Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars is a community-led education engagement program for Aboriginal girls and young women. Based in host schools, the program combines advocacy and support with engagement activities, rewards, and health and wellbeing sessions to build confidence, cultural identity and positive relationships. Shooting Stars’ vision is ‘empowered Aboriginal girls and women,’ and they aim to ensure program participants are empowered to make informed decisions about their education and employment journey, helping them strive for the stars. 

Research, that is deeply grounded in Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing, underpins everything Shooting Stars does. In yarning circles facilitated by program staff, the voices of participants, community members and localised steering committees have a platform to share feedback, challenge the status quo and tailor the Shooting Stars program within their own community. This place-based model ensures each Shooting Stars site delivers a program that is relevant and that truly empowers its participants. 

Furthermore, Shooting Stars is a key driver in creating equality for female leaders and generational change, with the majority of their staff being Aboriginal women. These women are inspiring role models, who are responsible for the day-to-day management and implementation of the program. 


The things we want to achieve: 

  • Grow positive attitudes and values: Students grow positive attitudes towards their education, health and wellbeing, and future while demonstrating the Shooting Stars values: Pride, Respect, Success 
  • Empower Indigenous women: Students feel empowered to make positive and informed decisions 
  • Strengthen Cultural Identity: Students feel strong and proud to be Aboriginal women 
  • Improve School Attendance: Students improve their school attendance 


The things we do: 

  • Collaboration & Community Engagement: We engage and empower our communities through collaboration. Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do 
  • Health & Wellbeing Sessions: Students join in health and well-being lessons during the week 
  • Rewards: Students are rewarded for their positive choices and behaviour 
  • Advocacy and Support for Participants: Staff are based on the school site to support with issues that may arise during the school day 
  • Engagement Activities: Students are engaged with different sports, arts, and fun games at school and outside of school 

Yarning with The Stars Project

Shooting Stars facilitates yarning circles with participants, localised steering committees, and broader community in order to: 

  1. Provide feedback to the people that fund us so that we can get more funding to keep the program running and make the program better 
  1. Gather feedback from participants and local communities about the program so that we can make it better and ensure that it is site specific 
  1. Publish the results of the study so that other organisations can use our methods and to build the prestige of the Shooting Stars program 

The study is part of the Shooting Stars program and carried out by Shooting Stars staff as part of the funding requirements of National Indigenous Australians Agency. Participation in the Yarning with the Stars project means that your daughter will be part of a yarning circle. The yarning circle will be audiotaped (sound only, no video). 

Yarning with The Stars Outcomes 

During Yarning Circles, your daughter can have her say about the program and give us feedback. We will also ask her questions that help us to gauge her attitude towards school, education, her health and wellbeing, her identity, and her future. We analyse the results of the yarn and write a summary report, which then goes to the local steering committee. For example, in 2017, the girls asked for (amongst many things) a chocolate fountain, a trip to Hawaii, and to play netball against St Mary’s. Of those particular options, Shooting Stars decided to play netball against St Mary’s. 

Deadly Minds Matter Program

Through yarning with participants from 2016-2018 some common barriers to school attendance emerged. From this, the Deadly Minds Matter program was developed. The program is aimed at developing mental health coping strategies within an Aboriginal health framework. The program also combines exercise and sport, such as netball, as an engagement vehicle, and for connection with body and fitness. 

The program runs for 10 weeks, finishing with a community netball match event. This event is a round robin netball match and is open to families and wider community to come together and show support for the girls. We welcome families to volunteer during this event, if you are interested in helping, please let the program coordinators know. 

Samantha WalkerShooting Stars – Program