You can make a difference
in a young person’s life,
and the community they live in!


Since its 2020 inception, and first mentoring programs in 2021, the VME has partnered with 13 schools and community organisations to implement 41 vocational mentoring programs.

Over 130 volunteers have been recruited and trained for 172 mentoring roles supporting the career transition of 711 disadvantaged/vulnerable young people.

Impact on School and Community Partners

Our existing partner schools and community agencies will continue accessing VME mentors in 2024. They highly
value the extra resourcing and real-world experience that our vocational mentors are able to share with their young people. Key to this success is the support INLLEN has provided to schools and community settings to build their capability to embed vocational mentors in their curriculum.

  • About – Insight– VME intro

    Our Vision

    Our vision for 2024-2026 is to retain and grow 100+ vocational mentors who can support 600 young people to successfully transition from school to work, and have a meaningful and fulfilling life.

The VME Team

The VME is coordinated by INLLEN staff members. While we currently have around one full-time resource working on VME, more resources are needed if we are to grow and develop it to meet the increasing need.

  • David Kennedy

    INLLEN Executive Officer

    David Kennedy

    M: 0432 540 725

    [email protected]

  • Rochelle Darby

    Manager School to Work Program

    Rochelle Darby

    M: 0408 036 602

    [email protected]

  • Yu-Wen Chien

    Manager Industry Partnerships

    Yu-Wen Chien

    M: 0401 858 392

    [email protected]

Vocational Mentoring Exchange


INLLEN continues to seek additional funding that will enable the Exchange to broaden its reach and ensure its long-term sustainability.

Our goal over the next 3 years (2024-2026) is to raise $100k per year to match our existing operational funding and enable us to support 600 young people.

If you, or anyone in your network is able to add their support, please contact David Kennedy [email protected] or Rochelle Darby [email protected]

  • VME Sponsorship Prospectus



How it began

The genesis for the Vocational Mentoring Exchange came from the 2015 work of the Inner Northern Youth Employment Taskforce (INLLEN & partners). Further research in 2016 undertaken by the Inner North Community Foundation (INCF) explored opportunities to enhance and scale up youth mentoring across Melbourne’s inner north.

Research and Pilot Project

In 2017, the Inner Northern LLEN partnered with NORTH Link and secured a Victorian Government Innovation Fund grant to run a pilot program. The 10-week program had immediate impacts on the destination of the 10 young people but for greatest impact, it needed to be school-based.


In 2019, INLLEN partnered with EdConnect Australia to secure 3yr funding from the Ian Potter Foundation for the establishment of the school-based VME Mentoring Matters program. INLLEN was also successful in its application for additional seed funding from the Inner North Community Foundation, Clifton Hill North Fitzroy Community Bank and Bob Eatt Foundation.

With the original seed funding from the Ian Potter Foundation coming to an end in 2022.The Inner North Community Foundation continue to support the VME with a second 3yr grant.

Enduring school and community partnerships have been critical for success as despite both staffing and curriculum changes, the Program benefits continue to shine through.

INLLEN continues to seek additional funding that will enable the Exchange to broaden its reach and ensure its long-term sustainability.

If you, or anyone you are connected with, is able to provide financial support, please contact Rochelle Darby, INLLEN [email protected]


Despite the challenges wrought by COVID-19 in the first three years of implementation (2020-2022), the Exchange has continued to grow, recruiting a richly diverse group of volunteers and passionate educational partners.
For 2024, school and community partners will continue to access VME mentors, embedding them in their vocational programs and bringing the real world of work within easy reach of their students/young people.

  • Make a difference


    or contact us to discuss how you can make a difference in a young person’s life, and the community they live in!

  • Contact Us

Volunteer Mentors

VME’s incredible bank of 110+ volunteer mentors come from a diverse range of professional and personal backgrounds, gender and age. This opportunity to give back or pay forward not only positively impacts themselves but also their mentees and the communities they live in.

School and Community Program Partners

VME’s current 8 school and 2 community partners are an incredibly passionate group of professionals, welcoming mentors into their classrooms and organisations, and embedding vocational mentoring in their curriculum/programs. Their ongoing support and dedication to improving outcomes for their students and young people truly brings the Exchange to life.

Local Industry Support

VME’s school-based mentoring programs enjoy support from local businesses like The Post Office Hotel, Show Works, Silver Lynx Furniture and many more who have already hosted 50+ industry excursions and are committed to more. This rare opportunity to explore new and different industries and hear from a range of staff about their role, profession, organisation, and industry is highly valued by students and teachers alike.


Young People


Mentoring Hours






In this severely under resourced sector, the INLLEN and project partners are working to secure the long-term sustainability of the Exchange. We continue to seek donations and financial support from individuals, businesses, and philanthropic partners to support this vital work over the next 3 years.

Whether it’s by donating, volunteering as a mentor, or even spreading the word to someone in your network who might be interested, you can make a difference!

We sincerely thank the Inner North Community Foundation and Inner Northern LLEN for their continued support.

2024 Partners

We also acknowledge the support of our founding partners, EdConnect Australia, the Ian Potter Foundation and Bob Eatt Foundation, Northern Metropolitan Partnerships/Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions and Bendigo Bank Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy who have all had such an impact on the development of the Exchange.

2022 - 23 Partners

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