job as co-MC for School Assembly.

Later, in the Stars Room, a morning tea was provided to staff, Stars students and their parents. Displayed around the room were canvas paintings created by our Year 9 Stars as part of their Indigenous Language class assessments.

It was a really proud day for our amazing girls and young women!

 

Spring onto Palm Island!

As a reward for 90 per cent school attendance, a group of our Thuringowa Stars were taken on a special trip to Palm Island recently, to join in the celebration of the island’s annual Spring Festival.

The Spring Festival is the largest annual community event on Palm Island and is an opportunity for its people to celebrate culture and showcase the strength and diversity of the island’s families and history.

The contemporary Aboriginal name for Palm Islanders is ‘Bwgcolman people’ (pronounced Bwook-a-mun), which means ‘many tribes – one people’. This is because during the so-called ‘Protection Era’ in Australia, people from over 40 tribes were displaced from their homelands and sent to Palm Island Aboriginal Reserve.

This was the first visit to Palm Island for many of our Stars, and they were fascinated to learn more about the island’s people, history and culture.

Champion Stars Rewarded

Our Champion Tennant Creek Stars were rewarded with a camping and canoeing trip to Lake Woods with students from Elliott School recently.

Water levels were low, but spirits were high, as the girls were enjoyed being coached on canoeing techniques by Pam Dillon, Barkly Region Sports Coordinator.

After all the physical effort, our young women had fun preparing some bush tucker and setting up camp around the fire, showing fantastic teamwork.

The camp was a well-deserved reward for all the girls who have been champion Stars so far this year, consistently living out the Stars values of Respect, Honesty, Commitment and Pride.

Well done, Super Stars!

Spike Stars!

Our Nhulunbuy Stars joined the ‘Dawurr at Dusk’ community event recently, playing in a volleyball competition held at the local boarding house for students, service providers and community members.

Teachers and other NHS students joined our Stars team – ‘Spike Stars’ – for an enjoyable series of games and quite a few laughs on the court.

Our Stars didn’t make it to the grand finals, but they had lots of fun trying! And they enjoyed playing on a giant waterslide followed by a disco, a delicious dinner on the lawns, and some late-night footy!

The ‘Dawurr at Dusk’ evening was a fantastic local initiative designed to build rapport and provide a great night of fun and entertainment for young people in Nhulunbuy.

Health and Wellbeing in Jabiru

Jabiru Stars learnt more about Healthy Lifestyles and Wellbeing during Women’s Health Week.

Sessions on nutrition and the dangers of too much sugar in the diet were followed by some netball games, which not only got the girls active, but also helped them prepare for the upcoming Stars Netball Carnival.

Other sessions during the week focused on mindfulness, through guided meditation and yoga, and on looking after your own wellbeing, with the girls preparing their own personalised self-care plans.

Women’s Health Week finished off with a session facilitated by Martina and Alicia from Jabiru Health Clinic, who spoke to the Year 5 and 6 girls about menstruation and how the female body works.

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.