Shooting Stars set to turn inspiring female success stories into a graphic novel

June 11, 2020

Shooting Stars is conducting online one on one yarns with successful women associated with the program to produce an academic paper exploring the topic of success and a graphic novel featuring these women’s journeys. 

Since 2016, Shooting Stars has facilitated 70 yarning circles as part of its Yarning with the Stars project which aims to enable communities and participants to drive the direction and content of their local Shooting Stars program. 

Four years on, and the theme for this year’s yarning is success. Initially, the organisation had planned to yarn with its participants, steering committees and communities about success to ensure the program empowers its participants to achieve their version of success. 

With the impacts of COVID-19, these yarns had to be delayed with Shooting Stars seeing this as an opportunity to launch the online one on one yarns with women from the Shooting Stars team, Glass Jar Australia Board, West Coast Fever team and selected Netball WA staff members.  

There are three parts to the one on one yarn, the participant’s story, Shooting Stars and success where those participating are asked a range of questions around what success means to them, their personal journey towards that success and their relationship with Shooting Stars and empowering young women.  

So far, the one on one yarn participants are predominantly Aboriginal (59%), but also include white Australian, Pasifika (Norfolk Island, Tokelauan, Samoan and NZ Maori) and Jamaican, reinforcing this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme, In This Together.  

Shooting Stars Research Manager and project lead, Dr Rose Whitau said it’s been a privilege to hear the incredible women’s stories so far.  

“Currently I have conducted 25 yarns with 22 women ranging in age and experience, from a Shooting Stars trainee fresh out of year 12 to Noongar Elders,” said Whitau. 

“All of these women are successful in their own right.” 

“Once finished, I think this will be a great resource for our girls to know more about the challenges that women they know, respect and admire have faced on their path to their version of success.” 

Part of this project is to also produce a graphic novel, where Shooting Stars will engage with Aboriginal cartoon artists to produce comic strips portraying each of these successful women’s stories.  

Shooting Stars aims for a first draft of the academic paper to be complete by the beginning of September.  

If any Aboriginal cartoon artists would like to be involved in this project, please contact Shooting Stars Research Manager Dr Rose Whitau on rosewhitau@shootingstars.org.au  

NOTE: The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) have approved these COVID-19 amendments to Shooting Stars’ ethics approval.  

A Yarning Circle by Helen Ockerby