Scoring Goals for Diversity in Bendigo

Photo credit – Brendan McCarthy


There are around 140,000 Karen refugees living on the border between Burma and Thailand fleeing their homes and country for the search of safety and security. For a group of young Karen girls born in these refugee camps, arriving in Bendigo, Victoria was a major culture change for them. They had very little education, barely spoke a word of English and had never heard of, or played netball.


To get involved in the wider Bendigo community, netball Coach Christine Perry with the help and financial support from the Confident Girls Foundation started the Bendigo Dreamstars. Filling up three full netball teams, the Foundation covered the costs of registrations fees, uniforms and equipment.


In their first season, they did not win a game or score a goal, but this didn’t stop them from coming back every week. The Dreamstars learnt more than just netball skills, they learnt to persevere through the tough times, support each other and build self-esteem and confidence.


Now, attending Weeroona College, members of the Dreamstars are participating in the VCAT/VCAL programs. The still continue to play netball and offer their assistance in planning and leading ‘Come and Try Netball Sessions’ to primary school children from the area.


The Dreamstars girls teach these children to throw, catch, shoot and pivot but more importantly show through example, what it is like to be confident on and off the netball court.


At the Foundation, we are proud to continue to support these girls again in 2017, as they develop into confident young women.