Shooting for the stars in remote WA

Annual Review stories Community stories: 9 December 2020

Shooting Stars is a unique program, formed by Netball WA and Glass Jar Australia in 2014. It uses netball as a vehicle for empowering young Aboriginal women living in remote WA to improve their school attendance rates, while promoting health and wellbeing.

Shooting Stars aims to drive social change and close the gap created by gender imbalance in Indigenous support programs. Less than 30% of Aboriginal girls complete year 12, and the importance of the link between education and employment is well documented.

Participation in the program is incentivised with the opportunity to be rewarded with attendance to a camp and this has a huge impact on the success of the overall program delivery. Girls must meet the Shooting Star program benchmarks – either maintain an 80% or above attendance rate or show an improvement of 20% or more from the previous term, and exhibit exemplary behaviour in class.

“Being accepted onto the camp empowers these girls to feel that if they work hard, anything is possible.”

Funding of $5,000 from Round 33 of FRRR’s Small Grants program contributed to the Confident Me Cultural Rewards Camp held in Meekatharra in June 2019. Thirty girls, aged between 13 and 18 years, travelled On Country with Elder Noeleen Gilla, who led cooking and art activities. The cooking activity led to an engaged discussion around health eating habits and what the girls could do to better support their health and wellbeing by making healthy choices about what food they consume. The Confident Me workshop, a part of the Dove Self Esteem project, was a major component of the camp, and helped the girls focus on self-esteem and confidence, learning about media literacy, body image in the media, and how to manage social pressures. The camp culminated in a yarning circle about their experience of the camp, “They shared ideas in a safe, culturally appropriate environment and learned from one another and from camp facilitators.” The yarns are recorded and transcribed for evaluation of the camp. As you can see, the Camp is much more than a netball program!

“We are most proud that we are able to reward Shooting Stars for their improved attendance and behaviour at school. By supporting them to make positive choices throughout the school year we were able to reinforce their success through the Reward Camp, showing them that their hard work is valued.”

Melanie McKee, Community Investment Coordinator, 2019