National Mentoring Program (Drought Initiative)

Building 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.


18 years and over and connected to agriculture-dependent communities. Preferred age group of mentees 18 to 35.


12-month program
1 hour mentoring session per month
10 x learning sessions.
Induction, mid-program check-in
2 x reflection sessions for mentees only


Participation in this program is funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Delivery mode & venue

Fully online learning sessions. Mentoring sessions can be online, face-to-face or via the phone.


First group: January to December 2023

Second group: July 2023 to June 2024


First intake: Mid-October 2022 - Mid-November
Second intake (extended): 1 February - 29 May 2023

Matched by experts

To get started, complete a simple online application form and indicate your experience, connection to rural communities, personal and professional development goals, and focus areas. Participate in a short selection interview, and we align development goals, focus areas, and experience with the right person as your mentor or mentee.

What you’ll take away from the program

Improve communication skills

Communication is the key to a successful mentoring relationship. It requires listening skills and the ability to give and ask for feedback.

Better self-awareness

Seeing yourself through the eyes of another person and exchanging feedback boosts your self-awareness. You'll understand more about your personality and behaviours.

Leadership skills

Challenge your understanding of what leadership is, your own leadership behaviours and get tips on how you can create change and bring others along.

Become more confident

Equipped with self-awareness and communication skills, you'll be more confident about achieving your own goals and guiding others towards setting and achieving their own.

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.


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 these communities 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, 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 communities 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 bridging those 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, your mentor will 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.

Getting involved is easy. Complete your application in our online applicant portal or register interest. If you’re new to our programs, you will need to sign up to the portal. For assistance, please send us an email. Next you’ll get invitation for a short selection interview with our program team. We’ll use this to get to know you a little more and make the matching with your mentor or mentee even better. 

Delivered in partnership with

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.

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Interested in mentoring?

Complete the form to express your interest in future programs. We will get in touch with you when opportunities arise.

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