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. 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 calling for nominations from mentors and metees to participate in their 2018 Mentoring Program. To apply, complete the application form and email to Isobel Oldfield, Students and Early Careers representative on the NZ Chapter committee, by 1 January 2018.
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. Registration for the 2019 Mentoring Program will open towards the end of 2018. For further information about the SEQ Mentoring Program, please email the mentoring 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 has expanded since its inception in 2015 following increasing interest from students and early career professionals. The Mentoring Program is a service provided primarily for EIANZ members, so fees may apply for non-members.
The annual program begins with the matching of pairs and a kick-off breakfast to meet your partner and learn what a successful mentoring partnership is all about. This training opportunity focused on how to start a mentoring partnership and the tools required to make it successful for both the mentor and mentee.
The program is mostly self-sustained with the freedom given to participants regarding frequency of meeting and meeting format, so you can choose what works best for you and your partner. Due to the diversity of the environmental industry, the pairs are free to tailor the topics they focus on that are relevant to them. Mentoring Program Coordinators plan events throughout the year to bring the participants of the program together to reflect on their successes and to learn from each other. They also provide a point of contact for support and troubleshooting during the program.
Registrations open in July each year on the EIANZ website. If you have any questions, or if you are a non-member and would like to stay up-to-date with mentoring news, please email the Victorian Division: email@example.com.
The WA Division recognises the value of mentoring for both mentors and mentees in supporting and progressing their career and leadership aspirations. The Division supports the notion that mentoring is a valuable experience throughout one’s career and have established a mentoring program available to participants across all levels of work experience. The inaugural Environmental Practitioners Mentoring program was launched in March 2019.
The mentoring program has been designed to support participants to develop mutually beneficial relationships, and provide a forum for experienced environmental practitioners to explore and develop opportunities in their professional development in areas such as skills development, career growth, networking and work - life balance. The mentoring program allows participants to meet regularly and discuss matters with others within an organised and supportive framework, and is not intended to help people find work through their relationship. Rather, the mentoring program support relationships based upon encouragement, constructive feedback, openness, mutual trust, respect and a willingness to learn and share.
The Division acknowledges that a career contains many twists and turns, including sector changes and career breaks. Employment status is only a consideration if a mentee specifically requests for an actively working mentor. To the best of our ability, we will attempt to match mentors and mentees according to their preferences and support the principle of life-long learning and knowledge sharing that underpins the mentoring program. Non-members mentees are charged a fee of $100 and members are charged $20 to participate in the program. Mentors are not charged a fee.
Eligibility criteria for mentors and mentees have been established to ensure that the purpose and objectives of the mentoring program are more likely to be met. Mentors should have a minimum of eight years of working experience in a variety of environmental fields, in private and/or public practice. Mentors will have excellent communication skills, particularly listening, a desire to contribute to the future of the planning profession and the time to commit to several 1 hour meetings for the duration of the program. Mentees should have at least 3 years of working experience in private and/or public practice.
If you would like more information on the mentoring program, please contact the WA division at firstname.lastname@example.org