Starlight Children's Foundation partnership

Building on an impactful 2023, INPEX is delighted to expand its partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation in 2024. We will continue to support the Starlight Express Room at Royal Darwin Hospital, and have recently established a new partnership - funded by INPEX-led Ichthys joint venture - for the Healthier Futures Initiatives (HFI) in the Northern Territory. 

Majority of admissions to paediatric wards at Royal Darwin Hospital are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The Starlight Express Room is the only treatment-free, stress-free, fun-filled haven for children and their families within the hospital. Last year alone, the Starlight Express Room provided almost 4,000 positive experiences for children and families spending time in hospital. 

Beyond the hospital, HFI aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through facilitating the presence of Captain Starlight at mobile health clinics to promote attendance of children and their families. Making the clinics a positive experience and meeting Captain Starlight in community eases the anxiety and discomfort associated with clinic attendance and can help to develop a better relationship between the child and healthcare services - appointment attendance rates improve, meaning more kids get their vital health checks and treatments they need for improved long-term wellbeing. 

In addition, for children requiring a higher level of care, previous interactions with Captain Starlight within their community can significantly decrease the stress of hospital treatment should they need it - knowing Captain Starlight will be there to greet them in the hospital setting creates a positive connection between hospital and home. The program also assists in building the capacity of mobile health professional teams by increasing reach and providing support by entertaining the children. In the Northern Territory, Starlight partners with paediatricians and health professionals with a big focus on prevention (e.g. screening for rheumatic heart disease). Multiple trips are conducted each week in the dry season (less in the wet season) – both close to Darwin and Katherine, as well as to remote communities.  

Starlight State Partnerships Manager Cath Petsos says serious illness and hospitalisation shouldn’t mean missing out on the fun of childhood. 

“We’re so grateful for INPEX and the Ichthys joint venture’s ongoing commitment to happiness – enabling more children and families in Darwin to have the support of Starlight when facing their most challenging times,” Cath said.  

INPEX and the Ichthys joint venture have been supporting the Starlight Children’s Foundation in a variety of ways since 2012, and we look forward to supporting many more positive health outcomes this year.