Kaleidoscope Mentor – Dr Carla Boehl

Kaleidoscope Mentor - Carla Boehl

We spoke with Dr Carla Boehl (LinkedIn), a mentor for the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences from participating in the program.

1.  Tell us a little about your own employment/professional history.

I am a Civil Engineer from the University of Porto in Portugal. I also completed a Master of Science and a PhD in Water Resources Engineering and Management at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. I moved to Australia in 2006 to work as a Water Engineer. I then specialised in Asset Management, and worked in more industries such as rail and mining. Currently, I am the Chair of the Asset Management Council in WA.

2.  Why did you sign up to be a mentor?

I read a LinkedIn post from Engineers Australia, of which I am a Fellow member, and found it an interesting initiative. I have been both a mentor and a mentee in other programs and always enjoyed participating.

In a way, the timing was good because I had just been stood down (and later made redundant) from my role as Innovation Manager at Monadelphous. So, I had free time on my hands. Given that I also live in the City of Stirling I thought, why not?

3.  What was the best part of being a mentor?

Being an engineer, I am fascinated by problem solving. Helping someone find a job was a problem to solve with the benefit of making another person happy. It was very satisfying to help another water engineer.

Because I was made redundant, I also had a recent job-hunting experience and fresh ideas of how to go about it, because the job market and the employment processes constantly change. Now companies ask candidates to submit videos and ask them to record verbal/spoken answers using online software.

4.  Tell us about the skills you have gained so far from participating in the program.

Improved communication and personal skills, developed leadership qualities, increased confidence and motivation.

5.  Can you tell us about any challenges you faced as a mentor?

Besides finding the time to dedicate to the program and to my mentee, meeting via Zoom and later in person, the biggest challenge was to find exactly how I could help. My mentee had very relevant experience, a very good CV and cover letter, a great LinkedIn profile, excellent English and professional presence. I needed to understand what was missing that made him unsuccessful in his job hunt during the last two years! Employers in WA value, in my opinion too much, the so-called “local experience” and that was used frequently as an excuse. In my opinion, what he was missing was access to the local network. I moved to Perth in 2010 and through the years I have invested in networking, so I was able to introduce my mentee to a number of my contacts.

6.  In your opinion, did you improve your cultural competency through participation in the program? In what ways?

Yes, I learnt a lot about Kurdistan, its culture and context. The training that was provided was of high quality.

7.  Would you be more inclined to employ a skilled newcomer in your organisation, since undertaking the KMP?

I have always been open to newcomers. The program reinforced my beliefs in diversity and inclusion.

8.  In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

It was an opportunity to have conversations within my network and I was positively impressed with the willingness to help from my contacts.

9.  Do you think other professionals should start mentoring? Why?

Yes, so they can understand the difficulties that other highly qualified and experienced professionals have to deal with to get their first job in WA. It is rewarding to contribute to someone’s career and life and how much it impacts their families.

10.  Do you have any tips that you would give to a new KMP mentor?

Introduce your mentee to your network.

Last chance to apply!

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications close soon for particular occupations. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Apply as a mentee

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Apply as a mentor

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Mentees we need you!

Mentees, we need you!

Are you a professional skilled newcomer to Australia who has been here for five years or less? Are you struggling to get work in your field or area of experience? We want you!

Here at Kaleidoscope, we are looking for professional skilled newcomers to match to our expert mentors, across a number occupational fields. If you are a qualified professional in any of the areas listed below, you could be eligible to join the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, starting in 2021. The next mentoring cycle runs from January to May 2021.

Architects | Assess strategy engineer | Auditor/quality assessor | Business – Finance analyst | Civil Engineer- Water/Flood models/Hydrology | Community services | Doctor/Medical practitioner | Epidemiology/Research/Public Health | HR | HSE engineer | Lawyer | Maritime engineer | Marketing | Procurement – government | Project management/health care | Project planner/public transport | Property manager | Research – hospitality | Telecom engineer | Tourism management

Applications have been extended until 17 November for newcomers in the above occupations only.

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Mentees apply now

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Celebrating Kaleidoscope’s Mentors

Celebrating Kaleidoscope’s Mentors

The unsung heroes of the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program are our mentors. Over the past two and a half years, the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program has assisted 154 mentees to increase their job readiness skills, networking abilities and grow in confidence.

None of this would be possible without the support and assistance provided by the many mentors who volunteer their time to assist skilled newcomers in Australia.

Our mentors are all experts in their field, employed in a vast range of positions and companies throughout Perth, Western Australia. Mentors are matched to skilled professional newcomers who are experienced in the same or similar field. Over a period of 12 weeks, mentors provide mentees with insights and guidance into their relevant industry, assist with networking and industry connections, offer resume and interview advice and much more.

We’d like to thank all of our mentors who have dedicated themselves to providing nothing but the highest quality support, guidance and feedback to our mentees.

We have compiled a small snapshot of Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program’s mentors. Over the coming months, we’ll be featuring more of our mentors so stay tuned in November and December to see who’s next in the spotlight.

Mentor Snapshot 2020

Andrea Williams (LinkedIn) | Founding Director of Asset Reports

Owner and Director of Asset Reports since 2007. Overall, Andrea looks after approx. 50 staff in four different states and primarily focusses on the management of the business as well as sales and marketing. They have four departments which are the Quantity Surveying (Tax Depreciation Schedules), Outsourcing to Real Estates, Matterport 3D Virtual Tours and Strata 10 Year Plans. She is also the a co-owner of our tech company Reports Online which produces Paperless Condition Reports. “I joined the Kaleidoscope program to support a newcomer to Australia, helping to make their transition a little more seamless. I enjoyed all the time I had with Alice and look forward to doing it again.”

Andrea Williams

Manuel Grosshans (LinkedIn) | Civil Engineer – Founder, Principal Engineer, General dogsbody for PMMC Consulting

Engineering and Construction expert predominantly in marine works for more than 15 years, on projects in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Africa. Manuel also has experience in the roles of Bid Manager, Subject Matter Expert Marine and Heavy Lifting, Project Manager, Engineering Manager, Construction Manager and Senior Project Engineer. “What I enjoyed about the program was rewarding relationship with my mentee. It is rewarding to be able to see mentees develop and succeed.”

Simon Gazia (LinkedIn) | Owner/CEO of LTT Group

LTT is an Award winning Registered Training Organisation that has been operating for 15 Years. LTT specialises in laboratory operations and pathology collection (phlebotomy) training for workplaces throughout Australia and individual students in our Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney training centres. Simon has close ties to many employers in Laboratory Operations across multiple industry sectors and the Pathology industry. Simon can assist mentees with Geotechnical, Chemistry, Laboratory and Scientific backgrounds. “The opportunity to give back by helping a skilled migrant to reconnect with their career was very rewarding.”

Peter McCafferty (LinkedIn) | CEO of ChemCentre

Peter is CEO of a state government organisation that employs around 150 people. The business is based on providing chemistry-based science to government and private companies. They also carry out collaborative research and development, with government departments, industry and universities.  Peter has been employed at ChemCentre for almost 30 years. He started as a scientist in the environmental laboratory carrying our nutrient and heavy metal analysis, progressed to managing the commercial activities of ChemCentre prior to the CEO role. “One of the benefits of the program was gaining an appreciation of the skills that so many people have. I am now more confident in my ability to coach and mentor others, including skilled migrants.”

Bita Shad (LinkedIn) | Contracts Engineer for INPEX

Bita is a professional Contracts Engineer with more than 15 years’ experience engaged in various projects in the oil and gas and resources industries. Core fields of her experience include pre- and post-award contract management consisting of development of contracting strategy, pre-qualification, contract formulation, developing tender documents, tender evaluation, negotiation and contract award and contract administration. Additional experience includes sourcing goods and services, developing procurement plans, negotiating prices and maintain relations with suppliers and vendors. “The program increased my confidence in my ability to mentor a new migrant. I enjoyed getting to know great people like Cema and her team, the other mentors, and getting to know a few professionals from the Iranian community.

Nicola Wilkins (LinkedIn) | Electrical Engineer at Horizon Power

Nicola has dedicated her career to the clean energy sector. She has 15 years’ experience in renewable energy. Her experience encompasses feasibility, electrical design, project management and consulting both in Australia and abroad, including five years in Germany. Nicola has experience working for employers such as large and small solar engineering, procurement and construction organisations, start-ups and government-owned electricity distribution networks. “Through the program, I gained the personal satisfaction of helping someone improve their job seeking skills. I realised that my skills and knowledge are valuable, and I enjoyed imparting my knowledge.”
Image of Mentor, Nicola Wilkins

Applications are now open

Want to become a KMP mentor?

Applications have been extended to 17 November 2020.

We are continuously recruiting mentors. The next mentoring cycle is running from January to May 2021.

Mentors apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Siddier Chambers

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Siddier Chambers

We spoke with Siddier Chambers (LinkedIn), a current mentee of the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country.

I’m from the beautiful island of Jamaica, where we produce the best music (reggae), the fastest man in the world (Usain Bolt) and where it’s always summer!

2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.

Back home I worked with the Government of Jamaica in several senior management and policy roles for 12 years.

3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?

I did my PhD in Public Policy at Curtin University between 2013-2017; went back home and returned to Australia in November 2019, over 10 months ago.

4. Can you tell us about the challenges you have faced in your job search journey in WA?

Responding to the selection criteria was the greatest difficulty I encountered in my job search.

5. What skills did you gain from participating in the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program and how did this help you in your job search?

My ability to respond to the selection criteria and how to strengthen my resume were some of the skills that were beneficial from the KMP.

6. What are three key benefits (e.g. confidence) you gained by joining the program?

Being more confident, having enhanced knowledge of the work culture and a supportive network are some of the benefits I’m enjoying as a KMP mentee.

7. What was the best part of being a mentee? 

Meeting like-minded professionals and having a mentor were the best part of the KMP for me.

8. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program?

Learning about the Application Tracking System was an eye-opening experience for me. I believe being exposed to the top employability skills was a real bonus that I will keep and hone throughout my career.

9. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

I now have connections with a large group of international professionals, which has significantly expanded my professional network here in Australia.

10. What advice would you share with a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?

Enrol early, make the most of every opportunity and you’ll have a rewarding experience as a KMP mentee!

Last chance to apply!

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications close soon for particular occupations. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Apply as a mentee

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Apply as a mentor

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentor – Manuel Grosshans

Manuel Grosshans

We spoke with Manuel Grosshans (LinkedIn), a mentor for the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked him to share his experiences from the participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your own employment/professional history.

You can find out more about my professional experiences from LinkedIn (LinkedIn). Maybe a more interesting story is how I ended up here in WA. After university, I started to travel and I wanted to go to New Zealand as it’s the furtherest away from Germany that you can go in this world (or so I thought at the time). Having travelled through Central America before, I was absolutely shell shocked with the prices in NZ (youth hostels mainly) and ended up convincing my mother to loan me money to buy a camper van. The camper van promptly blew up and so I ended up having to work. After the classical episodes of kiwi fruit packing and working in hospitality, I ended up on a construction site building apartments in Napier. My boss and mentor there had a good network and organised a site engineer role for me with McConnell Dowell. So it came that having studied commercial construction and construction management, I ended up in marine works. This “sink or swim” approach apparently succeeded as I am still doing it 15 years later.

Once I completed the projects in NZ I was asked if I would like to move to Perth to start a FIFO role building wharves in Port Hedland. I have now started my own company providing this site experience to contractors and clients. Our services include for example constructability, pre-contracts work, tendering and estimating amongst others.

2. Why did you sign up to be a mentor?

I have been a mentor twice now. I initially signed up because I read a LinkedIn post from Susan Kremmer Pickford (LinkedIn) at Engineers Australia (LinkedIn). I also vividly remember the shock I went through when I experienced my first time in the Pilbara.

3. What was the best part of being a mentor?

It is rewarding to be able to see mentees develop and succeed.

4. Tell us about the skills you have gained so far from participating in the program.

My mentees have both been from countries I have never visited, so I have appreciated the chance of expanding my horizon and getting an insight into different cultures.

5. Can you tell us about any challenges you faced as a mentor?

During this cycle COVID-19 obviously had an impact as it is challenging to build a relationship with someone you have only ever see on screen.

6. In your opinion, did you improve your cultural competency through participation in the program? In what ways?

It certainly helped me to appreciate the different background of other cultures and their approach to authorities and tasks.

7. Would you be more inclined to employ a skilled newcomer in your organisation, since undertaking the KMP?

Yes

8. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

I have certainly gained an appreciation for coastal engineering and my mentee’s lecturing at tertiary institutes.

9. Do you think other professionals should start mentoring? Why?

Absolutely. It is a good feeling to give something back and I hope it really helps the mentees.

10. Do you have any tips that you would give to a new KMP mentor?

The mentees are amazingly courageous people starting a new life here in Australia. They took initiative by having changed their whole life and frames of reference to start again in a foreign place. They have as much to teach you as they can learn from you. Take your time and enjoy the experience.

The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Sadia Affrin

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Sadia Affrin

We spoke with Sadia Affrin  (LinkedIn), a current mentee Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country.
I am an Asian Muslim. I come from Bangladesh, a small developing country in South Asia. It is a country of natural beauty and great culture. I was born in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.
I have 3.5 years of experience as Design Engineer at engineering company in my country. I worked in different commercial, pharmaceuticals and laboratory construction projects mostly in the HVAC sector. Engineering design was my strong point and I surely want to build my career in this field. After I moved to Perth, I upgraded my design skills. I worked as FTTx Designer in Perth for 9 months.

Now, I have a job in the engineering design sector. I will be working as Mechanical Modeller in a company that offers extensive selection of equipment solution in the mining sector.

3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?
I came to Perth in 2017. It’s been three and a half years.

4. Can you tell us what challenges have you faced in your job search journey in WA?
Being an migrant, the most challenging part was to present myself in the right place, in the right way. I got generalised advice from my close circle like applying through Seek and writing cover letters. It took me long time to understand the culture and appropriate way to approach to employer. Another challenge was professional networking. As a newcomer, my inner circle was not big enough for professional networking. Also, I had to overcome my language barrier to increase my networking.

5. Can you tell us a little about your new job? 

Now, I have a job in the engineering design sector. I am working as Mechanical Modeller in a company which offers extensive selection of equipment solutions in the mining sector.

6. What skills did you gain from participating in the Mentoring Program and how did this help you in your job search?
Participating in the mentoring program helped me to become confident enough to present myself and my skills in the appropriate way. Hunting for jobs for 3 years and only managing to obtain 9 months of local employment in my field made me believe that I was lacking in some way or I am not doing something right. I still remember meeting Ashleigh at the Kaleidoscope office for the first time and how she assured me I am doing the right things. All the things I have been doing like applying for jobs, connecting through LinkedIn are right. Then she talked about what they can offer for us. She gave some contacts from Mercycare and asked me to register myself into the mentoring program. I registered for Job Readiness sessions and I found those very informative and encouraging. I learnt the value of networking and right ways to do it.

7. What are three key benefits (e.g. confidence) you gained by joining the program?
By joining the program:

8. What was the best part of being a mentee?
As a mentee, I have learnt a lot. During my job search journey, many questions came into my mind which can be answered by a professional who is working in the same field. My mentor is a skilled engineering professional who is working in the industry for long time and has huge network inside the industry. He gave me insights of the engineering field and helped to identify potential employers. Being a mentee, I got chance to ask anything and everything about my field and job search. My mentor helped me to prepare my job application and also gave me advice on how to prepare for an interview. Mostly, he told me what I should do after interview which helped me get the job.

9. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program? 
I did my cover letter and selection criteria session with Sonja. She told us to do a little research on the company before applying. She told me to find the person responsible for the job and address the cover letter by his/her name. I found this information very helpful. After that session, I always looked up the company’s website and LinkedIn page and found out the right person to address the cover letter. Also, she told me to add my achievements in my cover letter, which I think worked for me.

10. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?
Through this program, I really got an understanding of different cultures and got a chance to meet people from different backgrounds. I understand that I should not have any unnecessary biased thoughts before applying a job. To work with multicultural environment, I need to be open minded and respect others.

11. What advice would you share with a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?

I would like encourage new immigrants to join the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program. To get maximum benefits from the program, one should believe in themselves as well as your mentoring coach. This program is organised by a professional group of people who are working in this sector for long time. One should work on advice, s/he gets from the program and please keep applying.

Applications are now open

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications are open now. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Click here to apply as a mentee

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Click here to apply as a mentor

Want to know more about KMP?

Register for an upcoming online information session and find out everything you need to know about joining KMP cycle 1 2021.

The next mentoring cycle is running from January to May 2021. Applications are open between 1 October to 1 November 2020.

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

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