Mentorship 101: Laying the Groundwork for Aspiring Mentors

Embarking on mentorship is a venture of growth and learning. By understanding the essence of good mentorship, you position yourself not just as a guide but as a catalyst for change and development in someone else’s life. Remember, the impact of a great mentor can echo throughout a mentee’s lifetime!

If you’re considering taking on this transformative role, here’s a primer designed for aspiring mentors ready to make a difference:

Identify your mentorship motive

Understanding your ‘why’ is the first step. Reflect on what draws you to mentorship. Is it to share your journey, give back to your community, or empower someone else to reach their potential? Pinpointing your motivation will anchor your efforts and help maintain your commitment when challenges arise.

Gauge your expertise

Mentorship isn’t about knowing everything; it’s about understanding where your strengths lie and how they can be of service to another. Assess the skills and knowledge you’ve gathered over the years. A potent mentor is not only experienced but also able to translate that experience into advice that propels a mentee forward.

Cultivate essential mentor traits

Effective mentors exhibit patience, empathy, and the ability to listen and communicate effectively. These traits create a nurturing learning environment. If these don’t come naturally to you, consider them areas for personal growth as you prepare for a mentoring role.

Understand the commitment

Mentoring requires a commitment of time and energy. Be prepared to consistently offer your support, guidance, and expertise over the span of your mentee’s developmental journey. Ensure you have the capacity to fulfill this promise without overextending yourself.

Seek out opportunities

Perhaps you have already been approached by someone to become their mentor, or you might have a possible mentee in mind. But if not, it’s time to find your ‘who’ and ‘where’ and NELLEN is here to help. Give us a call on (02) 6056 0966 or email us to discuss who might benefit most from your background, and we’ll do our best to pair you up with a mentee that’s a perfect fit.

Establish a framework

Once you’ve connected with a mentee, set a structure. Define the goals, expectations, boundaries, and feedback mechanisms to create a stable foundation for the relationship. This clarity will help both parties to navigate the mentorship effectively.

5 Skills You’ll Master as a Volunteer Board Member while Shaping Brighter Futures for Young People

Have you ever considered the multitude of benefits that come with serving on the board of a non-profit organisation? This isn’t just about adding another title to your LinkedIn profile. Serving on the board of a not-for-profit, especially one focused on bettering the lives of young people, offers immeasurable personal and professional growth. Here are the five key skills you’ll master when you make this invaluable commitment.

1. Leadership

Being a board member naturally puts you in a leadership position where important decisions must be made for the greater good of the organisation. You’ll learn to lead not just by authority but through influence, collaboration, and the earned respect of your peers and subordinates. This skill is directly transferable to any leadership role in your professional life, making you a more competent and confident leader.

2. Strategic Thinking

Serving on a board exposes you to high-level strategic planning that impacts the future direction of the organisation. You’ll be involved in setting goals, allocating resources, and shaping policies. This enhances your ability to think long-term and not just about immediate gains, a skill that is invaluable in any sector, whether corporate or non-profit.

3. Financial Literacy

Understanding budgets, balance sheets, and financial statements are part of the territory when you’re on a board. Even if you’re not a finance professional, you’ll gain insights into the financial mechanisms that enable an organisation to fulfil its mission. This enhanced financial literacy can not only benefit you in your day job but also in your personal financial management.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

Board membership is a team sport. You’ll be collaborating with other members who come from diverse backgrounds and bring a variety of skills to the table. Learning how to work cohesively as a part of this diverse group, even when opinions diverge, is a skill that will stand you in good stead in all areas of life.

5. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

Not-for-profits, particularly those focused on youth, deal with emotionally charged issues that require a high level of empathy and emotional intelligence. As a board member, you’ll often find yourself navigating complex emotional terrains, whether it’s while making difficult decisions or dealing with the communities you serve. Mastering this skill will not only make you a better board member but also a better human being.


Serving as a board member of a not-for-profit organisation devoted to young people is more than just a resume booster; it’s an enriching experience that cultivates essential skills you’ll use throughout your life. From strategic thinking to emotional intelligence, the skills you master will not only serve you well on a personal level but also make you a contributing powerhouse for the benefit of your community. So if you’ve been contemplating taking this step, consider this your sign: the benefits are manifold, and the impact is far-reaching.

Register your interest now by emailing [email protected]

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Mentor?

Embarking on the path of mentorship is a decision that can have a profound impact on both you and your mentee. But what does it take to become a mentor, and how can you step into this role with confidence and purpose? Let’s delve into the qualities you’ll need and the steps to take to ensure your mentorship journey is as rewarding as possible.

Firstly, consider if you possess the intrinsic qualities of a good mentor. Patience, empathy, and the ability to listen are at the heart of this role. A mentor must also be a source of encouragement and wisdom, offering their knowledge without overshadowing their mentee’s own thought processes and personal growth.

If you feel you have the foundational characteristics, the next step is to assess your experiences and skills. Ask yourself what you can offer and how these can benefit someone else. This is not limited to professional competencies; life experiences and personal triumphs are equally valuable.

Once you’ve recognized your potential as a mentor, it’s time to formalize your intention by setting clear objectives. Why do you want to mentor? Is it to nurture the next generation in your field, give back to your community, or support diversity and inclusion? Your goals will not only guide your approach but will also resonate with potential mentees.

The next logical step is to contact us at NELLEN to discuss your objectives so we can match you up with a mentee whose aspirations align with your expertise and with whom you can share a mutual respect. Natural affinity is vital for a successful mentorship relationship!

Upon pairing with a mentee, establish a structure for your interactions. Set up regular meetings, decide on communication methods, and outline what you both wish to achieve. Transparency about expectations and boundaries from the start will foster a strong, effective mentorship.

Finally, commit to being a lifelong learner. The best mentors are those who continuously evolve, embracing new ideas and approaches. Your willingness to learn will not only improve your mentorship abilities but will also inspire your mentee to remain curious and open-minded.

Mentorship is not a light undertaking, but for those who have the drive and the heart for it, it is an immensely fulfilling one. By nurturing another’s potential, you reinforce your own value and purpose. So, if you’ve got the resolve and the passion, step forward. Someone out there is waiting for the mentor you have the potential to become.

Contact us today, and know we’ve got your back every step of the way.

The Many Hidden Benefits of Serving on a Not-for-Profit Board 

The notion of giving back to the community has always been deeply embedded in the fabric of Australian society. Whether it’s a local footy fundraiser or a nationwide charitable initiative, Australians are committed to lending a hand. But what about taking that commitment to the next level? Serving on the board of a not-for-profit organisation that aims to shape brighter futures for young people not only enriches one’s own life but also makes a meaningful impact on the broader community.

Personal Benefits

 Skill Development
Volunteer board members often find that they gain more than they give. The strategic planning and oversight responsibilities that come with board membership can equip individuals with skills highly valued in the professional world. These skills range from leadership and governance to finance and networking. 

Networking Opportunities
Serving on a board can expand your professional network in meaningful ways. Board members usually come from diverse backgrounds, thereby providing a rich tapestry of contacts that can be invaluable both personally and professionally.

Personal Fulfilment
Making a real difference in young people’s lives brings a level of personal satisfaction that is immeasurable. Whether it’s seeing a disadvantaged student overcome limitiations or witnessing the launch of a new youth empowerment program, the emotional rewards can be deeply fulfilling.

Community Benefits

Shaping the Next Generation
By serving on a board aimed at benefiting young people, you have a direct hand in shaping the future leaders of our society. Providing strategic direction for programs that empower youth ensures a brighter future for the entire community.

Building Social Capital
Volunteer board members strengthen the community’s social fabric. By promoting values of collaboration, inclusivity, and altruism, they contribute to a stronger, more cohesive society.

Economic Impact
Non-profits aimed at youth development often contribute to the economic wellbeing of a community. By investing in the future of young people, these organisations help create a better-prepared workforce, thereby attracting businesses and investment to the area.

The value of serving on a not-for-profit board extends far beyond the conference room. The benefits manifest not just in the growth and development of the individual board members, but also ripple outwards to make a lasting impact on the community as a whole. In shaping brighter futures for young people, we are, in fact, investing in the best possible future for us all.

Interested? Contact us at [email protected], or call us on (02) 6056 0966.

Breaking New Ground for Youth Success: Unveiling the ‘Be4Work Youth Connector Program’

NELLEN, in partnership with local service organisations, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Be4Work Youth Connector program. This initiative aims to support young adults aged 17 to 25 who are disengaged from school or work, offering them valuable resources and experiences for success. 

“We’re not just rolling out a program; we’re opening doors to brighter futures,” says Mark Cottee, the Program Coordinator. “Rather than just focusing on traditional mentorship, this program takes a comprehensive approach to developing work-ready young adults. We’re talking about building real confidence and offering hands-on skills that employers are looking for.” 

The program involves a range of interactive activities, from workshops to practical simulations, guided by Wodonga’s dedicated community advocates and service providers. 

“Our emphasis is on the individual. We know that everyone’s journey is different, which is why our program is designed to be flexible,” says Cottee. “This means tailored plans, psychometric evaluations, and a broad range of online learning resources.”

The Be4Work Youth Connector program goes beyond textbook knowledge. “We aim to arm participants with practical job-seeking strategies to give them an edge in today’s competitive job market,” adds Cottee.

The program also focuses on fostering community engagement. “We’re not just shaping employable individuals; we’re shaping community contributors,” Cottee notes. The program will introduce participants to a robust network of peers, community leaders, and local service providers.

“Through the Be4Work Youth Connector program, we’re not just making a difference; we’re making the future, one individual at a time. Together, let’s make this future as bright as we know it can be,” concludes Cottee.

Young adults seeking an enriching opportunity to improve their employability, confidence, and community connections are encouraged to apply for the Be4Work Youth Connector program.

For more information about the program (or to apply), visit this page: