Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program

Are you a farmer or does your work impact the agriculture sector or rural communities? Are you looking for someone to call for advice? Or are you looking to make a positive impact on someone’s life by sharing your knowledge?

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 drought, climate change, wellbeing and agricultural practice.

Mentoring means


Share your challenges, knowledge and experience with someone you can trust


Identify areas for your own development, set goals and get help with achieving them

New ideas

Work with and learn from someone who has different views and ideas


Become more resilient in adapting to change

Participating in the program also means that you’ll grow your networks and meet people from all over the country.

  • Join the expansive nationwide ARLF alumni network of leaders and changemakers.
  • Be part of a network of people that you can rely on when things get tough for you and your community.

Are you a mentor or mentee?

It might seem like a tough question, and you could be both a mentor and a mentee. Use the two guiding questions and frequently asked questions below to make a selection.

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

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

What applicants are saying

Drought affects everyone at some point, it’s up to us to be better prepared for drought when it occurs. We have the opportunity to make positive changes and support each other into the future.

Lachy Brown, Feedlotter, QLD

Growing up on a family farm, I experienced drought regularly. It was something that I believed was out of our control and just part of farming. Now I believe that we can plan for variable rainfall and take control of many of the impacts of drought.

Tom Deery, NSW

I’ve been fortunate enough to have had mentors throughout my career who I have forged strong relationship with. I hope to become that sounding board for others and to pass on some of my learning while learning from them at the same time.

Jeff Schuler, SA

Know someone who might be interested?

If you have a colleague, friend or family member that might benefit from this program, let them know with our shoulder tap.

Or download our stakeholder kit to share the Drought Resilient Leaders Mentoring Program with your organisation’s audience. This kit includes social media tiles, key messages and content to share in your newsletters.

Frequently asked questions

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a one-on-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.

How do I know if I am a mentor?

If you’re 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. 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.

Great mentors possess a number of shared key qualities. You may like to use this as a checklist to determine whether mentoring is right for you.

  • 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 do I know if I am a mentee?

If you have identified a personal or professional goal and would like guidance and support from another person to help achieve your goals, then you’re a mentee.

What connection to agriculture do I need to apply as a mentee?

You can either work in agriculture directly or support the agriculture industry or community. So you can be a primary producer, employed on a farm or in the wider agriculture industry and related service providers.

The list below gives some guidance to this definition. If you don’t see your occupation, but you have a strong connection and commitment to the agricultural community you can also apply. Alternatively, give us a call on 02 6281 0680 or email us to find out if you’re eligible.

Primary producers and people employed on farms

  • Primary producers, family members and partners – even if you 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.

How much time do I have to invest?

The official mentoring period for round three starts in May and finishes in November 2022. During this period, you will meet at least six times at a schedule that suits both of you. You will also need to attend a one-hour induction session prior to the mentoring period.

More often than not, we find mentors and mentees develop a friendship that continues long after the program.

How do I meet with my mentor or mentee?

That is really up to you. It’s important that you both agree to a communication method to conduct your mentoring sessions. Whether you do that online via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or Messenger, that’s up to you. If you happen to be in a similar area, you can also meet face-to-face, but it’s quite possible that you’re in different parts of the country.

Are there any in-person activities?

Depending on travel restrictions and public health orders, we will host face-to-face gatherings open to both mentors and mentees. Information will be released at a later date.

What else do I 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.

Will I get paid?

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

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

No. This program is open to people living anywhere in Australia.

Can I get help with the application?

Absolutely. Call us on 02 6281 0680 or email us if you need help.

What other training and support is available?

Throughout the course of the program, we will provide you 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 are mentors and mentees matched?

As a mentor, you’ll be matched with a mentee who is interested to learn from your experience, knowledge and background. Rank or age isn’t important. Your participation in the program will be awarded based on the information provided in your application.

How is my 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.

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