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StarJam Volunteers Winning Awards!

StarJam Wins Youth Category at 2014 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards

The 2014 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards were presented on Monday 16th June to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of volunteer’s in the public health sector.

Award winners ranged from volunteers supporting young people with cancer, to the dedicated team supporting in medical emergencies. Sitting in the front two rows, the StarJam volunteers were easily distinguished as some of the youngest faces in the crowd. They were delighted to be presented with the award for Outstanding Achievement by a Youth Team of Volunteers.

StarJam empowers young people with disabilities, known as ‘Jammers’, through performance opportunities here in Wellington and Nationwide. “We are so grateful to have this acknowledgement for what our volunteers give to the community, and the generosity of heart with which they give it”, said StarJam Regional Programmes Coordinator, Genevieve Krefft.

“The value of what our volunteers do really shines through in the words of the parents.” said Krefft. “I spoke to one mother last Wednesday who told me StarJam is the only place her son can go to ‘just be’. Another father said previous to StarJam, his son was a passenger in his life, and StarJam has helped to put him in the driver’s seat.”

Five attended the ceremony to represent the 15 volunteers who assist at StarJam workshops every week in the greater Wellington region. The volunteers assist in musical workshops (singing, dancing, drumming or guitar) by supporting the young people with disabilities aged 6-25, to engage with the other Jammers, the tutor and the volunteers. The volunteers encourage, guide and celebrate their Jammers, and help to create an environment where they feel safe, loved, and valued.

Emma Wollum, 23 years old, has been volunteering for StarJam for just under two years in a dance workshop in Newtown. “Volunteering for StarJam is an incredibly rewarding, humbling experience – I love being a witness to watching Jammers flourish.” said Wollum.

They were delighted to be included in a diverse group of people each working to serve their community: “I found the Awards incredibly affirming and inspiring” said Wollum, “It just makes me want to go out and do more.”

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For more information please contact Genevieve Krefft

Contact Details  

Genevieve Krefft

  • Phone: 021782866

About StarJam – www.starjam.org

StarJam is a super-charity which creates national and international limelight opportunities for young people with disabilities. Known as “Jammers”, StarJam’s young people gain respect, confidence, empowerment, new friends, new hope and new purpose within a fun and inclusive atmosphere. Our belief is that “wildly positive change” affects not just them and their families but their peer groups and the wider community in their perception of young people with disabilities. There are 30 performance workshop programmes spread throughout Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch each week in singing, dancing, drumming and guitar. StarJam has been acknowledged in seventeen different awards programmes since 2007.

Posted in: 2014, Press Releases

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StarJam Founder Amongst 50 Top Influencers

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday 30th September 2013

 

 

STARJAM FOUNDER AMONGST 50 TOP INFLUENCERS 

StarJam CEO and Founder Julie Bartlett has been named a finalist in the inaugural Women of Influence Awards. The Women of Influence awards were established by Fairfax Media and Westpac to recognise the achievements being made by women across society and were first run in Australia last year.  Finalists were announced on 29th September and winners will be announced on 23rd October.

“I am absolutely delighted to learn that my contribution through StarJam is ranked along with some of New Zealand’s most high profile women; it is a great honour,” said Bartlett when hearing the news.

Bartlett received a NZ Order of Merit in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours, to acknowledge the significant impact that StarJam has made of thousands of lives nationwide over the past decade.

Inspired by her brother who had Down Syndrome, Bartlett created a platform where young people with disabilities and celebrities shared the same stage. In professional stage shows, StarJam’s young people are given lead roles and celebrities often supporting ones.

Bartlett, who is stepping aside from the day to day CEO duties in November after 11 years at the helm will take up the role of Patron.   The new CEO for StarJam will be formally announced in mid October.

For more information, images or interviews please contact: Julie Bartlett, 09 523 3500,   021 782 752, julie@starjam.org.

 

About StarJam – www.starjam.org

 

StarJam is a super-charity which creates national and international limelight opportunities for young people with disabilities. Known as “Jammers”, StarJam kids gain respect, confidence, empowerment, new friends, new hope and new purpose within a fun and inclusive atmosphere. Our belief is that “wildly positive change” affects not just them and their families but their peer groups and the wider community in their perception of kids with disabilities. There are 30 performance workshop programmes spread throughout Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch each week in song, dance, drumming and guitar. StarJam has been acknowledged in fifteen different awards programmes since 2007. www.starjam.org

Posted in: 2013, Press Releases

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StarJam Jammer given special scholarship

Last night Hon Tariana Turia presented StarJam Jammer Olivia Shivas with an Attitude Award Trust Communication Scholarship at the 2012 Attitude Awards. The scholarship will go towards Olivia’s university studies. Congratulations Olivia!

Here’s Hon Tariana Turia’s speech:

‘Yesterday the red carpet was laid out in Wellington. But tonight, here at the Viaduct  Events Centre, we have our own extravaganza of excellence – a room filled with superstars, with champions; with heroes and trail-blazers.

I want to firstly acknowledge all those possible for making our Sunday mornings magical. Attitude Pictures consistently represents the experiences of people with disabilities in a way which engages the public; educating, inspiring and challenging us all in the space of thirty minutes.

It is an outstanding initiative and I want to congratulate you for the difference you are making in the great sea of public opinion.

This event builds on your precedent, in creating a Gala Awards Night to celebrate achievement and recognise the diversity of people who are working towards a more inclusive society.

I absolutely endorse the intention of these awards, to raise awareness, and to create a new norm by putting focus on the achievements and triumphs of the one in five New Zealanders who live with a disability.

Tonight I have been given the honour of announcing the inaugural Attitudes Awards Trust Communications Scholarship.

This is an exciting example of collaboration, in which a major media company is offering a one year work contract; with a view to increasing the numbers of people with disabilities active in the communications professions including the media.

We all know that an increase in disabled people who are visible in the media will help promote an attitude change amongst the wider community.

This will have huge spinoffs regarding the employment of disabled people; as well have challenging any negative attitudes and behaviours that may still be lingering.

I am totally committed towards doing what I can as Minister, to enable people with disabilities to lead fuller, more independent lives.

And in this respect, I am so proud to acknowledge the scholarship sponsor, the Attitude Awards Trust and its trustees, and to speak briefly about the very first person to win this scholarship.

Olivia Shivas has always wanted to be a reporter; based on her belief that people with disabilities are not represented well in the mainstream media.

Olivia’s pathway to this night has been built upon hundreds of big moments and thousands of small ones. She has demonstrated leadership and success in her schooling; she is a Queens Award recipient; a StarJam Jambassador and now a student of the Bachelor of Communication studies at AUT.

But there is one story in particular, that really made her shine.

Earlier this year, in her role in the Velvet Vocals – a workshop run by StarJam – she came up with a big idea. All the girls in the Velvet Vocals listen to Taylor Swift and sing her songs. So when Olivia found out the superstar herself was coming to town, she got cracking.

She filmed a video of the group; edited it, and sent it off to Taylor Swift’s managers. After many weeks they received a reply – Miss Swift would like to meet the Velvet Vocals in person.

Olivia’s words told me everything about having the right attitude. She said

“Having a disability, I sometimes become so used to being the one that needs help. Whether it’s reaching something on a high shelf or getting help to push myself up a steel hill. And sometimes I do get embarrassed by it. What I got most out of a being a leader that was that I was the one helping someone else. Someone needed my help and expertise. It was incredibly rewarding knowing that my help and leadership achieved our goal of meeting Taylor Swift”.

It was such a wonderful glimpse into the life of a young woman – not yet twenty- and yet capable of gaining an audience with a celebrity; fulfilling a project goal to the last degree; and inspiring, motivating and including the wider group at every stage of the experience.

I know that Olivia will go on to make a profound difference in all our lives. She oozes oomph; she exudes passion and determination and I wish her a most brilliant career.’

Posted in: 2012, In the Media, Press Releases, StarJam News

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StarJam’s 10 year birthday celebration a success

Last night thousands of New Zealanders were part of LiveJam, a performance showcase which linked over 200 young people with disabilities across four cities via a live internet stream and video conferencing.

LiveJam was the first of its kind event run by StarJam, a charity dedicated to empowering young people with disabilities.

The Live Aid-style show was held to mark StarJam’s 10th birthday.

The heart-warming two-hour show was hosted by TVNZ news anchor Simon Dallow and reporter Matt McLean with special guest performances by Ray Woolf, Adeaze, Shane Cortese, Megan Alatini and Ben Lummis.

Dame Susan Devoy, Silver Fern Irene Van Dyk and London 2012 Paralympics Gold medalist Mary Fisher also took to the stage during the inspirational event.

Held at the Auckland Museum Events Centre and the Wellington Town Hall, with satellite party areas run from JamZones for communities in Christchurch and Hamilton, LiveJam was a large-scale showcase of song, dance and instrumental performances.

StarJam founder and CEO Julie Bartlett says LiveJam was an unprecedented success with a sell-out performance in Auckland and a buzzing atmosphere in the Wellington Town Hall.

“LiveJam was the biggest show we’ve put on yet. The children, known as Jammers, and celebrities performed shoulder to shoulder, showing us how music can unite all. Simon Dallow and Matt McLean provided the perfect links between the cities, Jammers and the audience.”

LiveJam took a look back at 10 years of StarJam, which has seen more than 1000 young Kiwis with disabilities go through its performance workshop programmes. StarJam empowers its young performers, allowing them to gain confidence, respect and make new friends – all in a non-competitive and supportive environment.

Coinciding with LiveJam was the launch of StarJam’s first-ever text to donate facility, in which New Zealanders can donate funds to help get more young people into the programmes. Text ‘Jam’ to 3181 to make an instant donation.

With no government funding, StarJam relies entirely on grants and donations.

LiveJam is still available for viewing on www.starjam.org.

Posted in: 2012, In the Media, Press Releases, StarJam News

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StarJam turns 10

StarJam Celebrates 10 Years With Star-Studded ‘LiveJam’ Extravaganza, Sunday 25 November, Auckland and Wellington

Legendary Kiwi entertainers Ray Woolf, Simon Dallow, Adeaze, Shane Cortese, Megan Alatini and Ben Lummis are gearing up for award-winning charity StarJam’s biggest party yet – and you’re invited!

StarJam, a charity dedicated to empowering young people with disabilities, is celebrating its 10th birthday this November with its most ambitious show to date, LiveJam.

A Live Aid-style extravaganza being held on Sunday 25 November, LiveJam will see large-scale events happening simultaneously in both Auckland and Wellington, and involve song, dance and instrumental performances from more than 300 disabled young people from all over the country.

LiveJam will be held at the Auckland Museum Events Centre and Wellington Town Hall with a live video-feed linking the two venues.

For those who cannot make it along to the events, a live webcast on November 25 at www.starjam.org means at-home viewers can enjoy the birthday celebrations and make an online donation if they wish.

JamZones in Hamilton and Christchurch will also act as entertainment hubs where families and the public can watch the showcase unfold.

Newly-crowned 2012 NEXT Woman of the Year Award, StarJam CEO and founder Julie Bartlett says LiveJam is not just about celebrating ten years and the young people onstage.

 

“It’s about raising urgently-needed funds to help get kids off waiting lists and into StarJam’s life-changing programmes, especially in our newest branch in Christchurch,” says Bartlett.

“LiveJam will be an event for all the family to enjoy with a range of entertainment from both young and inspirational New Zealanders.”

With One News presenter Simon Dallow as MC in Auckland and Close Up reporter Matt McLean in Wellington, the milestone show will also give guests a peak at never seen before footage and photos of the ‘Jammers’ meeting and interviewing Hollywood A-listers.

Stars such as Justin Timberlake, Eva Longoria, Taylor Swift, Tom Cruise and Danny De Vito have all given their time to StarJam performers over the years.

Working with more than 1000 disabled young New Zealanders over the past decade, StarJam empowers its young performers, allowing them to gain confidence, respect and make new friends – all in a non-competitive and supportive environment.

Founded in Auckland in 2002, StarJam now offers programmes in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and new this year, Christchurch.

In addition to the NEXT Woman of the Year Award, Julie, her husband and StarJam co-founder Roy and StarJam itself have been acknowledged in 12 different awards programmes including New Zealander of the Year.

With no government funding, StarJam relies entirely on grants and donations. Julie hopes several hundred tickets will be sold across both events and that those tuning in to watch online will also donate.

Be part of this history-making event and do your bit to help StarJam by purchasing a ticket to LiveJam now.

Priced from just $10, tickets to the Auckland and Wellington shows are available through Eventfinda and Ticketek. For more information visit www.starjam.org.

LiveJam
Auckland Museum Events Centre
November 25
7.30pm – 9pm
Tickets – www.eventfinda.co.nz

LiveJam
Wellington Town Hall
November 25
7.30pm – 9pm
Tickets – www.ticketek.co.nz

JamZone – Hamilton
SkyCity Events Centre – Hamilton
November 25, 7pm – 9.30pm
$5 door entry

JamZone – Christchurch
Westpac Business & Community Hub – Christchurch
November 25, 7pm – 9pm
$5 door entry

Posted in: 2012, Press Releases, StarJam News

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StarJam’s CEO is in the limelight as a NEXT Woman of the Year finalist

The award-winning founder and CEO of super-charity StarJam is celebrating yet another success having been named as one of 30 finalists in the NEXT Woman of the Year Awards.

Aucklander Julie Bartlett, who has introduced the world of performance to hundreds of disabled young people, is one of five finalists in the Arts & Culture category.
“It is such an honour to be up for this award in a category with such a remarkable pool of talent,” Bartlett says. “The finalists are all highly talented individuals whose initiatives and skills have helped define New Zealand’s blossoming arts and culture scene.”

Bartlett founded StarJam 10 years ago to provide performance opportunities for young people with disabilities, creating and directing spectacular stage shows from scratch, with limited budget, and no previous experience in events.

Over the years Bartlett has drawn on A-listers such as Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift to help transform the lives of young New Zealanders.

Since 2002, StarJam has given more than 1000 disabled young New Zealanders the chance to showcase their talent in a non-competitive and supportive environment.

Under Bartlett’s direction StarJam has gone from strength to strength. In August, StarJam launched four performance workshop programmes in Christchurch, in addition to the successful programmes already running in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington.

StarJam will celebrate its 10 year anniversary milestone in a first-of-its-kind webcast ‘LiveJam’ on November 25.
Julie and her husband Roy Bartlett, with whom she co-founded the organisation, and StarJam itself were acknowledged in twelve different awards programmes since 2007, including New Zealander of the Year Awards.

“Being a finalist in the NEXT Woman of the Year Awards confirms what our families tell us every day; that StarJam is making a major impact by providing a platform where their children can stand proudly in the limelight; and where others can enjoy their talents and be inspired by what they have achieved,” says Bartlett.

Bartlett intended to step aside as CEO on StarJam’s 10th anniversary however a new CEO has not as yet been found. She has agreed to remain as CEO for at least another 12 months.

Other finalists in the Arts & Culture category are Gaye Wards (Costume Designer, Royal New Zealand Ballet), Roseanne Liang (Film Director), Suzanne Prentice (Entertainer) and Shona McCullagh (Choreographer)

Other categories in the awards are Business; Health & Science; Education; Community; and Sport. The overall NEXT Woman of the Year, in association with Pandora, will be announced at a glitzy awards event in Auckland on October 11.

Posted in: 2012, Press Releases

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Unique Flash Mob Tipped to Trend Viral

A hundred young people with disabilities surprised thousands of shoppers at Auckland’s Sylvia Park shopping mall on Saturday 9th June by bursting into song and dance in staggered groups. In less than 6 weeks, these youngsters perfected their dance to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way by watching the choreography on a YouTube video. Some of the children kicked off the performance with a crescendo of drumming and singers Renee Maurice from Wellington and Moana Mani from Auckland provided the vocals. They gave their performance after only one combined rehearsal which was staged in the early hours of Saturday before the shopping mall opened.

The performance was filmed by 14 cameramen who donated their time to capture the moment. The flashmob was co-ordinated nationally by StarJam’s CEO Julie Bartlett.
“Although the Jammers constantly exceed our expectations, we still get surprised. We are told many of our Jammers have difficulties in learning. Our experience is that they are hungry to learn new things -their flashmob performance showed how focussed they are. These are truly talented young people.” The performers, known as Jammers, who travelled from as far as Wellington to participate in the flash mob are enrolled in StarJam’s weekly performance workshop programmes.

Award-winning super-charity StarJam is an organisation which has become a place to belong for over six hundred children with disabilities. The Jammers participate in both the performance programmes and in high profile shows. There are currently four centres (StarPods) in New Zealand; in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

To date more than 100 celebrities have been involved in StarJam, including Tom Cruise, Danny DeVito, Julie Andrews, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Justin Timberlake. On Taylor Swift’s recent tour to New Zealand, eight of StarJam’s Jammers met Swift back stage. The impact of StarJam’s programmes has been recognised in thirteen award programmes in the past five years.

Posted in: 2012, Press Releases

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