2018 Grant Recipient
Increasing school attendance for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Girls
Shooting Stars is an educational program that uses netball and other tools as vehicles to increase school attendance rates to 80-90% for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls living in regional and remote communities across Western Australia.
A 100 Women grant of $30,000 was awarded to Glass Jar Australia (who facilitate the program) towards the costs of four Cultural Rewards Camps in 2019. Students who increase their attendance at school and show exemplary behaviour in class are invited to attend a four-day on-country camp.
Activities at camp include Confident Me workshops (developing a positive relationship with your body), health and wellbeing workshops, connection to country and cultural activities, netball games against local sides, elder engagement and identity celebration and using art to express mental health.
Towards the end of the camp, the girls participate in a yarning circle to provide feedback on the camp and the broader program. The camps build resilience, self-esteem and capacity for Indigenous girls, to increase school attendance and ultimately drive social change.
Education is Key
The link between education and employment is proven. Without completing Year 10 the likelihood of Aboriginal Australians gaining full-time employment is 18%. When a student finishes Year 10, this increases to 51% and 63% if Year 12 is completed. Increasing a girl’s engagement and attendance at school gives her a real chance of completing a higher level of education and significantly increases her chances of finding a traineeship and/or employment post school.
The benefit to the wider community by driving social change and increasing rates of school attendance and then employment is immense. The cost benefit of keeping just 650 students in school for just one more year compared to receiving New Start Allowance totals $1,950,000 per year. Due to being engaged in school or positive pathways towards employment, there is also a huge cost benefit to the Australian Government in reduced health and judicial expenses.
Runs on the Board
Since 2014 the data from the program indicates an average attendance rate over 80% per student, with over 60% of the participants maintaining or improving their attendance across a full school year. In conjunction with an increase in attendance, individual improvement in academic engagement and class behaviour can also be observed qualitatively. These outcomes reflect real change in these students’ attitude towards their school and education.
-School attendance and engagement is critical to completing higher levels of education. With each further year of study, the opportunity for full-time employment increases.
-Shooting Stars is an education program designed specifically for Aboriginal girls in remote and regional WA to assist increase their attendance at school.
– For program participants who increase their school attendance and show exemplary behaviour, a 4-day, on-country camp is provided as a reward.-A 100 Women grant of $30,000 has been awarded towards the costs of four Cultural Rewards Camps in 2019.