The empowerment of young Indigenous women will be the driving force of the next generation. Educating and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls is exactly what the collaboration between QBE Foundation and Stars Foundation is all about.

The two foundations have come together to empower young Indigenous women through the existing Stars mentoring programs by announcing a multiyear partnership.

The full-time evidence-based programs currently provide support for young women throughout the Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria.

QBE Australia Pacific Foundation Co-Chair Jason Clarke said it’s important for QBE as a company to support Indigenous communities and that the Stars Foundation’s delivery of this was the allure that brought the two organisations together for the program.

“As an insurance provider to Indigenous communities and businesses across the country, and an organisation committed to fostering equality for Indigenous Australians, Stars’ mission is one that deeply resonates with us.”

“In addition to aligning with our Reconciliation Action Plan, our partnership also reflects our shared commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability more broadly. By joining forces with Stars, we hope to help maximise the powerful impact the team is already making in these important areas,” Mr Clarke said.

The Stars program started in 2015 and offers a range of in-school mentoring to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are at risk of disengagement.

This is an important concept as the disengagement of Indigenous students in high school often has a flow-on effect to engagement in employment beyond school, as has often been highlighted in many government and academic reports.

The Stars Foundation CEO, Andrea Goddard, highlighted the benefit that the Stars program has been delivering to young Indigenous women.

“Since Stars began operating programs in schools in the Northern Territory in 2015, we’ve seen remarkable education and health improvements amongst our students.

“In 2018, 97 percent of our senior Stars students completed Year 12 – an outstanding result, particularly considering the national overall rate of Year 12 completion for Indigenous people was as low as 65 percent in 2016,” Ms Goddard said.

Ms Goddard said that the QBE Foundation’s support would allow the Stars program to comprehensively address many issues faced by young Indigenous women.

“We know that empowering young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through education delivers significantly improved economic, health and social outcomes. Results not only benefit the students themselves but extend to their future families and wider communities.”

“Our Stars mentoring programs help create supportive, culturally safe learning environments – providing the support students need to make the most out of their educational experiences,” Ms Goddard said.

The partnership aligns the mission statements of both Foundations, which show the willingness of both to help those in need.

Ms Goddard is passionate about the new partnership between QBE Foundation and Stars.

“We’re thrilled to partner with an organisation who understands and wholeheartedly supports our mission.”

QBE Foundation has also thrown its support behind GO Foundation, an organisation that provides scholarships for Indigenous children in NSW and surrounding regions.

The QBE Foundation has committed to continuing its partnership with its current partners, some of which include R U OK? and Mission Australia.