25 Years of STAR: the story of STAR's origin

The Origins of STAR
Through the memoirs of Kathleen McNeilly- Honourary Foundation Member of STAR.

In 1995, Kath received a phone call from the Mayor of Redland Shire Council. She was invited to attend a meeting about setting up a special transport service to assist Redlands elderly who found it difficult to access public transport.

Kath went to the meeting and in the months to follow, became a key contributor for the establishment of Special Transport Assistance Redlands- S.T.A.R.

As one of the eight Honorary Foundation members of this visionary project, Kath helped with the scoping and initial set up of the organisation. Gerald Moore was elected as the first Chairman with Bill Reuter as Secretary/Treasurer. “Bill and I travelled to Logan and Albert North Disability Service (Lands to study how they had set up their community transport system.”

From humble beginnings, STAR steadily gained momentum. “I arranged with my friend Norm Dean to use an old house owned by him on the corner of Bloomfield and Queens St in Cleveland to use as the first base of STAR at a nominal rent.”

On 6th of September 1996, STAR launched the community transport with a recurrent funding of $51,000 from Home and Community Care Program (HACC). “We employed Annette Cook as the first coordinator for day to day operations.”

In its first year of operations, STAR serviced 106 registered users with support from 18 volunteer drivers.

Kath volunteered on STAR’s committee for over two years but had to resign due to medical reasons. “A house is only as strong as the base on which it stands and your contribution and to the building of a solid base for this most worthwhile project is both acknowledged and appreciated,” wrote Gerald Moore, STAR Chairperson in reply to Kath’s letter of resignation.

STAR has since grown into a registered aged care and disability support service provider operating not only in Redlands but also in Logan, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Darling Downs and surrounding areas. Over 8300 clients are supported annually by STAR. A small army of nearly 200 volunteers support STAR with their time and skills for the welfare of our community members.

“I get a buzz every time I hear about STAR or see one of the STAR cars on the road. It makes me feel so proud.”

STAR’s Vision and Mission Statements in 1996

Mission: Identify needs and provide services to improve the quality of life of eligible transport-disadvantaged persons in the Redland Community.

Vision: to be recognised as a worthwhile, not for profit organisation valued by the community for effectively co-ordinating and providing services meeting the needs of eligible transport disadvantaged persons.

First Management Committee: Glyde Gilmour,, Sue Skinner, Mill Reuter, Eddie Ward, Ed Hendy, Kath McNeilly, Joanne Tudhope, Beryl Avlying, Gerald Moore, John Dillon.