Whilst our Shooting Stars participants were enjoying a well-deserved break over the summer holidays our regional staff travelled to Perth for a week-long intensive training program to prepare for the year ahead.
The annual training affords our staff the opportunity to gather and share ideas, work through challenges and to gain invaluable professional development. Operating at eight sites across our vast state our teams are geographically isolated, making these sessions an important occasion to reconnect and refresh team spirit.
Supporters of the program also met with our regional staff whilst they were in Perth with partners invited to watch a friendly netball match between Shooting Stars and Netball WA staff, followed by a sundowner BBQ. This was a great opportunity for our staff to share real stories of each Shooting Stars site with our partners to strengthen their connection with the program whilst cementing the positive impact Shooting Stars has on young indigenous girls in rural communities.
During the week staff heard from a range of inspirational women including:
- WAALI Alumna and Co-Chair, Danni Cameron, learning about Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid
- Joddi McGuire speaking on emotional intelligence
- Carley Morell teaching self-care
- Sara Terry from ShoutOut! Sharing her personal journey which resonated with many of our staff and what they want their own Shooting Stars girls to achieve
Curriculum Development Officer, Lowana Corley and Research Manager Dr Rose Whitau lead staff through curriculum delivery, reporting & data analysis workshops to build knowledge and skills for Shooting Stars Health & Wellbeing workshops and Yarning research.
“Shooting Stars staff completed training for Mandatory Reporting, Mental Health First Aid and spent time collaboratively planning for health and wellbeing initiatives. This ensures that our staff on the ground are fully equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge and are better able to meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable, young Indigenous women in Western Australia.” – Lowana Corley, Curriculum Development Officer
Staff brushed up on skills required to conduct Yarning Circles, a vital component of program development and evaluation, and participated in Yarn themselves.
“We used a yarning circle to refresh our internal staff values, and we landed on what we stand for very quickly and collectively, which shows how aligned we are as a team. We now have a very age diverse team as well and it is appropriate and refreshing for us to have the perspective of our younger staff cohort, particularly our two new trainees, who have just graduated year 12 as Shooting Stars participants.” – Dr. Rose Whitau, Shooting Stars Research Manager
It was also a time to reflect on the strength of the Shooting Stars program and all that has been achieved over the past five years. We celebrated the growth of individuals, with Kirsten Howard, who was our first Shooting Stars trainee, becoming our most seasoned veteran and leading a team of three. We also celebrated the contribution of Regional Manager, Helen Ockerby, and wished her every success as she leaves the program to pursue a role with Garnduwa in the Kimberley. Helen has been a strong and inspiration leader for our staff who gave her an emotional farewell.
“Over four years Helen has been instrumental in establishing Shooting Stars across the state through strategic planning, staff development and leadership. Perhaps her greatest legacy has been her wisdom and knowledge of country and culture which she generously shared with us all.” – Fran Haintz, Shooting Stars Executive Officer.