Mentor – Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you wanted to know about being a mentor.

business man mentoring another business colleagueWhy should I become a mentor?

As a mentor, you will have the opportunity to:

  • share knowledge about your industry/profession based on your own experiences
  • help a person in your field put their skills and experience to work for a Western Australian business or company.
  • motivate and support a skilled newcomer professional to realise their full potential in Australia

In return, you will benefit from:

  • developing your own mentoring, communication and leadership skills
  • enhancing your cross-cultural competence by working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • improving your understanding of the issues and barriers experienced by newcomers in Australia

How can I apply to be a mentor?


You will need to have your current CV (please include two references) and your National Police Clearance Certificate issued within the past six months. If you do not have a police clearance, the City of Stirling can apply for one on your behalf (at no cost to you).

Book an appointment to apply for your Police Clearance

What are the criteria for becoming a mentor?

You can become a mentor if you:

  • have worked for at least two years in your profession/field/industry in Australia
  • can commit 18 hours of your time over three months for mentoring
  • are thinking about your professional legacy
  • want to share your industry knowledge and networks with others
  • want to develop professionally.

How will I be helping the person I mentor?

As a mentor, you can help your mentee by:

  • advising them on their occupation or industry in Australia, which can assist them in preparing for their employment
  • providing information on employment and/or educational opportunities within their chosen profession
  • sharing your networks and professional contacts with your mentee(s)
  • supporting your mentee to develop confidence in a new society, workplace and culture
  • helping them realise their full potential and contribute to Australia’s society and the economy.

As a mentor, what are my responsibilities?

As a mentor, you are expected to:

  • provide details on your professional background to the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program and some additional information needed for program delivery and matching purposes
  • provide a National Police Clearance Certificate issued within the last six months. If you do not have a police clearance, the City of Stirling can apply for one on your behalf (at no cost to you) 
  • complete a mentor orientation session (approximately 90 minutes)
  • work with your mentee to determine their employment objectives and set goals related to job searching, networking, professional development, etc.
  • seek support from the mentoring coach, if needed, for a referral to resources, troubleshooting, etc.

How long will I mentor for? How many hours a week are involved?

The time commitment is a minimum of 18 hours over three months which works out to be approximately 1.5 hours per week. You and your mentee can together decide on a schedule that suits your goals for the partnership and your availability.

What kind of support will I get during this program?

Before you start mentoring someone, you will take part in a Mentor Orientation Session to learn more about your role and responsibilities as a mentor.

You will also have access to online resources to guide you throughout your partnership. These mentoring tools offer tips to mentors about how to best mentor their mentees. They also contain information for mentees to help them in their job search. You, along with your mentee, can select which tools will work best for both of you.

You and your mentee will also be supported by our mentoring coach whose role is to help you both throughout the entire mentoring relationship and respond to your questions and concerns.

What is the role of the mentoring coach?

The mentoring coach provides support and resources to both mentors and mentees. Your coach will contact both you and your mentee on a monthly basis to check that your relationship is going smoothly. In the unlikely case that there are issues between a mentor and mentee, or if you need any help or information to better support the person you are mentoring, you can contact your mentoring coach. The mentoring coach can then help you with troubleshooting or providing referrals.

What professional development resources are available for mentors?

You can access the following professional development resources during your time as a mentor:

  1. Workshops that focus on building cross-cultural competencies and developing your mentoring skills.
  2. Networking events that provide an opportunity to meet new and experienced mentors, and exchange solutions and best practices.
  3. Online resources with information to help you in your mentoring partnership. There are four online learning modules:

How do we match a mentor with a mentee?

Matches between mentors and mentees are made based on both participant’s occupation, industry, preferences and goals. The mentoring coach selects a match for you based on the information you provide in your mentor application and will ask you for a confirmation. If you’re not sure the match is appropriate, please make sure you let the mentoring coach know as soon as possible.

Mentees are accepted into the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program based on the criteria that they:

  • are highly skilled professionals who have recently arrived in Australia
  • are ‘job-ready’ – this means they are ready to start a job in their field, in Australia, at any given time.
  • have limited or no Australian work experience in their profession/industry
  • are legally entitled to work in Australia
  • have lived in Australia for five years or less
  • have the appropriate English language proficiency to perform effectively in the workplace in their field. (Managers/professionals need IELTS Band 7 or equivalent. Technical/non-client facing roles need IELTS Band 6 or equivalent)
  • have a minimum post-secondary education equivalent to a diploma or degree
  • have a minimum of two years international work experience in their profession
  • are currently unemployed or underemployed (i.e. not working in their field of expertise)

Can I be matched with someone who doesn’t have a similar occupation or industry to me?

We always try to match you with someone who has a similar profession/industry to you as much as possible. If you feel your suggested mentee’s occupation/industry is not close enough to your own, you can talk to the mentoring coach before meeting them. However, there are some occupational fields and industries where we have a lower demand for mentors. We encourage you to be flexible when considering a recommended match with someone who is waiting for a mentor.

Can I mentor more than once?

It would be wonderful if you could support another newcomer! Repeat mentors bring the added value of learning and experience from their previous relationships. At the end of your mentoring relationship, you will be contacted and asked if you are able to mentor again. Even if you are not able to do this straight away, you can let us know a date when you could take part, and we can get back in touch with you then.

How will I know if I’m doing a good job?

Open communication is the key to any good relationship. Throughout the mentoring relationship, you should be speaking to your mentee about whether or not you are fulfilling the joint goals that you both set out at the beginning. Your mentoring coach will also ask you to provide feedback on your progress and experience throughout the mentoring relationship. If you are helping your mentee make progress on their employability, your relationship is successful.

Who do I contact if I have any concerns?

Throughout the mentoring process, you should be speaking to your mentee about your shared progress in fulfilling the goals you set at the beginning of the relationship. However, not all relationships are perfect. If you are in a situation where you would like guidance or are experiencing difficulties, please contact your mentoring coach immediately for advice or support. Likewise, if you feel that your mentee is not ‘job-ready’, your coach may be able to provide referrals for additional training or resources.

Do I meet with my mentee in person?

We recommend that you meet in person, especially for the first few meetings. However, there will be times when online or phone communication will be more convenient and/or effective for both of you.

Where should I meet my mentee?

You and your mentee should decide where to meet. You could meet at your office, a coffee shop or a location that is convenient for both of you. All meetings should take place in a public place and not in a mentor or mentee’s home.

You may utilise any of the City of Stirling and City of Canning libraries as your meeting points which are well equipped with meeting spaces, computers, printing facilities, etc.  You may also be able to use the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre (MMRC)’s meeting rooms with prior booking.


If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us.

The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, 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.