Former Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has become the first patron of an organisation which is using netball to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in remote and country areas in Western Australia to go to school.

“I enjoyed playing netball for 30 years, not only for my love of the game and the health benefits but because the sport unites women and girls in communities across Australia,” Ms Bishop said.

“I am delighted to be named Patron of Shooting Stars.”

Shooting Stars executive officer Fran Haintz said Ms Bishop would play an important role for the program. 

“Ms Bishop’s support of Shooting Stars for a number of years has been a key factor in the significant successes that we have achieved since our pilot program in Halls Creek in 2014,” Mr Haintz said.

“We are indebted to Ms Bishop for her advocacy of Shooting Stars, and we are certainly looking forward to being able to call on her expertise as we continue to change the lives of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls living in remote West Australian communities.”

More than 350 students in Carnarvon, Derby, Halls Creek, Leonora, Narrogin, Meekatharra, Mullewa and Wiluna are involved in the program.

By Wendy Caccetta