2023 Highlights – Mentoring Program 

2023 Highlights –  Mentoring Program 

2023 Highlights.

It has been another exciting year for the VME with highlights including:

  • a new VME website & mentor training package
  • 27 new mentors recruited and trained, bringing the total to 112 mentors
  • all 10 school and community organisations continued working in partnership
  • a new Creative Industries Mentoring Program with Youthworx
  • 16 diverse local businesses added their support with 18 industry tours
  • 2 Northern Youth Mentoring Network meetings held 
  • the Inner North Community Foundation extended our Pathways to Employment Grant to 2025

Creative Industries Mentoring Program 

11 Young People   | 4 Mentors  | 3 Industry Speakers

This exciting pilot program is part of a larger Pathways to Creative Industries in the North Project with the Northern College of the Arts & Technology (NCAT), also funded by the Northern Metropolitan Partnership. This youth led project aims to unpack what would help young people who are entering the post pandemic creative industry sector for the first time.

Professionals from the creative industries mentored a group of 11 young people who are studying a Cert III in Screen and Media at Youthworx, Brunswick. Youthworx offers accredited media training for young people who experience social/economic disadvantage or hardship. Over 6 sessions, four fabulous volunteer mentors drew from their work and life experience to help prepare their mentees for working in a range of creative roles. Three other fabulous industry speakers provided skills-based workshops and shared their story. 

School-based Programs – VME Mentoring Matters

Programs  | 5 Schools  | 85 Young People   | 26 Mentors  | 15 Industry Partners

 Six VME Mentoring Matters programs have now come to a close in our five partner schools. The Program teachers, a number of whom are new, have embraced this rare opportunity to work alongside their diverse group of mentors, bringing the real world of work into their classrooms. Mentoring programs were delivered by teachers in either Term 2 (Glenroy College (Yr 12), Lynall Hall Community School and William Ruthven Secondary College) or Term 3 (Glenroy College (Yr 11), Reservoir High School and Sydney Road Community School). Some great discussions were had during these classroom-based weekly 1-2hr mentoring sessions for Year 11/12 VCAL/VCE Vocational Major students. 

82% of students not only reported that it was helpful to spend time with their mentors, they also said they would recommend the experience to other young people.

 A highlight of the Program is always the Industry Excursion with students, teachers and mentors spending a day together exploring 3 diverse local workplaces. In addition to gaining a sense of the real world of work, students also hear about the career journeys of a range of staff. A big thank you to this year’s 15 fabulous host employers for their support. 

School-based Programs – Entrepreneurial/Youth Enterprise Hub

The Northern College of the Arts & Technology(NCAT) VCE Vocational Major students continued to develop their sustainability focused social/micro-enterprise projects in 2023. Two entrepreneurial skilled VME mentors returned to share their expert knowledge and experience. Students then built on this with an excursion into industry, visiting Second Stitch in Coburg. So great to be able to tap into such depth of knowledge in their own classroom, then explore it in action! 

Community-based Mentoring Programs

In addition to the Youthworx Creative Industries project, Bridge Darebin and Himilo Community Connect also leapt at the opportunity to once again welcome VME mentors in to support young people (18-25yrs) accessing their vocational programs.

Bridge Darebin matched three amazing mentors with three equally fabulous young people who were completing a work placement as part of the Bridge Queer Gathering (BQG) Project. This community-led collective for queer and questioning people of all ages hosts regular events in and around Darebin. Excitingly, a 2022 VME Mentee now coordinates the BQG program; a superb outcome from last year’s program! Six weekly mentoring sessions were led by the Mentee and together with their Mentor, they worked towards achieving some key vocational goals agreed at the start of the journey. 

7 young people accessing Himilo Community Connect’s pathways support embarked on a 1:1 mentoring journey with vocationally matched mentors. Over 10 weeks, these young people from the Somali community worked with their mentor to explore and refine their vocational goals, supporting their successful transition to further study/work.