Build resilience through knowledge sharing

National Mentoring Program

Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative

National Mentoring Program

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.

Application period

Round 1: Mid-October to mid-November 2022

Round 2: 1 February to 3 April 2023

Selection interviews

April/ May 2023

Program places & Cost

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


18 years and over and connected to agriculture-dependent communities. Preferred age group of mentees 18 to 35. Read more in our FAQs.

Applicant Q&A (ZooM)

18 October 2022 – Watch recording

2 November 2022 – Watch recording

Program Duration

1 year

Mentoring sessions

12 x 1-hour mentoring sessions

Learning sessions

10 x online learning sessions incl. graduation

Induction, mid-program check-in

2 x reflection sessions for mentees only

Mentoring program activities
Mateship & leadership

The National Mentoring Program is your chance to meet someone from anywhere in Australia to 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, 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 and other rural Australian communities when the next drought or natural disaster comes around.

Application and mentoring matching process
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.

Participant experiences
Don’t just take our word for it

How to apply

Getting involved is easy. Complete your application in our online applicant portal. If you’re new to our programs, you will need to sign up for the portal. For assistance, please send us an email. Next, you’ll get an 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.

Frequently asked questions

Have more questions? Get in touch via the contact form or give us a call on 02 6281 0680.

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.