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Shooting Stars on the trip of a lifetime

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Eight young Indigenous women standing on a carpeted floor in front of a poster wall with multiple displays of the word ‘Aladdin’.
Visiting Aladdin the Musical, the singing netballers enjoyed a carpet ride of their own, enjoying many sights and sounds of Brisbane. Photo courtesy of Shooting Stars.
7 Mar 2017

On the trip of a lifetime, last November eight young Aboriginal women from Halls Creek in north Western Australia flew to Brisbane to sing at the Aboriginal Centre of the Performing Arts in front of 1,800 people.

The young women were excited and nervous. For most it was their first time travelling to Queensland and for some, their first trip on a plane.

The young women are part of Shooting Stars a netball program designed to increase school attendance and engagement, and improve the wellbeing of Indigenous young people. A collaboration with Girls from Oz, Shooting Stars is supported by Glass Jar Australia,   

Year 9 student, Kellie-anne Duinker, said she joined the program through her school.

“The Shooting Stars program makes me feel safe and confident with the support the program provides,” Kellie-anne said.

“I like playing netball so I was eager to join for more opportunities.”

They made new friends, particularly with their host families, gained confidence and strength from their performance and adjusted well to new experiences and the fast pace of city life.

“I gained a lot of confidence from this experience and was exposed to a new environment which got me out of my comfort zone,” Kellie-anne said.

“I learnt a lot from this trip, like how to catch planes and being in a big airport. Also performing on stage in front of an audience of 1,800 people.”

By the end of the trip the students were sad to leave but also ready to return home to their families.

As a result of their experience, they are now encouraging their peers at school to not be shy and that anything is possible if you just have a go.

“I also feel like a role model for my community, family and friends,” Kellie-anne said.

“I was inspired by the cultural aspect of music and dance at ACPA (Aboriginal Centre of Performing Arts), I would be interested in auditioning when I finish school. “

Program Coordinator of Shooting Stars, Haylee Rivers, accompanied the young women.

“It was overwhelming for me to see the girls performing on the big stage,” Haylee said.

“I was so excited for them and extremely proud of how far they have come in getting over their fears of stage fright. I was blessed to be a part of this journey and share their experiences with them.”

Find out more

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet funds the Shooting Stars program through Glass Jar Australia.

Shooting Stars uses netball as the vehicle to encourage greater engagement and attendance at school of young indigenous girls living in remote communities and regional towns in Western Australia.

Glass Jar Australia is a charitable organisation that aims to initiate and support a range of programs linked to netball and designed to promote inclusion and improve the lives of individuals in regional Western Australia.

Girls from Oz provides activities to children and young people in remote Australia that expand life experiences and increase opportunities for those who have limited access to high quality performing arts education. In this case, they trained the Shooting Stars to sing and prepared them for the concert.