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.
Matched by experts
What you’ll take away from the program
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.
"This is so exciting to hear about the new national mentoring program and is such a great opportunity for people in our rural community."
I had the most amazing 6 months doing the Drought Resilience Mentoring Program with ARLF this year as a Mentee. My Mentor Tess is one of the most incredible & inspiring ladies I have ever met and is now stuck with me for life. We have stayed in touch and just recently I have needed some guidance and she was more than happy to help me and spent time helping me work through what I needed. Doing the program with Tess and the webinar series included with the program helped me build on my professional & personal development, helping me strive for more and work on being the leader I hope to be.
"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.
"The most important advice I can offer in a mentoring relationship is have a big vision for your future..."
...and be courageous enough to discuss it with the right people that can help give you clarity and insight and build up connections to help you get there.
"Knowing that [my mentor] had the viticulture background gave me confidence that she would understand orchards and that was really helpful."
I knew the chances of being matched with a nut expert would be pretty slim, but it was great to have the perspective from a similar but different background.
"It’s not just property owners or pastoralists who are affected by drought, it’s everybody in the community."
I think a lot of the time it’s the people from out of town, who come into Winton to buy goods and services, that really support the town during tough times.
"At the time, I felt isolated because I wasn’t able to use the knowledge and skills that I had developed from my university days."
While I’m involved with different committees in my amazing community, I didn’t feel I was contributing enough. I saw this program as an opportunity to become more active and provide further support.
"We live in the Riverland, and the only thing that keeps us alive is the Murray system."
We’ve had minimal water go through in recent years and that puts a big strain on the system. A lot of people don’t understand that the weather systems are changing, massive storms go through, crop damage has been part of it. It’s about adapting, but farmers are good at that.
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.
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