The National Mentoring Program is the gift that keeps on giving

In mid-2021, the ARLF approached me to be involved with the Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program as the Mentoring Coach. 

I have been involved as the Mentoring Coach with the Program through Rounds 1, 2 and 3 – and I’m back for the revised National Mentoring Program for Rounds 1 and 2 in 2023-24.

The stand-out aspect of the Program for me is how mentors and mentees embrace their partnerships with one another – and with the broader national cohort.

When we have people across all areas of Australia juggling their family lives, work, volunteer commitments and more, I’m always surprised at how they commit time to their mentoring sessions, the additional virtual learning workshops, and their engagement with our articles, tips and exercises online.

It’s abundantly clear that mentoring partners gain from the Program what they are willing to put in. As with so many things in life, you get what you give.

While all the previous virtual learning sessions have stayed with me, I have reflected most intensely on the insights shared by participants. Our sessions on deep listening, appreciating the wisdom of Country, and being kinder to ourselves have helped me work better in my own practice, too.

What inspires me most is my conversations with mentors during our reflection sessions – either in the larger group or one to one. The ARLF has recruited a diverse and experienced team of mentors, which means we can offer life-changing experiences for mentees in the Program.

For people who might be hesitant to apply – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this experience. The Program team have your back, and you will join alums of fantastic people committed to improving and enhancing regional and rural Australia.

Make this the year of giving a gift to yourself – and your community by signing up for the National Mentoring Program.

Written by Maree McPherson.

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