The Australian Youth Mentoring Network, Australia’s peak mentoring body, is a national hub for youth mentoring research, tools and resources. We work with interested youth mentoring organisations and practitioners to foster the growth and development of high quality mentoring programs for young people in Australia by providing a national base of collaboration, support, guidance and expertise.
The Australian Youth Mentoring Network (AYMN) was formed from a rare partnership in which four national organisations – The Smith Family, Job Futures, Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia and the Dusseldorp Skills Forum – developed the initial proposal and having committed their own funds invited the Australian Government to join the Committee as the fifth member of the group.
The Partnership formed in 2005 as a joint community and Government response to the need to provide better support for quality youth mentoring across Australia. The Partnership recognised the substantial contribution that mentoring makes in assisting young people, particularly the most vulnerable, to achieve their full potential. By joining together the Partnership hoped that more young people would be able to benefit from having access to a mentor in a quality youth mentoring program. In 2013 the organisation transitioned to become a self-sustaining membership organisation.
The AYMN is the first of its kind in Australia. It works with interested youth mentoring organisations and practitioners to foster the growth and development of high quality mentoring programs for young people in Australia by providing a national base of collaboration, support, guidance and expertise. It has played a major role in building stronger mentoring practice, and performance in the field. One of the Network’s key achievements includes the creation of the National Youth Mentoring Benchmarks, where over 500 individuals from the mentoring sector contributed to the consultation process and the final product.
The Network also provides a number of professional development opportunities for practitioners and mentors, including networking forums, the NRGize – Kick-starting and Strengthening Your Mentoring Program workshops the Australian Youth Mentoring Network and the Annual Youth Mentoring Conference.
To ensure organisations are creating programs in line with the Australian Youth Mentoring Benchmarks the AYMN also created OSAT – an online self assessment tool which programs can use to assess how they are meeting each of the benchmark indicators. The tool assists the user to identify both areas of strength and weakness. Where an area of weakness has been identified, the program staff will are able to access specific tools and resources as well as personal support from the AYMN to help them improve in this area. The AYMN uses the aggregated data to tailor the resources to meet the areas of greatest need.