ADF Career Mentoring

As a for profit, for purpose enterprise, Starwin is dedicated to offering career pathways to young Indigenous women from remote communities. 

Through our partnership with Australian Defence Force (ADF)  - we host an annual career mentoring program for young Tiwi Women. Tiwi young women are nominated by their schools / community groups for their leadership capabilities.

The group spends four days in an immersion experience, teaming up with mentors: Indigenous women from across Australia who are Defence Force members. To provide ongoing support, we coordinate a Starwin Youth Girls Leadership facebook group: a forum for everyone to connect and access career pathways opportunities. 

This program is the first of its kind in Australia, co-design by ADF, Starwin and young Tiwi leaders. 


NB. In 2020 the program took a break

October 2019

Read the 2019 Roundup

The following young women were selected to take part in the 2019 program – as nominated by their schools/footy clubs or community leaders.

1. Chelsea Dunn, 2. Caitlyn McLennan, 3. Martha De Santis, 4. Shikira Henry, 5. Irene Brooks, 6. Michaeline Mungatopi, 7. Kimberley Stassi, 8. Samara Puruntatameri, 9. Simone Munkara, 10. Marietta Puautjimi, 11. Rosemary Woolley   

Two young Tiwi Leaders: Kyanne Warlapinni (youth leader, Buffaloes FC) + Casimira Tipiloura (Assistant Teacher, Xavier College), also travelled with the group as a career development opportunity. Along with Sally-Anne Nilco who also joined the trip as a Norforce Indigenous leader. Sally-Anne was part of the inaugural Tiwi Bombers Youth Girls team. Jamie-Lee Puautjimi took part as a Tiwi Norforce member too, after a long involvement with Starwin, winning our Tapalinga Award in 2013. 

The group took part in Around the Campfire leadership workshops and football carnival. Their work experience included a day at the Airforce base, staying at barracks in Adelaide. 

A HUGE thank you to our Starwin sponsors / supporters in Goodwill Hunting Co, Fitzroy Rotary, Rotary International, Sealink NT, and Lovekins who made it all possible! 


Earlier in 2019

Two of our prior participants played with Essendon Bombers VFLW side - Jessica Stassi & Freda Puruntatameri.

Freda Puruntatameri, Jessica stassi

October 2018 Program

Read the 2018 Roundup

In 2018 the program moved to Adelaide for the Around the Campfire Cup. Eleven young Tiwi women, nominated by their schools and two leaders travel 10-14 October with the support of ADF, Sealink NT, Territory Air Services, Fly Tiwi, Cricket & Football Shop and Fitzroy Rotary Club (VIC). Activities this year focused this year on RAAF work experience and a visit to Port Power Academy.  

Our 2018 participants and leaders were Kyanne Warlapinni, Sarah Fernando, Shikira Henry, Cassius Morgan, Freda Puruntatameri, Kimberley Stassi, Martha De Santis, Mickey Mungatopi, Shenaida Bush, Julianna KerinaiuaJenna Singh-Lippo, Gladys Puruntatameri [leader] and Jessica Stassi [leader].

November 2017 Program

Read the 2017 Round up 

Starwin blog November story 

Starwin blog December story 

We traveled to Melbourne with a team of youth girls, identified by their schools as demonstrating leadership in their participation with education, cadets and local football. 

The four day experience saw them engage in activities with Indigenous females from the Defence Forces acting as mentors. 

In the News

October 2016 Program

We travelled to Victoria to participate in the inaugural Koorie Women's AFL carnival at Bendigo. Participants are mentored by Indigenous women in the forces and activities include work development skills, simulated shooting, nutrition, a visit to social enterprise Boots for All and AFL clubs Essendon & Richmond. 

In the News

Julianna Kerinauia feature

Defence Minister Press Release

Discover more: 

Starwin facebook page 

ADF Aussie Rules page 





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