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Giving mental wellbeing a sporting chance

Shooting Stars’ Seven Sisters program is helping Aboriginal girls grow their social skills and build mental resilience to respond to life’s challenges. As proud supporter of Seven Sisters, we visited Narrogin Senior High School to see the program’s positive local impact.

 

Shooting Stars empowers Aboriginal girls and women across Western Australia to make informed choices about their education and employment journey, helping them shoot for the stars.

Hosted at 15 schools across regional, remote and metropolitan communities, Shooting Stars supports over 750 Aboriginal girls and women to make informed choices about their education and employment journey.

Shooting Stars

Mineral Resources’ four-year commitment as principal partner of the Shooting Stars’ Seven Sisters program is now helping participants grow social and emotional wellbeing skills and develop preventative mental health strategies.

Through Seven Sisters, participants attend weekly one-hour sessions and engage in culturally grounded warm-up activities, netball skill development, guided stretching and meditation, and discussions on key wellbeing themes.

The end of the 10-week program is celebrated with a community netball match attended by local mental health service providers who guide conversations on ways to break down barriers to accessing mental health services.

Taya Olman, Program Assistant at Narrogin Senior High School, said the Seven Sisters program focuses on using netball as a tool to help prioritise mental health within Indigenous communities.

“Seven Sisters is a great way for our girls to learn about their emotions and how to regulate them. They love netball and when they play, they just feel free and comfortable to talk more openly about their emotions,” Taya said.

“We’re using a sport they’re passionate about to help tackle more serious conversations about mental health and wellbeing. It’s really a great platform.”

“We’re seeing positive changes in the girls as they become more eager to identify their emotions and discover new ways to deal with life’s challenges. We offer a safe and trusted space to talk about their feelings.”

Chelsea Ugle – a year seven student and a Seven Sisters participant – said the program has helped her become more aware and confident with her emotions.

“I’m more confident because with Seven Sisters I can express myself, be myself and no one will judge me,” Chelsea said.

“At the start of most sessions, there are cards on the floor that say how you’re feeling – so you stand on the one that matches your emotions. By the end of the day, we all have grins on our faces.”

For Tresene Farmer, striking a balance between year 10 studies and working on her emotional wellbeing through Seven Sisters is helping her become a better version of herself.

“If I’m having trouble dealing with my feelings, the program helps and it’s a really good way to bond with the other girls,” Tresene said.

“I’m pretty good at sport, so I really enjoy physical education classes, but I also like science and maths – plus I’m taking a financial literacy class to help me manage money. Seven Sisters definitely helps me with confidence in all my classes.”

“After school, I’m interested in becoming a mechanic, an interior/exterior designer or maybe a translator – I think they’re pretty cool jobs.”

MinRes Community Engagement Officer, Candice Burvill, said partnering the Seven Sisters program helps girls build confidence, resilience and broader social networks – growing their confidence and promoting new education and career pathways.

“Seeing the program in action and watching the girls participating, their confidence and their eagerness to showcase themselves and their character absolutely shine,” she said.

“MinRes has a focus on building strong, supportive and engaging community partnerships – and empowering individuals within those communities to go further to build better futures for themselves.”

“Our partnership with Shooting Stars strengthens our community engagement efforts by helping to build solid foundations in local schools and deliver positive mental wellbeing outcomes in young people, throughout their education and into employment.”

For more information on the Seven Sisters program, visit the Shooting Stars website.