Kimberley Ravaillion.
Kimberley Ravaillion. Contributed

Kim is the rising star among the Firebirds

HER name is Kimberley Ravaillion, but Australia's and Queensland Firebirds' rising star midcourter likes to be called Kim because she always thinks she's about to getting a telling off when she hears someone say Kimberley.

Not that anyone would have reason to complain about how the 19-year-old is playing in her debut season in the trans-Tasman Championship.

The Firebirds are unbeaten in four games, and they top the ladder ahead of the clash with the second-placed Adelaide Thunderbirds in Brisbane tomorrow.

Ravaillion has played a major part in that success - supplying plenty of service to the goal-scoring engine room of Romelda Aiken and Natalie Medhurst.

The Queenslanders impressive start to the season caps off what has already been a memorable year so far for Ravaillion.

She made her debut for the Australian Diamonds in the three-Test series against England in the UK in January, meaning she played Test netball two months before making her trans-Tasman bow.

But it has not all been a bed of roses for her - far from it.

She had to make a huge change to get the chance to shine for the Firebirds - she had to leave her family, including her twin sister Jess, behind in Sydney.

Not surprisingly, she said doing that was extremely hard, and she wishes they were all able to share in her success together.

"I really miss Jess being around - it is as though half of me is missing," she said.

"We talk on the phone and Skype a lot, but it's not the same.

"But we both know that I am living the dream and we will work around it, however hard it may be."

But how is Ravaillion finding life in the competition?

"It's tough and physical - there is no doubt about that," she said.

"You have got to be strong and not back down from a contest, and that's something I will never do.

"I am loving the opportunity to mix it with the best in the business while playing alongside a great bunch of girls."

Away from netball, Ravaillion, who started playing the game when she was seven because her best friend played it, said she loved watching most sport.

Rugby league comes high on the list, but it's not someone wearing blue at State of Origin time she cheers for.

"I love Billy Slater," she said.

"I don't care who wins the game as long as Billy plays well."