Professional Development 

Mind the gap….mentoring young rural people between school and work

Presented by Dr Maryann Brown, Macpherson Smith Rural Foundation

Research shows that rural students experience significant barriers to accessing and completing tertiary education. The Macpherson Smith Rural Foundation (MSRF) provides support for young rural Victorians through mentoring, scholarships and leadership development. This paper reports on the establishment of the MSRF mentoring program and its development using AYMN and other resources. The program provides options for transition or career mentoring for students post school. Contemporary research, flexibility and a focus on ‘two way learning’ underpin the unique program which is designed with the individual needs and interests of mentees and mentors in mind. The MSRF mentoring program is examined through a series of narrative vignettes based on interviews and e-conversations with current and former participants. In keeping with our philosophy of including young people in all program development the presentation will be interactive and the research will be conducted and presented with mentor program participants.


Raising the bar: Strategies for achieving greater impact through effective evaluation

Presented by Patrick Kilby, Australian National University

In this workshop delegates will be introduced to the fundamentals of planning and carrying out program-based monitoring and evaluation. The session will blend planning and management principles with the principles underlying the selection of an appropriate design for program evaluation and monitoring.


Expand to include: Effective mentoring for people with disabilities

Presented by Sandy Johns and Brad Bettens, Julia Farr

People living with disability experience a variety of challenges and barriers to engaging in mentoring, but programs and participants all reap enormous benefits when they are. In this session, the team from Julia Farr Youth Mentoring will work with you to identify what those barriers might be and how we can all expand our organisations to better include people living with disability.

This session will involve active discussion, shared experiences and challenges from young people living with disability and the opportunity to develop your thinking around how your organisation can support young people living with disability to have authorship of their own life and valued roles at home, school or work. This session will be interactive, so bring a pen and prepare to be challenged!


Mentoring matches: Reducing the failure rate

Presented by Ben Triglone, Menslink

We regularly hear of mentoring success stories, but what about the ones that go wrong? While unsuccessful matches are regrettable, is it possible that we can learn more from failed mentoring matches than successful ones? We’ve analysed case notes and exit surveys from failed mentoring matches in order to identify patterns, warning signs that enhance a program’s ability to salvage and repair a mentoring relationships before it’s too late. Come and hear a warts-and-all account of issues that can affect any mentoring program and what we can do to maximise chances of success. This session will be held in a forum style to encourage questions and discussion.


Putting the evidence into practice: A case study of a school based mentoring program

Presented by Carol Sandiford, Raise Mentoring 

As research has shown, establishing long-lasting, meaningful mentoring relationships with high school-aged students can be challenging. In this workshop the presenter will introduce exciting new evaluation research currently being conducted by Monash University and show you how to harness available research in a practical, applied way to enhance the outcomes of your youth mentoring program. Using a real life case-study you will learn how evidence-based practice translates into real results for mentored youth. During this session participants will have the opportunity to work through a self-assessment of your mentoring program so you can see how you measure up against best practice.


Corporate Mentoring: Engaging corporate volunteers in high quality, high impact professional mentoring programs for youth

Presented by Jacqui Jones, ABCN

When mentoring is professional rather than personal what is the impact on the quality of the relationship between youth and their mentors? What effect might this model have on the mentoring field? The Australian Business and Community Network will lead this engaging workshop that encourages participants to explore the evolving definition of mentoring through the lens of a highly innovative and award winning program model. Participants who attend this workshop will learn about the professional mentoring model, how to engage corporate volunteers as mentors and how to design a professional mentoring program that is best practice. There will also be the opportunity to engage in a stimulating conversation about how professional mentoring can both benefit and challenge the mentoring field.


Trade up with the NRL: A league of their own

Presented by John Hutchinson, Alan Tongue and Brain Norrie, NRL

With almost 200,000 registered players, The National Rugby League is one of the great influencers of young people in Australia. Trade up with the NRL is a youth mentoring program run by the National Rugby League in partnership with the Australian Government that focuses on increasing the retention and completion rates of Australian apprentices including those who are involved in Rugby League. The purpose of this workshop, presented by former NRL players and current administrators, is to introduce participants to the National Rugby League’s approach to youth development and mentoring, share the training model, discuss successes and challenges, and offer insights into evaluation and research to assess program effectiveness. Participants will have opportunities to discuss the experience of the workshop facilitators and explore components of the mentor training.


Navigating the policy development cycle

Presented by Caterina Giorgi, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE). 

Advocacy refers to the actions and processes undertaken to influence other people – usually those people in positions of power – to bring about changes to things like laws, policies and the allocation of resources that affect peoples’ lives. This workshop will provide participants with an overview of the policy development cycle, social change campaigning theory, developing a tailored advocacy strategies and an introduction to advocacy skills such as government relations.


Monitoring and Evaluation: A celebration of success

Presented by Dr Patrick Kilby, Australian National University. 

Many people fear evaluation because they think it’s all about being judged. But when done well evaluation provides useful feedback to aid in decision-making and improves projects, ultimately leading to positive social change. This workshop introduces participants to basic concepts related to evaluating projects and programs and highlights the importance of understanding the difference your program makes.


What’s ‘appening?: Real-time mentoring supervision

Presented by Wayne Deeth, Max Potential

Getting real-time evidence for the mentor of the quality of their mentoring session, based on the feedback of the young adult mentee, is critical to managing an effective mentoring program that sustainably delivers results in the lives of mentees. Max Potential has developed a real-time system that gives this evidence to the mentor and the mentoring program manager, so that there can be an efficient way of working on improving the quality of mentoring sessions and consequent mentoring outcomes. This session will explore the use of such as tool and the principles used in its design and application.


The principles of co-design and how to design a program in partnership

Presented by Justin Barrie and Mel Edwards, Design Managers Australia (DMA)

Policy development and service delivery agencies are increasingly utilising co-design as part of the way they work, and expect their fundees to work. But what is Co-Design and how can it be used to achieve real results?  Leading public and community sector service design agency Design Managers Australia (DMA) will lead an interactive workshop that:

  • Defines the concept of Co-Design from a program and project delivery perspective and demystifies the process for practitioners
  • Introduces some key service design approaches including hands-on exercises with co-design tools
  • Discusses through DMA case studies where co-design approaches have worked and what should be expected from co-design processes; and
  • Explores how program designers and deliverers, including mentors themselves, might measure the success of co-design from their perspective.