After a successful National Indigenous Netball Championships campaign in Melbourne in January, Zakari Milera-Starkey has earned the chance to represent her Indigenous heritage on the Gold Coast.
Zakari, who recently turned 11, has been picked to play for the under 12 Australian Indigenous Budgies at the Gold Coast Netball Carnival from July 8-14.
The carnival attracts school and club teams from Australia, New Zealand and overseas.
After attending the trials for the Budgies, which were held during the championships in Melbourne, Zakari recalled the feeling of being selected.
"I was really happy," she said. "I started laughing because the team was put on Facebook, so my mum had a look and when she saw my name was on there, she started crying because she was so excited."
The team was put on Facebook, so my mum had a look and when she saw my name was on there, she started crying because she was so excited.Zakari Milera-Starkey
Zakari played for South Australia's U12 team in Melbourne, helping her side to a sixth-placed finish.
She described the experience in Melbourne as "really fun".
"It went pretty well. We didn't win all of our games, but we won about four or five," the Magpies junior said.
"It was kind of hard because there were some really good teams. I played mainly as goal attack and goal shooter. I think I did well."
Now focusing on making an impact on the Gold Coast, Zakari has set the bar high for the international carnival.
"I want to win all of my games in Gold Coast and then go to Adelaide and try to get a scholarship," Zakari declared.
Zakari is one of just two South Australians selected in the Budgies' U12 team, but she can't wait to play with her new teammates in July.
In the meantime, she is looking forward to starting the local season with Magpies' U11 side next month.