Name: Haylee Rivers
Where you’re from: Halls Creek, Kija and Jaru country.
Who your mob: I am a descendant of Kija, Jaru, Bunaba with connections to Gurindji, Walmajarri and Walpuri tribes. There could be others I am linked to but we are still discovering our family connections.
Job Title: Program Coordinator- Halls Creek
Which school are you based at: Halls Creek District High School
How long have you been working for shooting stars: 13 months
Give us a snap shot of what your day to day job consists of: I wear many hats within my job that can be very challenging and demanding at times but the positive results are what make it so rewarding. I provide classroom support in female health lessons for year 7-10 and am on call during the day for any teachers or students who need extra support within class or personal issues. I am based in school at the girls room/shooting stars room which the girls know and often come to me for toiletry needs, a place to sleep, humbug me for food or if they need to yarn about anything. The room is a safe place that the girls own and feel comfortable in. I deliver wellbeing sessions every period 7 for all high school female students, I run netball trainings and community netball with my manager Helen and a volunteer coach, I support after school drama and dance sessions every Wednesday with the local theatre group and also run Aussie Hoops Basketball sessions every Friday night with my manager and senior students within the program. On top of this I plan 2 reward camps per term, create smaller events throughout the term, support or create holiday programs, update weekly data and submit to manager every Friday, I also organise 1 steering committee meeting per term, invite service providers to our sessions to maintain the relationships and networks we have within the community and I also am apart of the school attendance meetings.
What do you love the most about your job? Being able to play many roles at once, go on exciting adventures with a group of talented and fun young girls. Everyday is different and every student brings something special to the program which makes the job so much fun! I also get to grow up with these girls who teach me new ways to handle the difficult situations that can come with teenage girls. There’s a lot of drama and cat fights amongst the group but there is never a dull moment and the best part is when they succeed we all succeed. That makes the job so rewarding and worth every moment.
How has working with shooting stars benefited you? I have developed new relationships with the community, the school, service providers and the students. Being in this role I have been exposed to new ways of learning and identifying how I can support these young girls and my own community. I have been able to create my own programs and test what interests and engages the girls and what also is beneficial for them. Basically figuring out what works and what doesn’t then applying them into the girls to develop and build their skills. I have gained more personal benefits along with establishing my place within the community I grew up in.
What attracted you to the role? I actually was considering starting my own little team up for basketball with my younger sisters and cousins, and also wanted to run female workshops for them looking at how to work as a team, friendships, what is a positive relationship, Godly Principles, personal hygiene and beauty then end with a fashion show or create some type of art piece whether it was dance, music or drama. It was ironic that this job popped up around the same time and my mum sent me the application. I was hesitant at first to apply because I didn’t think I had enough experience nor did I think I was good enough to take on the position. I eventually submitted an application and to my surprise was offered the job. And boy am I glad I did!
Why is the shooting stars organisation important to the community? The community doesn’t have much programs for the youth in general let alone anything for the girls. Since we commenced this program we have made a sound effort to keep community involved in anyway we can. This is the perfect opportunity to see the girls in a different space and environment outside of school, this also attracts more parents and adults to be highlighted in a positive way for the girls and boys to share experiences that has no drugs, alcohol or violence attached. I hope we are showcasing a great program that the community can be proud of and encourage their girls to join.
How do you envisage the program evolving in the future? I hope this program can remain permanent in years to come. It has so much potential to grow and develop to become bigger and better and possibly produce some great stars for the future. Shooting Stars represents great values and the girls are benefiting so much having this embedded in the school and community. We have gained great feedback already from service providers and community members. I’m looking forward to watching the students grow as the program grows.