School holidays is usually a chance for students to put the books down and forget about school for a fortnight, however Shooting Stars participants have had other ideas during their recent spell from school.
Students from Shooting Stars regularly visit Carnarvon Hospital and provide manicures to the patients.
As school came to a close for another term, the girls refused to break their good deed for the week and insisted on continuing their virtuous work during their time off.
“It’s good to give up your time and it makes you feel good, makes them feel good, and they are using their skills, they’re implementing something they have learnt and giving it back the community,” said Shooting Stars Program Coordinator Bernie Kop.
“I don’t think it’s the fact we are putting nail polish on them, but it’s about having that contact with us and we do have lots of different conversations.”
“Giving back to the community is really important, to make a good community.”
WA Country Health Service Regional Director (Midwest), Jeffrey Calver, praised the work of the young volunteers.
“The Shooting Stars initiative is a great example of how we can come together with other organisations to benefit our patients,” Mr Calver said.
“Here in the Midwest we pride ourselves on being there for our communities in their time of need.
“But we’re not immune to the fact that hospitals can be daunting environments and what these young girls do is offer some comfort, some interaction and some kindness in offering manicures to some of our elderly patients,” Mr Calver added.
An initiative of Netball WA and Glass Jar Australia, Shooting Stars is an educational program that uses netball and other tools as vehicles to achieve its primary vision of increasing school attendance rates for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) girls living in WA’s remote communities and regional towns to 80-90%.
The program now engages more than 350 students across eight delivery sites, with 30% of participants improving attendance term on term, while 60% of participants maintain an average attendance rate of 80% or above. Furthermore, the Program is a key driver in creating equality for female leaders and generational change, with 75% of its staff and 50% of its Board identifying as Indigenous.
Shooting Stars enjoys the backing of the governing body for netball in Netball WA, and with that support comes nearly 100 years of professional expertise in community programs and development. To find out more about the program, including information about making philanthropic donations and corporate partnerships, visit www.shootingstars.com.au