Ten Indigenous girls from the Gold Industry Group (GIG) backed Shooting Stars education program were rewarded for their achievements this month, taking part in an action-packed leadership camp in Perth.
A wide variety of activities were in store for the girls, who range from year 9 to 12 and hail from regional communities as far flung as Carnarvon, Mullewa, Meekatharra, Narrogin and Leonora.
The week-long tour gave them the opportunity to experience Perth city whilst engaging with a diverse spectrum of strong leaders in order to gain cultural knowledge and understanding, and learn project management skills.
Alysha Ryder, a year 9 student from Narrogin, said she loved the experience.
“It was a great opportunity to show them my leadership skills because it was so hard but then I got out of my comfort zone and showed them what a leader would do out there,” she said.
West Coast Fever
The Gold Industry Group witnessed a special dress blessing ceremony, where Shooting Stars participants presented West Coast Fever players with their Indigenous dresses at the State Netball Centre. These dresses were worn by the players during Fever’s game in the Suncorp Super Netball Indigenous Round which celebrates the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women throughout Australia.
The Shooting Stars participants then attended Fever’s Round 8 game on 15 June against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at RAC Arena. This included a pre-game function, held in The Green Room, where the girls met with the Hon. Julie Bishop, the Inaugural Patron of the Shooting Stars program. Just prior to the game beginning, they joined the Fever players on court for an official Welcome to Country, performed by Dr Richard Walley OAM.
Fever players and Shooting Stars Ambassadors Courtney Bruce, Jhaniele Fowler and Verity Charles also joined their Coach Stacey Marinkovich in an exclusive leadership session with the Shooting Stars.
West Coast Fever Managing Director Simon Taylor said he was delighted the Club were able to host a game during Indigenous Round, to celebrate the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women throughout the State.
“The Shooting Stars Round is a wonderful opportunity for our Club to commemorate the significant results that are being achieved by the Shooting Stars program,” Mr Taylor said.
Whilst in Perth, the Shooting Stars participants attended a leadership workshop with the West Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute, toured the innovative start-up Hub Bloom and St Catherine’s College, had a session at the UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies, and even starred in a broadcast on Noongar Radio.
The Shooting Stars participants also visited Saracen Mineral Holdings’ Perth office, where they were given an insight into the company’s diverse gold mining operations, along with the career opportunities available. The girls then had the opportunity to hear first-hand from Saracen employees about their roles and discuss post-school pathway opportunities.
In addition to being a member of the Gold Industry Group - the first Premier Partner of Shooting Stars - Saracen Mineral Holdings are also a community partner of Shooting Stars in their own right, having funded the set up of the Program’s site in Leonora WA, which now also has the support of St Barbara Limited and Gold Fields Australia.
Shooting Stars Executive Officer Fran Haintz said the leadership camp was continuing to evolve each year and she is proud of its outcome.
“These students have been rewarded for their impressive progress throughout the year. It is thoroughly deserved for all their hard work and effort in the school environment.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for some of these girls and hopefully something that they will treasure for a long time.
“Being exposed to these opportunities will serve as further motivation for them to maintain the level of engagement in our program and school. It’s also about showing the positive pathways that are achievable for girls from remote communities,” Ms Haintz said.
As a direct result of the Shooting Stars program, several projects have already been successfully delivered to remote communities, including: health checks for Carnarvon students, a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in Halls Creek and a buddy system for new students at Narrogin Senior High School.
GIG members behind the premier partnership of Shooting Stars include Gold Fields, Northern Star Resources, Saracen Mineral Holdings, Newcrest Mining, St Barbara Limited, Newmont Goldcorp Australia, AngloGold Ashanti Australia, Gold Road Resources and Ramelius Resources.