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Creating connections and sharing knowledge: AusIMM mentoring program 2021 recap

· 1000 words, 4 min read

For more than 128 years, a key part of AusIMM’s purpose has been to bring people together to create connections and share knowledge.

This tradition continued in a modern and exciting format in 2021, with the launch of AusIMM’s biggest ever mentoring program, bringing together 172 men and women from across the Australasian resources industry.

This is the second year AusIMM has conducted the program, and interest in the opportunity has increased significantly since the first intake was delivered to 56 people in 2020. The program is run online, connecting participants via a digital tailored platform, providing accessibility and opportunity regardless of location and encouraging a breadth of diversity in participants.

Through a comprehensive matching process, the program supports people looking for career guidance and direction by matching them with an experienced mentor. AusIMM mentors are long-standing members who have a deep knowledge of the industry, and are willing to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. Mentees are dedicated professionals who are looking to invest in their own professional development, not only for the benefit of their own careers but to upskill themselves and ensure the ongoing high standards of our sector.

Those involved in the program share experiences, develop career goals and foster relationships that can last beyond the duration of the program. AusIMM is committed to ensuring a strong pipeline of supported and skilled professionals in the resources sector, and the mentoring program helps drive rich learning and development for both mentees and mentors.

As outlined in our Inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan, AusIMM is working to  grow opportunity and support for First Nations People, including those working in the resources sector, through initiatives such as our Mentoring Program. In 2021, this commitment has included AusIMM providing scholarships to three First Nations mentees, and AusIMM will look to continue this initiative and work with our partners to maintain this scholarship offering.

The program concludes this week and has been highly successful, with 93 per cent of attendees reporting they are very satisfied with their matched partner, and 97 per cent reporting that they have established a good rapport with their mentor/mentee.

Feedback indicates that the mentees find the supportive nature of the relationship extremely helpful in having someone outside their own company to discuss work and life challenges with. ‘This is my first time with an external mentor, so I am very happy that I can express all my questions without any worry about conflict of interest or confidentiality,’ said one mentee. According to another, ‘I can open up to discuss things I would usually push aside, and I feel encouraged and supported.’

The matching process is key to the program’s impact, with the mentors and mentees specially matched to ensure an alignment in aspirations and career outlooks, helping mentees get the most out of their mentor’s guidance. ‘I feel very fortunate to have been matched up with my mentor. She has such a diverse range of experiences in a similar industry. I feel so much more in line with what it is I want to do in my career and what skills to get me there.’

‘I have found the experience valuable and helpful in my journey to becoming a leader.’ – Mentee

Importantly, for many participants the relationship have allowed them to expand their own horizons beyond their usual sphere of expertise, giving meaningful insights into a section of the industry that they are not directly involved in. Such benefits are key to participants building a much broader understanding and appreciation of the diverse nature of the resource sector, and help to open pathways for new career opportunities.

But the program doesn’t just have benefits for mentees. Mentors have reported that they value the benefit of having someone to support and guide, and they appreciate the opportunity to listen and understand a new generation of professionals coming through. One mentor said, ‘Communicating with a younger professional and being able to learn about their experiences and expectations has helped me better understand and empathise with personnel in my company.’

Similarly, another mentor said, ‘As an employer its help me get back in touch with what drives and motivates young professionals. Today’s issues aren’t much different from what I faced.’ The program can also be a valuable opportunity for mentors to contemplate their own journeys, even at a later stage of their own career. ‘By challenging my mentee around goals and purpose it has made me reflect upon my own goals and purpose.’

‘I have been able to communicate challenges I have felt and my mentor has actively listened, ensured that she understood my challenges and helped to problem solve and create solutions.’ – Mentee

The program is run in collaboration with AusIMM’s partners, including Premium partners Byrnecut and Thiess, and Major partner AngloGold Ashanti.

AusIMM CEO Stephen Durkin welcomed the industry collaboration through the Mentoring Program.

‘AusIMM is delighted to help provide leadership and support to resources professionals throughout their entire career journey. It has been fantastic to work together with our partners and to tap into their own networks and expertise, creating a really well-rounded and well-supported program.’

Mentoring program 2022

AusIMM’s 2022 mentoring program is currently taking expressions of interest, running from 30 March to 7 December. Registrations for both mentors and mentees will open on 17 January and close 1 March.

Who can apply?

We are looking for mentees who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a strong interest in developing your career
  • Currently be working in the resources industry
  • Formally reside in Australasia.

We are looking for mentors who meet the following criteria:

  • Have worked more than 10 years in the resources sector
  • A desire to support career growth for the next generation of mining professionals
  • Currently working in the resources industry or recently retired
  • Formally reside in Australasia.

Program participants will be required to attend program live webinars and complete the training provided.

Find out more and register your interest at

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