Staying Safe

Nhulunbuy Stars recently had two sessions learning some self-defence and self-preservation techniques from Nhulunbuy Police’s Community Engagement Officer and two Aboriginal Community Police Officers.

They visited a local gym with the officers to learn a range of techniques, including how to create distance in threatening situations and how to use non-confrontational techniques to keep themselves safe.

The officers also emphasised the importance of trusting their instincts, especially if they feel that a person or situation is potentially threatening. They also explained the legalities around self-defence.

Our Stars were then given an opportunity for a Q&A session, where ACPOs, Dennis & Heleama, shared their pathways into policing, how they came to settle upon a career in the police force, and how they navigated that journey with their families and communities.

The young women not only got some practical tips on how to protect themselves in dangerous situations, they also got an interesting insight into career opportunities in the police force.

Work and Wellbeing

Our senior Yirrkala Stars spent three days at a residential camp designed to get students away from distractions at home and school, support them to finalise any outstanding assignments and nurture their wellbeing.

The camp for Years 10 to 12 was organised by senior school staff at Yirrkala Bilingual School and supported by our Yirrkala Stars Mentors.

Every morning the students worked on their assignments then, after lunch, spent the afternoon taking part in wellbeing activities, including fishing, hunting, swimming, collecting pandanus leaves, telling stories and cooking up a feed over the camp fire.

The camp not only supported students to complete their work, it also helped to build stronger relationships between Stars Mentors, school staff and students.

It was such a success that more camps are being planned for Terms 3 and 4.

Top Awards for NT Stars

Two of our amazing NT Stars won top awards at the NT Group Training Awards on Friday night.

Year 12 Casuarina Stars graduate, Raelene Collins, won Indigenous Apprentice of the Year. Raelene is hosted by Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin and has recently completed her Certificate III in Laboratory Skills.

Since completing her traineeship, she has commenced a Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Darwin University, with the support of Menzies School of Health Research, where she continues to work part time.

Current Jabiru Star, Catherine Ralph, won School-Based Apprentice of the Year. Catherine completed her Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management with Kakadu National Park Rangers and is now undertaking her Certificate III.

These two shining Stars consistently demonstrate the Stars values – Respect, Honesty, Commitment, Pride –  and are superb role models for other Indigenous young women.

So proud of you both!


Staying Engaged

Last week Tennant Creek senior Stars spent three days on an engagement camp at the Juno Centre, a large property around 10 kilometres from town.

The focus was on identifying goals and exploring ways to engage more fully with school and community programs to enrich their learning and vocational development.

Our young women learned more about the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle from representatives of Barkly Health and Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation.

They also worked with women from Stronger Families and some community Elders to make different types of bush medicine, using ingredients and methods that have been used in the same way for many centuries.

There was also a range of fun activities, including bike-riding, some indulgent body pampering and a facial, and hot chocolate and a yarn beside the campfire.

On the final morning, each Star presented their personal mission statement to the group – and we were thrilled to identify a dentist and a midwife in the making!

Stars Mentors will now work intensively with each young woman to develop a holistic plan to help her achieve her goals.

Walking Against Violence

In the searing tropical heat, more than twenty of our Nhulunbuy Stars last week walked 10 kms as part of ‘Support the Walk’, a local initiative raising awareness of family violence and the need for more safe spaces and shelters in the region.

Kicking off with a BBQ breakfast in the small community of Gunyangara, our young women walked to Nhulunbuy alongside community members and representatives from local businesses and NGOs.

It was an incredible feat on behalf of both the community and our Stars, who managed the walk with very few complaints, despite the intense heat of the sun.

So proud of our young women for giving back to their community and supporting such an important cause.

Unleashing Their Inner Scientist

Our Year 8 and 9 Pimlico Stars were able to unleash their inner scientist at Townsville’s Museum of Tropical Queensland this week.

The Museum’s ‘Sciencentre’ is a discovery zone designed to allow students to explore the world of science and discover how science challenges the human body, exercises the brain and stimulates the senses.

They went Biking with Boney, where they learnt about how the body works and how our joints move. Then it was on to Bullseye, where they challenged each other and tested the speed and accuracy of their throw, and Disappearing Body, where they couldn’t believe what they were seeing!

Each activity encouraged our Stars to follow their curiosity, ask questions, test their ideas and use their imaginations in a hands-on way.

They were able to challenge their friends, solve puzzles and learn about how science is part of our everyday lives.


Making a Difference

Year 10 Jabiru Star, Letisha Lami Lami, recently completed her Practioner Training in 3a – the Abecedarian Approach Australia – as part of her Certificate II in Community Studies.

The 3a approach aims to provide practitioners with a range of evidence-based techniques designed to support the personal, social and academic development of very young children.

This qualification means that Letisha will now be able to implement evidence-based teaching strategies when she works with children in the Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program.

FaFT is an early learning and family support program specifically designed to improve developmental outcomes for remote Indigenous children by working with families and children before they start school.

Letisha is now undertaking a school-based apprenticeship and we are super proud of her. We know she will make a difference!

Little Sisters, Big Sisters

Every Wednesday, junior students from Years 4, 5 and 6 at Nhulunbuy Primary School join their ‘big sister’ Stars for an afternoon of fun activities.

These sessions are designed to familiarise the younger girls with Stars and help them bond with Mentors and older Stars students.

Our amazing Middle Years students act as big sisters to the younger girls and help them understand that high school isn’t as scary as they might think!

Activities range from swimming, picnics at local waterholes and cook ups, to arts and crafts, dinners and hunting activities.

Last week, the girls had an afternoon beach picnic where they went fishing and searched for perwinkles in the wet sand.

Paying Tribute

Stars across our programs – from Townsville and Darwin to Tennant Creek and Jabiru – participated in Anzac Day commemorations this year.

Our young women took part in dawn services and marches in their local communities to pay tribute to and remember those who have served.

Some were even lucky enough to meet the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten!

Stars In Victoria

Stars opened two new programs in Mildura this year – the first for Indigenous girls in Victoria – and we are already seeing some fantastic student outcomes with current participants as the programs develop.

At Chaffey Middle School, the attendance rate for Stars students for Term 1 was very high at 91 per cent, significantly higher than the whole school attendance rate for the same period.

At Mildura Senior College, our Year 11 and 12 Stars recorded an excellent attendance rate of 89 per cent, as compared to a whole school Indigenous attendance rate of 81 per cent.

At the beginning of term, it was fabulous to see our Year 7 and 8 students begin their journey with Stars, taking enthusiastic part in their first induction day.

They enjoyed some fun activities, including ten-pin bowling, a shared lunch and a reflective walk along the riverfront with their Mentors.

This day of bonding gave our new students a chance to develop stronger relationships with each other and their Mentors, as well as learn more about Stars and our values – Respect, Honesty, Commitment and Pride.

A big welcome to all of our Mildura Stars!

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.