Our award-winning mentoring program is gearing up for another successful year in 2024.
In 2023, the Soldier On and Boeing Australia Mentoring Program saw 44 mentors and mentees paired up to develop and achieve their goals in areas like career progression or change, skill development, professional networking, and successful transition from the ADF.
Running over 18 weeks, the mentoring program matches participants from Soldier On with a mentor from Boeing, Soldier On Pledge Partners, and other subject matter experts. The program is facilitated and overseen by Soldier On Education Officer, Hugh Allen.
“I review all the applications thoroughly to align mentees and mentors, ensuring we create the right match as best as possible,” Hugh says. “This process involves looking into the sector or industry the mentees are wanting to work in or want mentoring from, education qualifications in mentors that are close to what a mentee is studying or wants to study, as well as things like interests and similarities to foster a strong relationship.”
“Mentees can be veterans or current service members, as well as their family members 18 years and older, which is one of the best attributes of the program,” says Hugh. “Mentors can be ex-Defence or civilians with no military experience.”
Peter Nicholls was a mentor in the first cohort of 2023, paired up with Soldier On participant Zac, who was at a career crossroads after transitioning out of the Army. Peter heard about the program through social media and wanted to get involved “to be able to give back to someone who has served our country”.
While he had never been involved in a formal mentoring program before, Peter has a lot of experience training and mentoring. As well as volunteering as an officer with the Australian Army Cadets, he’s managing director of Mine Safety and Training (MST), a company he started about three years ago after a long career in the industry. “I have always had a passion for training and mentoring new people into the mining industry,” Peter says. “That’s why I moved towards a career in safety and training.”
With Zac looking to start a career in the mining industry, Peter was a perfect match. “The relationship between myself and my mentee was extremely positive.
“He travelled over to Perth – which was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face – as MST has a training facility in Malaga where we could teach him all aspects of underground mining.”
The hours Peter and Zac both put into the mentoring program paid off. “He worked hard throughout the program to have skills relevant to be able to secure a job in the mining industry,” says Peter, “and we eventually achieved that goal.”
Peter describes the program as “one of the best things I have done,” and says he and Zac are still in contact with each other.
Hugh says that’s very common for participants in this program. “The feedback we’ve received tells us that more than 85% of mentees have kept in touch with their mentors after the program finished.
“Running the program over 18 weeks enables the pairs to really get to know one another and connect, so that there is hopefully a lasting relationship beyond the program,” he says. “It means that the mentees develop a trusted support network and have a really valuable ongoing support as they start a new career or achieve a set goal.”
The first 2024 intake of the program will begin on 4 March. Applications are now open and close 19 February 2024. Find out more and apply here.