Helping Aboriginal girls and young women reach their potential


John Laing and the John Laing Charitable Trust (JLCT) are supporting the Stars Foundation, which helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to realise their full potential.

Since being established in 2015, Stars has provided evidence-based, intensive in-school support and is working in 49 schools across Australia, supporting 2,800 students annually.

Samica, a Stars graduate, said: “I truly believe I wouldn’t have been able to finish Year 12 without Stars. They encouraged me so much and helped me to come to a realisation of why Year 12 is important. So many people around me in my community hadn’t finished school. I wanted to graduate high school, and I was the first one in my entire family to do it. Stars were always pushing me a lot - encouraging me and making me believe that I could make something of myself.” She is now studying Animal Science, which will mean that she will be able to work anywhere as a fully qualified veterinary nurse. Her ambition is to become a vet and perhaps own her own farm. “I’ve got a lot to look forward to, thanks to Stars,” she said.

In 2022, 91 per cent of the charity’s “senior Stars” completed Year 12, which compares with a national Indigenous Year 12 completion rate as low as 66 per cent in 2018, and 38 per cent in some remote areas.

Stars is continuing to close the gap on successful transitions from Year 12 into work or further study, with 84 per cent of 2022 Stars graduates remaining in employment, training or tertiary education (as at June 2023).

Andrea Goddard, Stars Foundation Founder and CEO, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support provided by John Laing and the John Laing Charitable Trust. This partnership contributes to our important work of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to succeed at school and empower them to make positive choices about their future.”

Alister Walker, a Director in John Laing’s Sydney office, said: “The Stars Foundation does excellent work in helping young women and girls achieve their life goals. John Laing is committed to helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and ensuring that they benefit from our investments in infrastructure assets throughout Australia.”

Helen Parker, Trust Director of the John Laing Charitable Trust, said: “JLCT is delighted to support Stars Foundation to make a clear and positive difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women. We believe that our financial support, coupled with the involvement of John Laing and the Stars Foundation team will empower each student to believe in themselves and act as a springboard towards a brighter future.”