K is for Kindness & ...


Karina Gray is the founder of MK Eco by Starwin and a Mumpreneur leading the way in the tropical north...

Kind people are my kind of people. 

Welcome to MK Eco by Starwin, and thanks for taking a moment to find out more about my journey. I founded Starwin in 2010, inspired by my 'bosses' and mentors in Maurice Rioli & Charlie King, two grandstanding Territory men. 

Social enterprise was an emerging concept at the time, but with a background in community development balanced by time spent in government contract management roles, I was convinced we could create a new way of working and saw myself more as a 'solution broker'. Our 2020 Vision: Sea Change articulates our goals. 

My greatest joy comes from being a mum, aunty, big sister and coach for the next generation. In 2016, mumpreneur-life started for me, a new challenge, but one that inspires me in so many ways, every day. I grew our team & my support network, and a commitment for Starwin to continually innovate and to make cultural and creative spaces deepened. Caring for kids and supporting women in their career pathways is front and centre in all we do. 

From working upfront in the shopfront and facilitating workshops, to designing projects and working with our consulting clients behind the scenes, I continually want to do business better and work in collaboration with community leaders to create change.

View Karina Gray on LinkedIn


  • Bachelor of Social Science (E.C.U). Major – Youth Work, Minor – Justice Studies

  • Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship (C.S.U.)

  • Associate Degree in Legal Studies (C.D.U.)

  • Certificate of Directors Essentials (A.I.C.D.)

  • Level One Coaching Certification –  Youth / Seniors (AFL)

  • Sports Mentoring Certificate (Australian Sports Commission)

Professional Career

I have experience in working in community organisations and all three arms of Government (Federal, State and Local), from urban youth centres to remote local governments to state government regional centres and valuable learning time spent at an executive level in Canberra. 

All the way, my focus has been working to develop and support young people, improving participation in sport and promoting career pathways. 

Key Achievements

  • Finalist for NT Sports Awards Volunteer of the Year 2015

  • Premiership Coach, NTFL U15s x 3

  • Ron Evans Leadership Award Winner 2014

  • Member of the NT Youth Justice Advisory Council 2012

  • Board Member of Foundation for Young Australians 2005-2008

  • ACT Women’s AFL Representative Team 2008

  • Inaugural Member of Brightest Young Minds Summit 2007

  • Featured in the ‘Who’s Who of Australian Women’ Publication 2007/2008

  • Golden Key National Honour Society Member for oustanding academic achievement

  • Departmental (DEEWR) Secretary’s Award for Program Implementation (IYEC Program) 2006

  • Living in Harmony Award – Lleuwin Sailing Ship 2004

  • Youth Representative, WA Ministerial Council on Child Protection 2003

  • Youth Representative, WA Family and Children’s Advisory Committee 2000


Born in Geraldton, Western Australia, home of many sporting stars, I cannot claim to be as famous or as successful as others from Geraldton, however I feel honoured that along my journey I have helped many others be the best they can be.

I come from a long history of business owners and sportspeople on both sides of the family tree, born into supermarket life at Kalbarri, Western Australia. Spending my education years in Perth, I began work at 14 and learnt young to combine work with my study and sporting pursuits.

Upon completing a Bachelor of Social Science in 2004, I returned to the Midwest and worked in community service roles with young people and their families. I was sailing on the Lleuwin Leadership in Harmony Voyage when I got the call up to recolcate to Canberra to begin a career in the Public Service. During this time I completed a Grad Cert in Entrepreneurship and the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. It's also where I kickstarted my AFL playing days and career as a coach. 

My career journey has taken me all over the country, in urban, regional and remote places in WA, ACT and NSW, and since 2008, I called the NT home. 

Prior to founding Starwin; I held positions in the top end with Tiwi Islands Shire Council; Darwin High School; NT Department of Health & Families; Saint Marys Football, Sporting & Social Club; and ABC Local Radio – Sport, giving me the opportunity to build strong networks and experience in the community and sports sectors. 

After completing my third tertiary qualification (an Associate Degree in Legal Studies) I felt ready to live my dream – setting up my own enterprise, founded on my commitment and passion for; improving the lives of young people, sport, travel and community development.

Find out more about my one-of-a-kindness story in this feature from 2019 and my 2013 turtle dreaming blog 

Karina Gray



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