National Mentoring Program
Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative
Build resilience through knowledge sharing
Mentoring connects someone with knowledge and experience in a certain area with someone with less experience. The purpose of the National Mentoring Program is to bring rural Australians with different experiences together to build leadership capacity and resilience in rural Australia. Sharing experiences, challenges, and ideas in a trusted, non-judgmental mentoring relationship is a fantastic way to accelerate personal and professional development.
Mentoring program activities
It's based on mateship & leadership
The National Mentoring Program is your chance to meet someone from anywhere in Australia and share your experience and ideas. Advance each other’s development goals and gain new perspectives on your focus areas over 12 mentoring sessions. Attend learning sessions to gain fundamental leadership, communication, and resilience skills. Whether you’re a mentor or mentee, you’ll emerge as a better communicator with more self-awareness and confidence in your ability and knowledge. As a result, you will be able to prepare, adapt and support your community and other rural Australian communities when the next drought or natural disaster comes around.
Apply for your region’s program now
The Drought Resilience Program is customised to the region we’re delivering it in. So, we open applications for different states at different times of the year. Take a look below to see if your region’s eligible. Tasmania, you can apply now!
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Donna Taggart, Goulburn Valley
All people in all sorts of ways are impacted by the lack of water. We all need water, it’s the one common theme through all beings, all people, everyone, everywhere. So I think the benefits of learning about how different people at different levels are impacted can only be advantageous and have a ripply effect.
Werner Vogels, Goulburn Valley
The first session was two days on Zoom, [it was] just really inspiring to be honest. Just coming together and talking about what we mean by resilience, what we mean by leadership, and how can we network in the Goulburn Valley area and make sure we do position ourselves as thought leaders and change agents to become more resilient when we talk to one another about natural disasters?
What our change makers say
"I have never had anybody say no"
As a mentor, I might not always know the answer to a question, but I can find it over a couple of emails. I have never had anybody [from my network] say no, and that’s the beauty. Students often think they couldn’t possibly approach someone cold..
"He was there to guide me."
Working with [my mentor] meant I wasn’t doing things by trial and error. He was there to guide me. It was really compound learning from someone else’s experience.
"I am continually delighted"
What I really enjoy about mentoring is the richness that comes with the relationship as trust and rapport builds and you start to dig a bit deeper. I am continually delighted to discover new skill sets and different perspectives, which is why I leave the door open to an ongoing relationship.
"We have the opportunity now to make positive change"
Mentor relationships are a valuable part of not only business, but in life in general. Drought affects everyone at some point, it’s up to us to be better prepared for drought when it occurs. We have the opportunity now to make positive change and support each other into the future.
How to apply
You’re welcome to apply below. Positions for this program are competitive, with only 40 spots offered per region. These places are funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund. Successful applicants are only expected to pay for their travel and meals throughout the program.
Apply for a place in the next round of applications for the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program.
Frequently asked questions
Don’t see your question below? Get in touch with our friendly team.
The program aims to build resilience and leadership skills in individuals living or working in or for rural Australia. To fit these criteria, you would generally have a desire to help your own or other rural Australian communities prepare for drought and natural disasters and overcome general challenges either because you live in them or because your work relates to rural communities or agriculture. You may also have lived experience with drought or have the desire to develop your leadership capabilities.
The program is fully funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.
Depending on where you live, you might connect online or via the phone, or even in person.
Here are a few questions to help you identify your connection to drought resilience and how you might be able to, directly and indirectly, support them in preparing for future drought and other challenges.
Do you have lived experience with drought? Did you work with or volunteer in your own or another drought-affected community to support people there? Or would you have liked to support them?
What do you think your community or people in agriculture-dependent communities need to be better prepared for another drought? How would you see yourself filling gaps? Or, would you like to find out how you can contribute?
Reflect on rural communities’ challenges and opportunities and how you can contribute to overcoming them.
Think about what you need to thrive in the future. Have you ever wanted to do something but aren’t sure where to start? Where do you see yourself or your community in the next five to ten years, and what do you need to achieve it? It might also be that you can’t put your goals into words. That’s ok; a mentor can help.
Think about how your life or professional experience could help someone identify goals, navigate complex situations and challenges and have courageous conversations. As a mentor, you will be using these and your unique experience by being a sounding board and guide to someone else.
This is an incredible learning opportunity for a mentor.
An agriculture-dependent community is a community where agriculture plays an important role. This could be because the local economy has a large share of agricultural production or many people living there either work in or service the agricultural industry in one way or another. Most rural and many regional communities are agriculture-dependent.
We’re raising the next generation of Aussie leaders driving resilience in their communities
Become part of a network of like-minded locals making change happen. Join the next round of our Drought Resilience Program.