Digital Issue 6

AusIMM Mentoring Program 2020 – a success story for Australian mining in a challenging year

  • By Dr Ali Burston, AusIMM Mentoring Program Director, Metisphere

On 27 March, 56 exceptional men and women from across the Australian resources industry were inducted into the inaugural AusIMM Mentoring Program 2020. With an initial project allocation of 40, the program exceeded demand expectations.

In a collaboration with project delivery partner Metisphere, the aim of the mentoring program was to develop a structured, sustainable mentoring process that supports mentees through career guidance and direction by sharing mentor/mentee experiences, developing goals and forging exceptional mentoring relationships beyond the program’s duration.

The program objectives were:

  • to enhance career development, participation and engagement to contribute to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of our industry
  • to increase leadership opportunities and foster professional and personal growth for all participants
  • to connect participants to industry by creating opportunities for building career pathways and nurturing the next generation of resources professionals.

Mentees were mostly in the 25 to 34-year age group and worked in a range of occupations including mining engineering, geology, trades and environmental management for organisations such as BHP, Rio Tinto and Goldfields. Mentors were sourced from industry and were senior leaders from organisations such as Base Resources, Orica and OZ Minerals.

All program participants were provided with comprehensive training and a structured framework to follow. Mentees were regularly contacted by the Metisphere team offering support and guidance, which many participants found helpful given a challenging and sometimes isolated COVID-19 climate. A mid-program webinar was held on 26 June facilitated by mentee Jason Hodge. A mid-program consultation phase was conducted where all mentees were contacted to discuss their progress and goals.

During the online program finale on 2 September, mentees Rohin Simpson and Lisa Campbell spoke about how the AusIMM Mentoring Program had made an incredibly positive impact on their careers. Survey respondents rated the inaugural AusIMM Mentoring Program 2020 4.6 out of 5 in program satisfaction. The vast majority of respondents also felt they were well matched with their mentor/mentee, and had built a quality relationship with them. The majority also reported that they had formed new networks as part of the program, and would recommend the program to friends and colleagues.

Some of the Perth AusIMM Mentoring Program participants.

Topics most frequently discussed throughout the AusIMM Mentoring Program 2020 included:

  • Advice on developing a career mapping strategy
  • My leadership journey
  • Advice on coping with COVID-19
  • Providing assistance with goal-setting.

What participants said

“Being a mentor on the AusIMM mentoring program has given me the opportunity to share the knowledge and experience I have developed over my years in our industry with someone who can really use it to navigate their own path. When you provide guidance on some of the big-ticket career issues for those coming behind you, it provides a structured moment of reflection that helps resharpen your own sword again and solidify your perspectives.”

Mentor

“There was a well-structured guide to provide assistance in shaping the sessions with my mentor. The mid-program webinar was great and was a great opportunity for mentees and mentors to share their learnings and advice.”

Mentee

Information on the AusIMM Mentoring Program 2021 can be found on the AusIMM website. If you are interested in participating as a mentee or mentor you can register your interest for the next program. Applications will open late 2020.

For companies who are interested in sponsoring a cohort or partnering with AusIMM on the mentoring program, please email Annabel Balicki.

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