Our Vision: Empowered Aboriginal Girls and Women
In remote Australia, data from schools has indicated that the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students graduating has been up to 52% less than their non-Indigenous peers. In 2022, high school (years 7/8 - 12) retention rates in WA for non-Indigenous female students was 84.2%, while for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female students, it was just 47.4%. Shooting Stars is on a mission to change this, with sites based in host schools across Western and South Australia. Our purpose is to not only support Aboriginal girls and young women to increase their school attendance and engagement, but also to help strengthen their confidence, cultural identity, well-being and positive relationships. We work with participants to grow their capacity and resources to make informed decisions for themselves, unlocking the door to self-determination and empowerment so they can reach their full potential. To realise our vision, the Shooting Stars program has developed an extensive strategic plan which lays the foundations for our operations. By continuously focusing on our key goals and strategies, our purpose remains at the heart of what we do.
Glass Jar Australia’s Shooting Stars educational engagement program was established out of a successful Netball WA pilot initiative in Halls Creek in 2014. As a result of the positive community impact delivered, the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy directed funding to establish an independent not for profit; Glass Jar Australia. Glass Jar Australia runs the program Shooting Stars, and its purpose is to empower Aboriginal people and communities, stay true to the Shooting Stars Way and challenge the status quo. Based in host schools across Western and South Australia, Shooting Stars combines advocacy and support, engagement activities, motivators, and health and wellbeing sessions to strengthen participants' confidence, cultural identity, and positive outlooks, while promoting their health and wellbeing. In order to meet our purpose and action our goals, we align with key underpinning partners who support us at the Federal and State level to drive our vision of empowered Aboriginal girls and women.
So far this year, we have launched two new Shooting Stars sites - one at Edmund Rice College in Bindoon, and the other at Wyndham District High School. The program now reaches over 1,200 girls at 22 sites across Western and South Australia. Celebrating the fact that several of our sites have now completed Art with the Stars projects - an initiative that stemmed from a localised steering committee yarn - we are launching the first Art with the Stars exhibition, which showcases the basket-weaving, textiles, dancing, painting and fashion pieces created by the participants as they collaborated with a local Aboriginal artist. The project encourages the girls to explore their identity and connect to their culture, Country and community. Also based on feedback and advice provided by community members, we have rebranded our mental health and wellbeing program, previously referred to as Seven Sisters. It is now known as Deadly Minds Matter, and it has been incorporated into the main Shooting Stars program across all sites. Sites launched this year: - Wyndham - Edmund Rice
Now empowering over 1,000 girls across Western and South Australia, Shooting Stars has had a massive 2022 – perhaps its biggest year yet. Having begun the conversation with the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) in 2021, we have formalised our framework around our trauma-informed approach, ensuring that we are facilitating the development of staff wellbeing and a practice and supervision model. All of this ultimately complements the Shooting Stars Way – a framework that influences and guides everything we do. With the program’s growth came the need for increased corporate and government support to ensure sustainability in the future. Major partner, Mineral Resources, extended their support to our mental health and wellbeing program, Seven Sisters, and OZ Minerals and GFG Resources came on board as our first corporate partners for our sites in Whyalla, South Australia. A big highlight for the year was launching our book, 'Kaya Kwopetok Koorlang Yok - Dear Beautiful Young Woman.' The book celebrates the Shooting Stars yarning process by inviting some of the women involved with Shooting Stars to share what 'success' means to them. Sites launched this year: - Merredin - Kiara College - Tom Price - Morawa
2021 was a year of growth and expansion for Shooting Stars, with the organisation adding an additional four sites in Western Australia, as well as expanding into Whyalla in South Australia. The 2021-2023 Strategic Plan was launched, which provides the foundations for the organisation to achieve its vision of empowered Aboriginal girls and women. This strategy was formulated using a collaborative-approach receiving significant input from participants, staff, community and our corporate stakeholders. Shooting Stars introduced two new programs for our participants, the first being the Art with the Stars program. With the pilot taking place in Carnarvon and Halls Creek, Art with the Stars is an art based program providing participants with a space and a means to connect with their cultural identity, community and country. The second program launched, Sparks and Pathways, supports participants from year 8 – 12 on their education journey. The program helps the students identity their spark and passions, and then mentors them for their post-school journey. In 2021, the Shooting Stars’ academic paper, identifying the barriers and solutions for young Aboriginal women in Western Australia attending school, was accepted for publication in The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, further cementing Shooting Stars expertise in this space. Finally, we also welcomed two new Shooting Stars board members, Tara Martin and Brendon Grylls. Sites launched this year: - Collie - Hedland - Kununurra - Whyalla
2020 marked Shooting Stars' fifth Birthday and to celebrate the organisation reflected on its achievements to date including, establishing Glass Jar Australia and setting the strategic plan, achieving 85% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, establishing the program across eight sites as well as a research arm and achieving diversified sources of funding. In the second half of the year, Shooting Stars launched its holistic well-being program, Seven Sisters with a pilot program in Narrogin. Once again, Shooting Stars was recognised for its collaboration with partners in the resource sector being awarded a Community Partnership Resources Sector Award due to its partnership with St Barbara on the impacts the partnership has had on empowering Aboriginal girls and women in Leonora. Sites launched this year: - Fitzroy Crossing
2019 saw the Gold Industry Group come on board as our Premier Partner, allowing the program to further expand its footprint in the goldfields region with a site launched in Laverton. Shooting Stars and partner Sandfire Resources received a Community Partnership Resources Sector Award in 2019 to recognise the partnerships impact on empowering young Aboriginal girls and women. Late 2019 also saw Shooting Stars launch its re-brand featuring artwork developed by Aboriginal artist, Louise Ockerby. The Shooting Stars brand review was developed in conjunction with leading brand agency Marketforce, with a view to empower regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls on their educational and employment journeys. This sentiment is reflective of Ms Ockerby’s artwork. Ms Ockerby is a proud descendant of the Bardi (West Kimberley) and Nyoongar (South West) people of Western Australia. She was raised in Broome, surrounded by communities of the Dampier Peninsula. Her painting, “Leadership Journey”, represents the eight Shooting Stars sites across Western Australia and the leadership journey of the girls within and beyond the Shooting Stars program. Sites launched this year: - Laverton
2018 was a big year of growth for Shooting Stars as the WA Department of Education confirmed their support for the program, enabling Shooting Stars to launch in the goldfields initially with Leonora. 2018 also saw the Hon. Julie Bishop come on board as Patron of the program, as well as Australian Diamonds player, Courtney Bruce and West Coast Fever player Jhaniele Fowler, join the family as a Shooting Stars Ambassadors. The program was also recognised for its development in the leadership space, with a Community Services Excellence Award for Excellence in Leadership. In 2018 Shooting Stars gained ethical approval from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) for its participant and community research. Sites launched this year: - Leonora
2017 saw Shooting Stars Regional Managers present the Yarning with the Stars results at the World Indigenous Conference in Toronto in August, 2017. Shooting Stars launched its program in Narrogin, where it was established as our flagship South-West site. Shooting Stars Executive Officer, Fran Haintz was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for the Promotion of Human Rights Winner Award by the United Nations Association of Australia. Sites launched this year: - Narrogin
2016 was a big year for Shooting Stars, with four additional sites starting up in Carnarvon, Meekatharra, Mullewa and Wiluna. Shooting Stars hired a Research Manager to develop its Yarning with the Stars project to gain feedback and recommendations from participants and community on our programs. 2016 also saw Shooting Stars partner with West Coast Fever for the inaugural national Indigenous Round and Fever player, Verity Charles, become the first West Coast Fever Ambassador to the Shooting Stars program. Sites launched this year: - Carnarvon - Meekatharra - Mullewa - Wiluna
After a successful pilot program in Halls Creek, Shooting Stars secured Federal Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding and was able to officially commence the program in July, 2015. In December, the program recruited the Leadership Team that would roll out the programs across our sites in Halls Creek and Derby. Sites launched this year: - Derby - Halls Creek
Glass Jar Australia’s Shooting Stars program was established out of a successful Netball WA pilot initiative in Halls Creek in 2014. As a result of the positive community impact delivered, the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy directed funding to establish an independent not for profit; Glass Jar Australia.