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The Seven Sisters program will provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and women with opportunities to develop positive social and emotional wellbeing skills and preventative mental health strategies, which will enable them to respond and adapt to emerging challenges as they progress through the life course.
The Seven Sisters program was successfully piloted in Narrogin in 2020, and has now been implemented across all Shooting Stars sites with our Year 5 & 6 students. 2022 will see the Seven Sisters program adapted for high school students and rolled out across the Shooting Stars sites.
Through yarning with our participants from 2016-2018, Shooting Stars identified some recurring themes as barriers for school attendance across our sites including negative relationships with peers or staff, emotional regulation and bullying.
Over the 10-week program, participants will learn how to recognise and name their emotions, they will develop strategies for cheering themselves up or calming down. As well as developing emotional regulation in situations, the participants will also learn how to develop and build healthy relationships both on and off the court.
The program has been developed in line with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives of social and emotional health – which applies a holistic model of connection to seven different spheres of life: culture, land, physical self, mental self, community, family/kinship and ancestors/spirituality. Characters were designed to reflect these spheres to allow participants to affiliate and connect with at least one character.
The program finishes with a community netball match event, open to families and the wider community to support the participants. The event is also an opportunity for local Aboriginal health service providers to engage with the participants and build connections.
Shooting Stars engaged Charlotte Allingham, a Wiradjuri artist, based in Melbourne to produce the Seven Sisters artworks.
The Seven Sisters program helps our participants break down barriers so they feel comfortable accessing health services in their community. Below are the Aboriginal Health Service Providers available in each of the communities we operate in.