Stars Pillars in Action

Tennant Creek Stars recently spent a couple of days putting three of the four Stars Pillars into action – Healthy Lifestyles, Wellbeing and Community, Culture and Leadership – as part of a special event.

Our Tennant Creek Stars extended an invitation to students at remote Elliott High School – about 250km north of Tennant Creek – to join them for some group sporting activities, including softball, water volleyball and basketball.

Over 40 girls and young women were part of the two-day event, along with representatives from Barkly Shire, Education NT, Tennant Creek High School and the local Sports and Recreation Centre, who lent a hand to help make it a success.

We are proud of the fantastic community spirit and teamwork shown by our Stars and the welcoming way in which they interacted with the visiting students from Elliott High School.

Celebrating Culture

Nhulunbuy Stars came together on Harmony Day to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, including dance and food.

In preparation for the day, our senior Stars went out into the bush to collect gapan (white clay), which they used to paint the faces of students and staff.

After being painted, participants performed a bunngul (ceremonial dance), which depicted the Dhawu story of the brolga.

Food always brings people together and our Middle Years Stars celebrated Torres Strait Islander culture by learning how to make some culinary staples.

Two delicious traditional dishes – ‘Sop Sop’ (root vegetables, banana and coconut milk) and ‘Sabee Domboi’ (rolled flour cooked in coconut milk) – were made and enthusiastically shared with their classmates.

Stars Shine as Leaders

Six outstanding young women from our Dripstone Middle School program have been selected as Term One Stars Leaders!

As part of the Community, Culture and Leadership pillar of the Stars Plan, we encourage our girls and young women develop their leadership skills and take on leadership roles wherever possible.

The selection of our Dripstone Leaders was based on personal qualities, such as their demonstrated maturity and positive attitude towards their peers.

Year 7 – Daisy Tulari & Mele Tupou

Starting at a new school can be daunting and both these girls have been chosen because of their courage and leadership towards their peers since the first day of school. Daisy is warm and friendly and always willing to participate and help others. Mele is outgoing and always shows courage and enthusiasm.

Year 8 – Nadia Thompson & Savannah Pollard

Nadia and Savannah have both shown they can lead by example and have earned the respect of their peers since starting at Dripstone Middle School in 2018. Nadia is helpful, enthusiastic and always friendly, while Savannah shows passion and always treats her peers with respect.

Year 9 – Meleeka Quall & Shellbea Day

Meleeka and Shellbea are in their third year at Dripstone Middle School and are very popular within all year levels. Meleeka is softly spoken, caring and thoughtful and is always willing to help others. Shellbea is respected throughout the school and while she, too, is softly spoken she is caring, motivated and passionate, which has seen her also voted as School Captain for Dripstone Middle School.

No Woman Left Behind

Stars from the Northern Territory took part in the ‘No Woman Left Behind’ conference in Darwin recently, where they were inspired by some amazing speakers, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO.

They also had the opportunity to participate in a Self-Determination and Empowerment workshop with Tanyah Nasair, a proud Aboriginal woman from Darwin who has links to the Tiwi Islands.

Our senior Stars were able to interact with young women from schools around the NT, talking about the challenges they face at school, at work and even in their peer groups.

They felt so empowered and inspired that they decided they would like to address the conference as a group, sharing what some of the important things they have learned from their Stars Mentors and the speakers at the conference.

The whole experience reminded our young women that if they continue to work hard and believe in themselves, they can do anything!

Setting up for Success

Year 12 Townsville Stars took part in a two-day induction recently. The aim was to provide students with a range of strategies to support them through their Year 12 studies, as well as some information about future career and educational opportunities.

First, our Stars were inspired by guest speaker Dr Jacinta Powell, a local Indigenous GP, who provided an account of the many challenges she had to overcome to complete school, get into university and complete her medical degree.

A particular highlight for our young women was a discussion with two 2018 Stars graduates, who described the challenges they faced during Year 12 and how they were able to get through with support from family, friends and especially their Stars Mentors.

The young women then took part a ‘speed dating’ session where they moved around tables hearing from a range of employers and tertiary education providers, including Defence, Police, James Cook University, TAFE, Fire & Emergency Services and Paramedics. A great way to find out more about possible future pathways.

The next day our Stars were taken on a Retreat to beautiful Magnetic Island, where they had fun taking part in a range of challenges designed to build resilience and teamwork.

Our Townsville senior Stars are now well and truly set up for a fantastic final year of school!

Positive Peers

As part of the Stars program, our Mentors provide a range of activities that aim to support the development of strong peer relationships between our young women.

We recognise that positive and supportive peer relationships can be a source of significant social and emotional support during the senior years of high school.

During Term 1, Heatley Secondary College Mentors arranged a day of fun activities for our Year 11 Stars, designed to encourage teamwork and cooperation, and build deeper friendships.

Through a range of challenging and engaging activities, our young women spent time focusing on the importance of good communication, problem-solving and trust in building positive and supportive relationships.

Keep looking out for each other, Stars!

June Oscar Visits Stars

Nhulunbuy Middle Years Stars were thrilled to receive a visit from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar yesterday.

The Commissioner took time out of her busy schedule to sit with the young women for a while and have a yarn.

She asked each of our Stars to tell her a bit about themselves and their families, and what they think keeps them strong. The girls felt relaxed in her company because she really listened to what each of them had to say.

June told our young women a bit about her own schooling years and how she progressed to where she is now. She also generously shared stories about places she’s been and the Indigenous peoples who live in other countries she has visited.

June’s willingness to spend time in the Stars Room speaking with our young women was a powerful statement to the girls, due to her very important role, her strong work ethic, and her firm belief that our young women can achieve anything.

The Commissioner’s message to our Stars was always to use their voice and never let anyone silence them as strong Indigenous women.

Staying Healthy, Staying Strong

Our Yirrkala Stars have been working with their Mentors on two important personal development pillars of the Stars Plan this week – Healthy Lifestyles and Wellbeing.

Personal hygiene was the focus for our junior Stars, with a talk about how and when to brush their teeth and why it’s important for their general health. The girls also made their own face scrubs and masks, finishing off their session with a facial.

Our middle school Stars spent time with their Mentors to complete their Stars profiles, which aim to obtain more information about the girls and identify the things they are good at and the things that really interest them, so that Stars’ activities are able to help develop their personal strengths.

The middle school session also involved a discussion about personal hygiene and the importance of keeping the skin clean and healthy, especially in the teenage years. What better way to round off the session than with an indulgent homemade facial?

All the Stars girls involved learnt a lot about looking after their bodies during the session – they loved having the facials and were amazed at how clean and soft their skin felt afterwards.

Stars Go On Vocation

Our senior Tennant Creek Stars have been busy working with their Mentors on their vocational development plans over the past few weeks.

This process gives our young women a chance to identify their own areas of interest and explore opportunities in the workforce, well and truly before they complete high school.

An important part of our young women’s vocational development planning is the work our Mentors and Transitions Mangers do to help them develop work-ready skills, often through part-time employment in the senior years of high school.

We are pleased to say that two of our Tennant Creek Stars, Deja and Tara, have already secured part-time employment at the local supermarket and Skye has gained a part-time position at the local pharmacy.

These employment roles, which the young women will fit around their schooling, will help them more fully understand workplace expectations and develop a range of important work skills, which they will need when they move into their chosen careers.

It’s always a joy for our Mentors to work with the senior Stars as they begin to think about possible career pathways and life beyond school.

Stepping Up to the Mike

Year 11 Thuringowa Star, Willow Wells, had to get out of bed super early last Friday to be at the studio of Townsville’s Indigenous Community Radio Station 4K1G right on 6.00 am and ready to step up to the mike with Breakfast Presenter, Sista Soul.

Despite having no experience in radio broadcasting, Willow spoke confidently about Stars and gave some examples of the types of activities she and the other students do as part of the Stars program.

All activities follow the Stars Plan, which is based on four fundamental pillars of personal development – Healthy Lifestyles; Wellbeing; Education, Employment and Training; and Community Culture and Leadership.

Willow spoke with passion about how Stars is supporting her and encouraged other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to take advantage of the support offered by the program.

The 4K1G Presenter also gave Willow some community announcements to read on-air, and she did a deadly job!

What a fantastic opportunity for Willow to explore the world of radio broadcasting. A future career in the making?

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.