Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is giving members aged 18-25 an opportunity to develop their leadership skills and build connections with people from other clubs, with the return of its mentor program.
The program is beneficial for both mentors and mentees, helping young leaders to face the challenges of current and future leadership roles, enhance their lifesaving network and provide a source of motivation to reach their leadership goals.
Though the program involves a formal six-month partnership between mentor and mentee, many past participants have continued their relationship beyond the program, including mentee Jess Robinson from Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club and mentor Sam Dwyer from Hampton Life Saving Club.
“Within my club, I have been lucky to learn from people in roles before me. When I heard about the opportunity to be part of the Mentor Program, I was excited about the opportunity to be mentored by someone from another club who had a different perspective from me,” Jess said.
“I felt I could learn a lot about ways to improve operations at my club and I was excited to work with a diverse range of people.”
Together, Jess and Sam were able to achieve outcomes in supporting female leadership at both Hampton and Point Lonsdale, as it was a cause both women were eager to contribute to and bring back to their clubs.
“With Sam and I having a common interest in supporting female leadership through Pink Patrol, we brainstormed a lot of ideas to make the patrol engaging and safe,” Jess said.
“I was able to gain more confidence in speaking up and having constructive conversations, I had more belief in myself and as a result, programs I was involved in ran smoothly.”
Sam, who had previously engaged in leadership at a club level with junior and emerging leaders at Hampton, was eager to extend her perspective beyond her club.
“I think in our case, the mentor learned more from the mentee!” Sam said.
“Jess was one of the pioneers of Pink Patrol and she mentored me to hold a successful Pink Patrol at Hampton – it even got mentioned in Parliament!
“I’ve learned a lot through the process of talking through my goals with Jess, I’m from a bay club so it was great to get a broader perspective of lifesaving by being paired with someone from a different region.
“I’d highly recommend the mentor program, whether you are a mentor or mentee it gives you a perspective and anchor outside your own club and great ideas about how things can be done differently.”
The program will comprise five development workshops and a minimum of five mentor sessions, delivered by leaders within the lifesaving community.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee, apply via the circular before midnight Sunday 12 September.