Connect. Learn. Thrive.

Support Program for Young People Living in Foster, Kinship & Residential Care.

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”

Nelson Mandela

The Challenges for Young People in Care

Children living in Out of Home care face a myriad of challenges developmentally, socially and emotionally.  The impacts of trauma on the developing brain are significant and have long lasting impacts. Children living in out of home care face a host of systemic challenges which impact on their ability to learn.  All of these factors impact school engagement and behaviours both at home and at school. 

 This cohort of children is the most disadvantaged cohort in the school system. 

Not only are the children themselves impacted, but the challenges faced by this cohort of children has wide reaching impacts  in the classroom for teachers and other students,  increased difficulties experienced by foster and kin carers and resulting in multiple  care placements, high rates of suspensions and exclusions from school and resultant social and economic impacts.

Early intervention and customised and individualised support is required for this cohort of children and young people in order to address these challenges.

Why Early Intervention Matters

Early intervention support tailored to each child’s unique needs, grounded in relationships, emerges as a beacon of hope.

Our Little Stars Learners program is designed to make a tangible and lasting difference, specifically targeting children struggling at school.

By providing personalised wrap around support, we help these young individuals catch up to their peers, rekindle their engagement with education, and, most importantly, break the cycle of adversity. 

“He spent much of his time at school, absconding, hiding or literally jumping up on the roof to escape people. As he had violent tendencies, there was little the staff could do. Even the Principal was afraid of this child. Then we started him through the Little Stars Learners Program... during the entire hour each week, this young person was engaged and happy and in a short period of time gained literacy and numeracy skills he would never ever have attained in a classroom”

Download a Free Information Kit

Discover more about our trauma-informed education support program for young people living in Foster, Kinship & Residential Care and other children impacted by trauma in Queensland by requesting a Little Stars Learners Information Kit.

Board of Directors

Lisa Honeychurch

Lisa is an Executive Director of Little Stars Foundation. Lisa is a qualified lawyer and practised as a lawyer in private practise for over 20 years. Lisa also holds a double major in psychology and has completed a significant amount of training and assisted in developing training on the impact of trauma on the developing brain. Lisa has a particular interest in the rights of the child in the legal justice system and has been involved in advocating for the rights of the child in a litigation role and a non -adversarial role for many years.

Lisa is particularly passionate about improving the outcomes of children who are living in out of home care in Queensland and developed the first day camp program for children who have experienced trauma in Queensland.

Lisa was a finalist in the Queensland Community Foundation Emerging Philanthropists Category in 2019 for her work with children who have experienced abuse and neglect. She has worked in the area of advocating for the rights of children in care since 2012 in various ways including acting on behalf of a child living in care in court proceedings and developing social and educational programs to support children living in care.

Kerri Chard

Kerri Chard is a leading authority in Child Protection with a background in psychology and over two decades of professional experience in the Non-Government and Government Sectors. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in working with families impacted by intergenerational trauma, abuse and neglect. Kerri has spent significant time working in the court system with these families and has also run a regional intake service to determine intervention responses to children to meet their safety needs. She has developed award winning interventions within the Education sector, and spent time assisting schools to better understand complex developmental trauma and support children in the education system as well as bringing trauma informed curriculums into the classroom.

Kerri is Queensland’s leading Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) practitioner, having studied directly with Dr David Cross and the Karen Purvis Institute of Child Development team. Kerri trains residential care workers, foster and kinship support staff and also works directly with foster and kinship carers as well as biological parents using TBRI®. Kerri has spent time working in the USA with leaders and innovators helping children heal from their trauma. She is well known for her passionate yet pragmatic approach to the complex issue of Child Protection.

She is highly regarded as someone who can think differently and translate psychological theory into practical interventions that transform lives. Kerri is also a foster carer who successfully uses TBRI with children in the care system in her own home – and also on her own 3 sons (and husband!)

Tristan Van Riel

Tristan is the Dealer Principal and Chief Operating Officer of the Keema Automotive Group in Queensland which operates over 5 sites across Brisbane and employs around 250 staff.

Tristan has an accounting background and was previously the Chief Financial Officer of the Keema Automotive Group.

Tristan has significant experience in financial matters and developing the strategic direction of the Keema Group.

Tristan is committed to making a difference in the lives of children living in care through the work of the Keema Childrens’ Foundation. He has been a Pyjama Angel with the Pyjama Foundation for several years, working with children in care to increase literacy and numeracy.

Randall Bryson

Randall is a Director at BDO Australia, an international accountancy firm, and has extensive experience in retail, particularly in the automotive sector but also more broadly with experience in food and beverage retail. His employment with a multi franchise dealership and a national automotive retail chain, as well as 15 years in chartered accounting, provides an excellent platform for specialist professional services. He is able to understand and support his clients with their operational and statutory requirements.

Randall is committed to making a difference in the lives of children living in care through the work of the Little Stars Kids and our Little Stars Kids Camps which provide so much Fun and laughter.

Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor and her husband have been fostering children for over ten years. In that time they have fostered respite, emergency and long term children. Katie has a passion for caring for kids with special needs and currently has 10 full time children in her care and one part time ranging from 7-16 years of age.

Katie has been involved with Little Stars Kids since it’s inception and is passionate about our programs and the huge impact that both the camp and cuddle cases program have on children living in foster care in Queensland. Katie also volunteers with Queensland Foster and Kinship Care as a delegate and in this role successfully supports and assists other carers to navigate what can be a very challenging system.

Katie brings a wealth of knowledge regarding the needs of foster carers and the needs of children living in foster care to our Board.

Martin Greller

Martin has extensive experience in child and family well-being and has worked for both for-purpose organisations and statutory child protection.

Martin has held senior leadership and executive positions for over a decade, most recently at Mercy Community, where his portfolio stretches across the continuum of child and family services, including universal services, counselling, family support and intervention, family based and non-family-based care, early years support, and multicultural programs.

Martin is passionate about making a difference to the lives of children and families through strong leadership, innovative and practice excellence. He has a strong focus on genuine sector collaboration and partnerships.

Martin is a father of two and loves nothing more than spending time with his family and living an active lifestyle.

Kym Langill

Kym brings to the role a wealth of experience in the community services sector. Prior to joining Mercy Kym was an experienced NSW Public Sector Senior Executive spanning both Human Service and Central agencies including Department of Premier & Cabinet, Family and Community services and Juvenile Justice. She has demonstrated expertise in change management and reform implementation. Kym has a long work history with the NGO sector – most recently as the Director Housing and Homelessness for a large NGO in Northern NSW.

Kym shows leadership in strategic engagement both inside the organisation and in partnership with external stakeholders. With her strong focus on Mission, Values, her team and the people we support, Kym has successfully built the Families & Young People service stream in her time in the role increasing both her revenue base, program delivery and staffing numbers by more than 25%.

Kym is a relationship builder, a strategist and a strong collaborator known for her friendly, energetic can-do attitude.