Taste of Outback Farm Life

A taste of life on an outback farm was on the menu for girls in our Year 7 Townsville programs during a recent combined camp at Virginia Park Station, a working cattle station near Charters Towers.

The students took part in some farm activities, including horse riding, cow milking, calf branding and orienteering, which gave them an exposure to the realities of farm life in the Australian outback.

The camp presented the girl with an opportunity to work on some important personal attributes – resilience, teamwork and leadership – as well as strengthening their bonds with one another and their Stars Mentors.

Stars in Townsville Tournament

Last week our Thuringowa and Heatley Stars combined forces to participate in the Garbutt Magpies High School Cup AFL Tournament in Townsville.

The Garbutt Magpies have a long tradition of providing strong and positive role models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the Townsville community.

In the lead up to the tournament, our Heatley Stars were lucky enough to be able to sharpen their skills in training sessions run by AFL Townsville’s Kathleen Newman and high-profile AFLW Adelaide Crows player Sally Riley.

All of our Stars performed well on the day and some even had the thrill of being interviewed by local Indigenous radio station, 4K1G. Too deadly!

Participation in the tournament gave our Stars an opportunity to be immersed in a local community event, develop their leadership capabilities and learn new skills.

Landbridge Supporting Our Stars

Year 12 Haileybury Rendall School Star, Courtney Huddleston, was lucky enough to be hosted by Landbridge for a tour of the Fort Hill Wharf in Darwin recently.

After an introduction by Landridge representative, Kerry Small, which focused on the organisation’s  partnership with Stars Foundation and explored some of the employment opportunities available, Courtney met with Pilot Vessel Manager Rob Smith and some crew members. She was then taken on a personal tour of the pilot vessels.

Courtney was excited to be able to get a close-up look at some of the Navy ships from China, India, The Philippines and Australia and enjoyed being photographed with the crew members and captains!

Courtney is interested in pursuing a career in the automotive field and Landbridge is keen to host her on another visit to more deeply explore opportunities in this area.


Exploring Study and Career Options

The recent Skills Employment & Careers Expo in Darwin gave our Dripstone Stars an opportunity to explore tertiary and vocational education options and learn about employment and career opportunities both near and far.

The girls enjoyed exploring the hospitality industry stand, where they were able to test their cupcake icing skills with the convention centre catering division. Turns out, icing cupcakes is much harder than it looks!

They also spent some time speaking to the NT Police and learning about the various jobs that are available, including auxiliary services, youth engagement and Aboriginal community policing roles.

One of their last stops was the Australian Defence Force stand, where they discovered a ‘Gap Year’ program that allows ‘recruits’ to try out the armed forces for one year on a paid scholarship. The girls couldn’t believe the broad range of  opportunities in the ADF, ranging from engineers, pilots and infantry to cooking for the troops as a chef!

One of our Stars, who is already actively involved with Defence as a participant in the Cadets Program, encouraged her fellow Stars to jump on board, explaining the various outdoor camps and fun weekly obstacle courses she completes as part of her involvement in the program.

The expo was a wonderful chance for our young women to check out the the various university and vocational pathways open to them and are now eager to prepare for the next chapter in their educational journey.


Thuringowa Star Joins ADF

Year 11 Thuringowa Star, Gail Coolburra, has embarked on an exciting career journey with the Australian Defence Force.

Gail is currently completing the Army Indigenous Defence Program at Kapooka in New South Wales. Once she has finished this, she will begin her enlistment training to become a fully fledged member of the Australian Defence Force.

Gail’s Stars Mentors attended her Enlistment Ceremony in Townsville recently and all felt so deeply proud of how far this young woman has come during this year.

Gail has been an enthusiastic participant in the Stars program and has definitely left a void in the Thuringowa program.  In fact, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when her Mentors and fellow Stars students waved her off for the last time!

We are so proud of you, Gail, and we know you are destined for a very bright future. Congratulations!

Celebrating Strong Female Role Models

A whole day of NAIDOC celebrations and activities is traditionally held at Sanderson Middle School in Darwin each year. It’s a fantastic showcase of Indigenous culture, food, dance, crafts, sport and art.

This year, our Sanderson Stars were lucky enough to be able to host a special morning tea for the families of Indigenous students at the school.

During the morning, guests enjoyed an exhibition of some outstanding artwork done by our Year 9 Stars. As part of their Indigenous Languages and Culture class – and in recognition of the NAIDOC 2018 theme ‘Because of Her, We Can’ – the girls each painted an image representing a strong female role model in their lives.

Kiera Kurnoth painted a beautiful picture for her Nan, a strong Wurumunga and Larrakia woman – ‘I am proud of her because she loves and supports me unconditionally. She is a grandmother of 17 children and has had a large role in raising us all. Because of her, I can be a strong and independent woman.’

Our Year 7 and 8 Stars also had some of their art displayed, which they worked on during their Stars contact time though out the term.

The morning tea was a huge success and a very proud moment for our amazing Stars and their loved ones.

Star Excellence!

A passion for science and scientific knowledge has led to Pimlico Star, Ebony Pearson, being awarded the Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education – Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior STEM Student. She received the award at a formal ceremony in Brisbane recently.

Ebony is not only a high-achiever academically, she is also an impressive leader and role model. During the last school holidays, she attended the 2018 Indigenous Education Conference in Brisbane, where she gave a student’s perspective on the positives and negatives of the school system in relation to Indigenous education.

During her speech, Ebony spoke about the positive impact that Stars is having on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women within the wider school system.

Ebony is planning to study a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (Honours) at university after she graduates Year 12 at the end of this year. She has a very bright future ahead of her!

Stars Explore Indigenous Resources at Townsville Library

Our Year 9 and 10 Pimlico State High School Stars celebrated Indigenous Literacy Day last week by spending the morning at the Townsville City Library.

The visit was hosted by Josephine Miskin, the library’s Indigenous Resource Officer, who provided information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and language and showed the girls how they can research family history.

Josephine also explained that the library shares a lot of information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander topics and encouraged our young women to visit regularly and remember that reading is fun!

The visit was a fantastic opportunity for our young women to learn more about their self-identity, and the importance of being proud of culture and having respect for Elders.

All of the girls have now applied for a library card and can’t wait for their next visit!

Building Trust, Boosting Engagement

Some Year 10 and 11 Katherine Stars with lower levels of school attendance were taken on an overnight re-engagement camp to Katherine Gorge recently.

The aim was to strengthen relationships, develop trust and remind our young women about the importance of completing Year 12.

At the camp site, once their tents and swags were set up, the girls and their Mentors gathered together to play games designed to develop trust and encourage positive interaction.

Once everyone felt comfortable and settled, and were getting along well, the girls went on a hike to Baruwei Lookout, where they sat with one another to watch a magical Katherine Gorge sunset.

Back at camp, the girls cooked dinner and the whole group sat down together like a family to eat and have a yarn. Later, toasting marshmallows around the campfire, the girls and their Mentors shared stories about their own lives and where they saw themselves in the future.

The campfire session was a great opportunity to highlight to the girls the importance of attending school, getting a good education and completing Year 12, so they can build a positive and independent future for themselves.


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.