Professional mentoring is a powerful tool for early career practitioners. The workplace can be tricky to navigate and the ‘right’ choices are not always clear. Our young leaders have fire in their bellies and the energy for change. For early career practitioners in particular, positive mentoring relationships can promote confidence, inspire passion, and stimulate career growth. There are major benefits to mentors too, from learning about new ways of doing things, renewed enthusiasm for their role as an experienced practitioner, satisfaction from contributing to another practitioner’s development and continuing professional development points (for Certified Environmental Practitioners).
Throughout the Australian Divisions and the NZ Chapter of the EIANZ, we promote strong mentoring relationships focused on goal-setting, career mentoring and technical up-skilling. Some of our mentoring programs are formalised and mature, whilst some are in their infancy and are continuing to develop. We all do mentoring a little differently, but we all do it for the same reasons. We see the potential of our future leaders and we want to give them the confidence and skills that they need to succeed.
The EIANZ Students and Early Careers Committee (SECC) is passionate about mentoring, and learning and growing as an institute through information sharing. The following provides a snap-shot of the way we do mentoring throughout the Institute.
Whether you’re new to the industry or an experienced voice, we encourage you to get involved.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Division runs a small-scale mentoring program that links mentors and mentees on an as needs basis. Potential mentors and mentees can apply at any time and the mentoring program is promoted at events, particularly those focused on students such as the careers fair at the Australian National University. Further information on the mentoring program, including details on how to get involved, is available here →
Far North Queensland
The Far North Queensland Division provides professional networking, learning and development opportunities for students and early career practitioners. The Division is working with their student and early career members and James Cook University to develop a mentoring program in 2016-17. For further information please contact email@example.com.
New South Wales
The NSW Division’s Students and Early Careers Network provide a broad range of opportunities for members who are starting out in the industry. This includes mentoring and networking through their highly successful formalised mentoring program. The mentoring program pairs experienced practitioners (mentors) with budding professionals (mentees) to help guide their career, provide contacts, career support and personal development.
The mentoring program begins with putting out a call for new mentors and mentees to sign up. The NSW Division’s Students and Early Careers Network then pair mentors and mentees based on what the individuals would like to get out of the mentoring relationship, as well as linking like-minded people. A mentoring breakfast is held that is attended by paired mentors and mentees. The breakfast is run by an external facilitator and provides training and support to help participants get the most out of their relationship.
Networking drinks are held annually for all of the new and existing mentoring relationships to give everyone a chance to catch up and share key learnings and their mentoring experiences over the past year.
Find out more here →
The New Zealand Chapter provides professional networking, learning and development opportunities for students and early career practitioners. The Chapter is planning to develop a mentoring program in 2017-18. For further information, contact Isobel Oldfield, Students and Early Careers representative on the NZ Chapter committee.
Mentoring within the NT Division focuses around three main themes:
- Professional networking
- Career guidance
- Job application support.
The NT mentoring program is tailored to suit the needs of the individual. The Division has developed a networking and mentoring list, which contains NT Division connections from various industries, professions and volunteer based organisations. The NT Division makes introductions for the mentee based on their selection, enabling networking and discussion about potential industry experience. Advice and support is also offered relating to job applications, included reviewing resumes and/ job applications, management of referees and interview practice.
Keep an eye out for mentoring events or find out more about the NT Division here →
The South Australian Division provides professional networking, learning and development opportunities for students and those early in their career as an environmental practitioner. Mentoring partnerships in the Division are generally informal and ad hoc as a result of common interests, through existing workplace/project associations and through specific workplace or University mentor programs.
Beyond the initial benefits of mentoring, where an EIANZ SA Division mentor gains fulfilment in assisting their mentee with attaining knowledge, experience and contacts as they commence or progress their career as an environmental practitioner, SA Division’s mentoring partners are also exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. These new ideas and ways of thinking can drive components of our social networking, professional development and technical programs, benefiting the greater SA Division community.
The SA Committee aims to actively participate in developing, implementing and continuously improving the tools developed by EIANZ to encourage new and support existing mentoring partnerships, and to continue identifying and acting on opportunities as they arise. For further information, contact the South Australian Committee.
South East Queensland
South East Queensland’s Mentoring Program is an initiative of the Student and Early Career Professionals Committee. The formal program began in February 2017 and goes for a period of 12 months. Mentors and mentees are paired following an online survey, which aims to create mutually beneficial partnerships. Participants are also provided with detailed program guidelines, which provides a framework for their mentoring journey. The program is structured to ensure flexibility as no two mentoring partnerships are the same.
The program includes three formal events where guest speakers are invited to discuss topics relevant to professional development. The events provide great networking and learning opportunities for mentors and mentees alike. If you are interested in being part of the program please email the program coordinator Robbie Johns.
The Tasmanian Division supports students and early career professional through networking and professional development opportunities but does not have a formal mentoring program in place. To find out more about the Tasmanian Division or discuss mentoring opportunities, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victoria's mentoring program gained its inspiration from the successful NSW mentoring program. A similar program was rolled out in 2015 to the Victorian membership and is open to all members (and non-members). The 2015 intake had a total of 46 participants (23 pairs) and commenced with a successful and informative mentoring breakfast in December 2015. This training opportunity focused on how to start a mentoring relationship and the tools required to make it successful for both the mentor and mentee. The second year of the program is now underway.
The program is largely self-sustained and driven by the pairs themselves, however the Victorian Division is planning a number of events throughout the year to bring the participants of the program together to reflect on their successes and to learn from each other.
For more information about Victoria's mentoring program, contact the Victorian Division via email@example.com.
The WA Division is committed to enhancing its services and benefits to student and early career members. The Division has not had an operating mentoring program for a number of years, but is keen to work closely with student and early careers members, universities and other divisions and chapters of the EIANZ to change this.
If you are a student or early careers member and would like to provide feedback please firstname.lastname@example.org.