Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program

The Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program connects farmers and people in the agriculture industry from across Australia to share trusted advice and help tackle common challenges associated with climate science, resilience, wellbeing and agricultural practice.

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation will be pairing 250 mentors with 300 mentees to be part of a six-month program starting in January 2022. Applications are now open and close 30 September 2021.

Connect with and learn from like-minded people

  • Get started with a training and induction session in October or November 2021.
  • Conduct six sessions with your mentor or mentee (virtual or face-to-face) over six months starting in January 2022.

Become part of a network

  • Become an ARLF alumni and gain access to its expansive nationwide network of leaders and changemakers.
  • Become part of a national forum to strengthen leadership in times of drought.

Are you a primary producer or support the agriculture industry and its communities?

Do you have the desire to learn from others and get help with identifying, setting and achieving your personal and professional goals?

Become one of 300 mentees and learn from experienced industry professionals.

Two men facing each other one pointing into the distance.

Are you a primary producer, drought or climate change professional?

Do you have the desire to support the development of others and help them achieve their goals?

Become one of 250 mentors and help future leaders realise their potential.

Know someone who might be interested?

What you need to bring

A commitment to

  • enter a trusted mentor/ mentee relationship to support the development of others as they identify and strive to achieve their goals,
  • particpate in six mentoring sessions, and
  • particpate in the induction.

Willingness to

  • share your knowledge and expertise, as well as identify areas for your own development, and
  • embrace new ideas, learn, grow and adapt to change by working with others.

Join our applicant Q&A webinar 15 September 2021 | 7.30 pm AEST

Frequently asked questions about becoming a mentee

Who can be a mentee?

Anyone who is part of or supports the agriculture industry and/ or communities from anywhere in Australia. This includes primary producers, people employed on farms or in the wider agriculture industry and related service providers, including:

Primary producers and people employed on farms

  • Primary producers, their family members and partners – even if they only support the operations or contribute on weekends, holidays and whenever they’re available.
  • Farm or station hands
  • Others employed on-farm or in an agricultural operation
  • Contractors engaged

Related service providers

  • Agribusiness consultants
  • Agronomists
  • Agricultural extension officers
  • Stock and station agents
  • Farm suppliers
  • Field development officers
  • Contractors including heavy machinery operators
  • Irrigators
  • Agriculture students
  • Industry body members or representatives
  • Small business owners and people with a strong connection to their local agricultural community.

If you don’t see your occupation on this list, but you have a strong connection and commitment to the agricultural community you are also encouraged to apply. Email droughtresilience@rural-leaders.org.au or call 02 6281 0680 to discuss your eligibility.

Frequently asked questions about becoming a mentor

Who can be a mentor?

Anyone from anywhere in Australia can be a mentor. As a mentor, you will be matched with someone who is interested to learn from your experience, knowledge and background. Rank or age isn’t important. You will support and challenge your mentee to achieve their self-directed goals.

You also don’t have to be an expert. As a mentor, you are a guide who can ask useful questions and help your mentee explore their situation. You will guide your mentee to identify and work towards achieving their personal and professional goals.

What qualities does a mentor need to possess?

Great mentors possess a number of shared key qualities, including

  • Eagerness to invest in others.
  • Willingness to share experience and knowledge with others.
  • Self-awareness and enthusiasm.
  • Respectful and trustworthy.
  • Being an open and active listener.
  • Being a positive role model.

How much time does a mentor need to invest?

If successful, we anticipate that you will spend around three hours per month with your mentee for the duration of the program (six months from January to June 2022). You will also need to attend a one-hour induction session in October or November 2021.

Will mentors get paid?

Mentors who meet program requirements will receive a payment of $500 (excl. GST) for their participation.

What will mentors gain from participating?

The program will enable you to develop and expand existing networks and keep pace with the latest innovations in climate response and drought resilience. You will also be seen to influence the next generation of regional and rural leaders by helping turn ideas and opportunities into tangible responses. You will become part of the expansive ARLF Alumni network.

Frequently asked questions about the program

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship based on mutual respect, trust, encouragement, constructive comments, openness, and a willingness to learn and share. Formal mentoring in the context of the Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program is a structured activity focusing on issues and opportunities facing mentees as they strive to achieve their leadership goals within the agricultural sector, strengthening their resilience to drought, climate and other challenges. This mentoring relationship enables a supportive space for the mentee to advance personal and professional goals. It creates an interactive environment for learning where knowledge is shared both ways, and value is added. For this program, mentoring will enable farmers and others with expertise on drought, climate and other related topics to share skills and knowledge with their peers.

Do I have to live in a specific area to participate?

Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring is open to all, Australia-wide. There are no geographic requirements to be eligible as a mentee or mentor

How do I apply?

If you are interested in participating in this program, you can apply by completing an online application when DRLM applications open. For alternative ways to complete your application, please call our team at the ARLF on 02 6281 0680.

When do applications open?

Applications open nationally in July 2021.

How are participants chosen?

Entry to the drought resilience leaders mentoring program will be awarded based on the information provided in your application.

Where will the mentoring sessions take place?

The mentor and mentee will agree to a communication method to conduct their mentoring sessions. This can be done over various online video call services such as Zoom or Skype, or a mobile phone app like FaceTime or Facebook Messenger. It is possible that a mentor/mentee pair will be located in different parts of the country, so a reliable internet connection is important for this program.

Are there face-to-face activities?

The DRLM will host face-to-face gatherings open to mentors and mentees. Information will be released at a later date.

What training and support is offered?

Throughout the course of the program, you will be provided with multiple opportunities for training and support. This includes resources shared on the learning platform; webinars with guest speakers who are experts in the agricultural industry and climate; access to mentoring coaches; and optional webinars to expand mentoring practice.

How long is the program?

Program induction will begin in October, with official mentoring to take place from January 2022 –June 2022. During this period, mentees are required to meet with their mentor at least six times. The scheduling of these meetings is agreed to by the mentoring pair. Mentoring is an ongoing practice and some pairs will find they will continue to have sessions long after the official program has concluded.

How is participation funded?

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has provided funding for the mentoring program through the Future Drought Fund. This funding provides assistance in bringing learning and development tools and coaches to the program and provides valuable skills and training for participants to take back to their enterprise and community.

What is a mentee?

A mentee is someone who has identified a personal or professional goal and believes the guidance and support from a mentor can help achieve their goals.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone who is willing to invest their time to help the mentee achieve personal growth and professional development by sharing knowledge, expertise and/or lived experience.