What does MK Eco mean?

MK Eco stands for a Made with Kindness Economy. 

We are committed to growing a model for economic development focused on supporting women across the tropical north. 

Our goal is to be able to support women in enterprise & young leaders in creating career pathways. 

Then to invest with them to be able to sustain doing what they love on the country they love. 

This in turn, supports families and communities and achieves our 2021 Vision: The Power of One. 

This is what we mean by our Starwin Collective being a space where your change creates community change. 


Why do we believe in creating a new model for economic development?

Karina Gray, founder of Starwin started out her academic study with a Bachelor of Youth Work and Justice Studies at Edith Cowan University under the tutelage of Dr. Howard Sercombe. This was furthered by a Grad Cert in Entrepreneurship from Charles Sturt University and an Associate Degree in Legal Studies from Charles Darwin University. This coursework, combined with many years of working in and out of government and at a grassroots level, led to a deep interest in Justice Reinvestment models and movements like B Corporation (Starwin was the NT’s first B Corp) that focus on new collaborative ways to create change. 

In 2008, Dr Howard Sercombe presented a paper “Living in two camps” that explored customary and mainstream economies. With the conclusion of 

Through their strength of character, lessons are available for others (especially the next generation) to move beyond the poverty and capriciousness of a life on welfare to a position where they are not only self-sustaining economically but able to extend a sustainable economy to their people”

This paper along with discussions with the late MJ Rioli, inspired the start up of Starwin in 2010 as a social enterprise with a desire to impact the top end. Starwin has evolved over its ten year journey, but has stayed true to a vision of investing in collaborations with community leaders to create career pathways for young leaders. 

A response to the ongoing same-same models presented in youth work and justice paradigms with little impact. We continue to innovate and create and focus on brokering solutions. In 2019, we affirmed we had created a sustainable model for development and named this MK Eco by Starwin. At the start of this year we articulated our model for community change in our 2020 Vision: Sea Change. Read more of the story.

How do the UN goals guide our way?

We believe in aspiring to the highest vision for global change, and implementing this at a grass roots level. The United Nations has set Sustainable Development goals; and the new agenda is an action plan for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. It will foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies and require the participation of all countries, stakeholders and people

The ambitious agenda seeks to end poverty by 2030 and promote shared economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection for all countries. The new agenda is based on 17 goals, including a stand-alone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (SDG 5) as well as gender-sensitive targets in other goals. Find out more.


What is Starwin collective? 

Our one-of-a-kindness Starwin Collective is the sum of many parts; we engage, mentor and promote talent from across the tropical north. 

We believe 'culture eats strategy for breakfast' and promote an team philosophy of "Each One, Teach One", meaning we can all work together and learn from one another to develop our strengths and find solutions for our customers, clients and collective. 

Our teams include...

- Shopfront: our Port Douglas and Darwin team members, and mentors. This also includes artist in residence and work experience placements. 

- Makers & Creators: our talented suppliers. 

- Cultural Experience Facilitators: strong women & storytellers who facilitate our crafternoons and education sessions. 

- Consultants for Change: our leaders who make the magic happen. 

- Event Speakers: talent who provide education through inspiration. 

- Cultural Tourism: our partners in Sealink NT and Walkabout Cultural Adventures. 

- Youth Leadership: we partner with Indigenous community led organisations like Harbrow Mentoring (Cairns) and Hoops 4 Health (Darwin). 


How do you become part of our collective?

Starwin is founded upon a principle of invitation. Rather than using paid advertising to grow a community, we invest in building relationships. 

We welcome clients, makers and kreators and potential leaders / facilitators to approach us to discuss developing a collaborative relationship. 

Our supply team for our shops are required to align with our values for caring for kids, caring for country and keeping culture strong. 

We will work with makers and kreators from across the north, who create one-of-a-kindness eco and ethical gifts and like us, pay it forward to create change in their community. 


To connect with us, reach out via our socials below:

Instagram @StarwinCollective

Facebook @StarwinCollective

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