As part of Shooting Star’s commitment to empowering Aboriginal girls in remote communities, the organisation focuses heavily on developing the leadership skills of its participants.
Shooting Stars achieves this through its Leadership Program which helps close the gap for young Aboriginal women leaders in Years 8-12.
Shooting Stars Carnarvon participant, Kate Lawer, has experienced the Leadership Program and saw her subsequent leadership project come to fruition late last year after coordinating a professional photoshoot to showcase Aboriginal culture and its connection with the land.
The project saw Kate work closely with a number of different stakeholders including fellow Shooting Stars participants who modelled, Shooting Stars staff, a photographer, hairdresser and makeup artist.
“I wanted to do this project to build the girls confidence and for them to be proud about their culture. Also, there are no modelling opportunities in Carnarvon so this was a perfect project to give the girls that kind of experience,” said Lawer.
“For the location of the photoshoot I wanted the beach and the Cactus farm as they represent Carnarvon. I also just wanted relaxed photos where everyone would feel comfortable and at home.”
“This project made me feel really happy to see all of the girls pampered, making them feel really confident and good about themselves, and then inspired to step out of their comfort zones in front of the camera. I am also really grateful that I was able to do this project through Shooting Stars, not only for the other girls, but for me as well, it was an amazing opportunity.”
Shooting Stars Executive Officer, Fran Haintz said leadership projects like this one provide opportunities for participants to engage with their local community and foster their own community spirit.
“Such projects teach our participants how to become active contributors within both the school and broader community. The acquired leadership skills enable the girls to contribute positively to improving the communities they live in,” said Haintz.
Through the Shooting Stars Leadership Program, the organisation identifies and raises community awareness of the barriers to rural and remote Aboriginal women’s leadership opportunities and promotes the removal of those barriers; supporting and encouraging girls and women to pursue leadership positions within their school, higher education and employment.
The program also provides access to corporate experiences, via engagement with female leaders in business, giving participants a taste of success and a toolkit to implement their leadership style moving forward.