What is ‘youth mentoring?’
Youth mentoring is the facilitation of a structured and trusting relationship which brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement.
Although youth mentoring programs can vary in delivery, they generally involve:
- Empowering young people to achieve their full potential
- Strategically developing active community partnerships
- Being voluntary for young people and mentors
- Involving positive role modelling rather than counselling
- Fostering caring and supportive relationships
- Focusing on relationship-building rather than coaching or tutoring, which is more focused on skills, performance and targets.
YACVic, together with partner agency, the Koorie Youth Council (KYC), has been funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to support the development of Aboriginal youth mentoring programs across Victoria.
This program is now known as Marram Nganyin, a name provided by the Wurundjeri Tribe and Lands Compensation Heritage Council meaning ‘we are strong’ in language provided by the Wurundjeri People.
Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, mentoring has been taking place for generations. It is often innate and/or informal, and carried out spontaneously through the Elders’ traditional role of sharing the wisdom, the knowledge and the spirit. The work of Marram Nganyin and the local mentoring projects seeks to build on this natural mentoring process and combine it with formal structures to further improve outcomes for young participants.
The program is designed to support the delivery of mentoring opportunities being provided for Aboriginal young people (12-25 years old) by local Aboriginal services, assisting local programs to:
- consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people about project design and delivery;
- provide training for new mentors;
- assist with developing resources to support local projects in delivering mentoring programs;
- ensure local mentoring projects are delivered in line with the Australian National Mentoring Benchmarks;
- ensure local mentoring projects meet the Victorian Child Safe Standards and utilise the Code of Ethical Practice for the Victorian Youth Sector.
Youth Mentoring Hub
The Youth Mentoring Hub is an online resource library to support youth mentoring practitioners running high quality youth mentoring programs. It offers expert advice on planning and delivering safe, sustainable youth mentoring programs, including how to navigate complex demands when it comes to ensuring mentoring relationships and programs are successful.
Hub resources range from formal resources such as the Quality Assurance Support Materials as a series of best practice templates, and the Mentor Training Package, to more informal supports in the form of tips sheets featuring advice from established Victorian youth mentoring coordinators.
The Youth Mentoring Hub was developed by YACVic in 2015 thanks to funding support from the William Buckland Foundation. The project immortalises the outstanding work of the Victorian Youth Mentoring Alliance (VYMA), an organisation which provided advice, training and support for youth mentoring initiatives across Victoria for nine years before ceasing operation in 2014.
Find out all about the Youth Mentoring Hub.