Shooting Stars inspires young leader with big ambitions

October 23, 2018

Shooting Stars’ Narrogin site has not only seen its participants increase their attendance rate at school, but has sparked leadership qualities within its cohort.

Dakoda Bolton-Black was recently elected by her peers to the student council, where she will act as a voice for her fellow pupils.

The young gun said being involved with Shooting Stars has played a crucial role in helping her apply for the position.  

“You wouldn’t think there was somewhere that can help with your schooling so much as Shooting Stars, but it is amazing with your confidence, having people there to encourage you every step of the way is awesome,” she said.

“I’ve been doing sessions with Deputy Principal Ms Stankovic, it’s called Student Voice and we bring a friend along and they work with us to see how we can better the school.”

Shooting Stars is an initiative of Netball WA and Glass Jar Australia and uses netball as the vehicle to encourage greater engagement and attendance at school of young Aboriginal girls living in WA’s remote communities and regional towns.

Narrogin Senior High School Principal Melissa Walker praised the effort of Dakoda, as well as the positive impact from Shooting Stars.  

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our Aboriginal students to see a young person being a leader in that sort of a role and being an influence with the decisions that are being made across the school,” Ms Walker said.

Dakota’s goal after school is to attend university where she hopes to find a career that helps her give back to the community.

Narrogin was the first Shooting Stars site to be opened south of Perth, with 24 participants embracing the program to date.

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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 an average attendance improvement of 18% across the board, 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