How did you get involved with Shooting Stars?

Shooting Stars had operated in my community, Narrogin Western Australia, since 2017 and I joined the team in 2019 as a Trainee Assistant Program Coordinator. Before joining the team, I didn’t know much about the program, but the Shooting Stars participants were great at advocating for it in our community, sharing how much they loved the program and the impact it had on them personally.

When I saw they were recruiting for a trainee position I jumped at the idea of being part of an organisation that affects genuine change in the lives of the younger girls in my community and was fortunate enough to get the position.

Since then, I’ve been with Shooting Stars for just over two years and have seen significant growth and positive change in myself. When I first started, I wasn’t confident with things outside of my comfort zone, like public speaking. Through Shooting Stars I’ve received support and opportunities to grow my confidence and am becoming more and more comfortable with speaking in public and putting myself out there.

Shooting Stars is committed to empowering its staff through development opportunities. In 2020, with the support of Shooting Stars I successfully completed my Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation and was promoted to Assistant Program Coordinator.

What does your role involve?

My role with Shooting Stars assists the Program Coordinator in the delivery of the Shooting Stars program in Narrogin. This includes supporting the roll out of all the engagement & reward activities, health and wellbeing sessions, facilitating yarning circles, as well as the collection, analysis and evaluation of the participant attendance data for our site.

Shooting Stars is all about building positive relationships with stakeholders. My role’s success is dependent on genuine relationships with our Shooting Stars participants, as well as working collaboratively with my fellow Shooting Stars colleagues, Narrogin school staff and the community.

How does the Shooting Stars program help greater engagement and attendance at school?

Our participants are at the centre of our program. Shooting Stars uses both an individual and collective approach to achieve a minimum of 80% attendance at school with a goal of increasing this to over 90% for its participants in all sites.

At an individual level, tailored attendance plans are put in place to support each student, as we understand that every girl is faced with different barriers for school attendance. These plans include strategies that address transportation issues, lack of food and inappropriate uniforms to ensure each participant has the foundations needed to succeed.

At a collective level, we use reward activities such as sport and cultural camps for participants who demonstrate exemplary behaviour, leadership potential and improved school attendance as an incentive to get the girls to school and keep them in the classroom.

What is your favourite thing about working for Shooting Stars?

Working for Shooting Stars, I love that I’m giving back to my community and get the opportunity to be a role model for our future leaders. I get to do this whilst working alongside other strong Aboriginal female leaders which is very empowering both for myself and the participants.

It’s pretty special to see the transformation in our participants from being disengaged in school to setting and achieving goals and learning what their passion and interests are and the steps they can take to foster that passion into a career.

How can Missing Perspectives readers support the work of Shooting Stars?

Shooting Stars has a number of ways you can get involved whether you’re an individual, a small business or large organisation, including donating, fundraising, supporting a project, workplace giving or becoming a corporate partner. Click here to learn more.