Stars Celebrates International Women’s Day 2024

Stars has plenty to celebrate on International Women’s Day as it currently supports 3,400+ First
Nations young women across Australia. It also employs almost 200 staff dedicated to empowering
young women – of which 96% are women and over 65% are Indigenous.

The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women.
Accelerate Progress’. Stars Foundation embraces this theme as it is committed to helping First
Nations girls and young women succeed and accelerate their progress.

Established in 2015, the Stars Foundation provides a holistic mentoring program that supports First
Nations girls and young women to identify their goals and reach their full potential. Stars Foundation improves health, education and employment outcomes for First Nations girls and young women across Australia.

Founder and CEO of Stars Foundation, Andrea Goddard, believes that women’s economic
empowerment is central to a gender equal world.

“Historically there has been substantial investment in support of Indigenous boy’s education, but no
equitable investment for girls. Stars was founded to address gender inequity and support young
Indigenous women to realise their full potential in all aspects of their development and well-being,”
said Andrea Goddard.

“Stars focuses on education because this is the foundation for First Nations young women to seize opportunities to earn, learn and lead. The empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls through education can deliver significantly improved economic, health and social outcomes – not just for the young women themselves, but also for their families, wider communities, and future generations.

“While we are working towards a future where there are tangible pathways to greater economic inclusion for First Nations young women across Australia, we are also working toward a gender equal future.”

How does Stars empower young First Nations women?

Stars Foundation supports and mentors 3,400+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young
women in 56 primary and secondary schools across Australia, and is also establishing new programs
with school partners, as requested by First Nations communities.

The young women in the Stars program show consistently outstanding results with above average
school attendance rates, increased completion of Year 12 and successful transition to further study
and work.

Stars’ impact in 2023 includes:

• 92% of the 220 students enrolled in the Year 12 Stars program successfully completed their
final year.
• Stars students’ average attendance for 2023 was 78%, which is 10% higher than our partner
school’s ‘All-Indigenous’ attendance rate and 1% higher than our partner school’s ’All-
student’ attendance.
• 83% of 2022 Stars graduates nationwide have successfully transitioned to employment or
further study and remain in positions in December 2023.
• Young women in Stars programs also demonstrate and report improved health, well-being
and connection to their culture and community.


An empowering story from one of our Stars

Telita Day (pictured above) is a proud Murray Island women from the Komet tribe in the Eastern Region of the Torres
Strait Islands. Telita graduated from Thuringowa State High School in Townsville in 2020, with the
support of Stars. Telita aspired for University; however, she was concerned about how to financially
support herself while also being available to help her wonderful Mum, a single parent, with family
commitments that involve caring for her younger brother who has a disability.

The Stars Transitions team helped Telita secure a full-time job at a local bank which also involved a
traineeship and completion of a Certificate III in Business. This opportunity has provided financial
stability for Telita and in 2023 she was thrilled to purchase her first new car and is now focused on
saving to buy a house.

“It was such a relief to complete the Certificate as it hasn’t been easy to balance full-time work with
my studies. As soon as I finished, I felt such joy and I was so proud of myself for getting through it. One
of the best parts about employment and earning a consistent wage is being able to support myself and
my family and being able to enjoy life and do things like go to music festivals and travel,” said Telita.

“I have been so lucky to have the support of Stars and my colleagues as they have always been on the
sidelines cheering me on. One thing I want all the girls in the Stars Foundation program to know is that
it’s okay to move into new things and to take up opportunities that come your way, especially as you
never know where it might lead you.”

Telita is now looking forward to the next phase of her career where she is committed to growing her
knowledge and understanding and developing her skills in new areas.

Telita is one of 900+ Stars Alumni who each have their own powerful story of career acceleration and

Call to action

Together we can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to break the
cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. The Stars Foundation helps First Nations girls and young
women choose their path and participate fully and confidently in the Australian community by
enjoying social, cultural, and economic well-being. The future is in our Stars!