Now in its 12th year, this annual event is held to raise awareness of those living with a disability in the Upper Hunter, including clients from integratedliving Australia.
The program gives student volunteers the opportunity to move out of their comfort zone, learn new life skills and gain a better understanding and knowledge about people with disabilities.
The week-long event involved a series of workshops in art, music, drama, dance, sport and cooking and ended with a concert that gave the All Stars an opportunity to show off their skills and talents to members of the community.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for the students to try something new. Seeing the looks and facial expressions on the client’s faces is just so rewarding and makes it all worth it,” said Jeremy Smith, a student who was a core member of the 2018 organising group.
“All Stars is so much more than a planned week with activities. Students and clients build relationships for life, create wonderful memories and all benefit from the experience as a community,” said Bree Hurst who is also student and a core member.
During the workshops throughout the week, groups learnt their dances for the final concert, put together musical instruments including clap sticks, pipes and paper guitars, as well as props and decorations for the hall.
They also had the opportunity to engage in a range of fun-filled games and activities including tug-a-war and relays. In addition, the cooking workshop gave them the chance make ice-blocks for a treat during morning tea.
After a successful concert and post-event barbeque, the groups came together for one last time on the final time for a water fun day, celebratory lunch and to say their final goodbyes until next year.
“It’s always asked of the students to ‘give up their time’ to participate in All Stars. Nothing is being given up, you’re gaining life skills, conversing with different types of people and most importantly making lifelong friends,” said Mady Warren, a student and core member.
“To see the smiles and hear the laughter and have fun, that’s what All Stars is all about. We have made friendships that will last forever and have been part of some of the greatest moments,” said Sarah Smith, a student and core member.
Who knows, in years to come one of the All Stars event attendees might become rock stars of the future!