Mentor information session – online

Are you interested in becoming a Mentor in the award winning Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program and would like more information?

Register now for our online information session and find out everything you need to know about the program, eligibility criteria and the application process.


Event details:

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Online from 7.30pm – 8.30pm

Click here to register


We continuously recruit mentors whom we match with mentees in our upcoming mentee intake. Our next Mentee intake for Cycle 2 – 2022 will open on 18 July 2022 and the mentoring program will commence in late August 2022.  If you would like to apply to be a KMP mentor click the button below.

Mentors apply now

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Mashaal Mahmood

We spoke with Mashaal Mahmood (LinkedIn), a mentee from Cycle 2 2020 Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country

I am originally from the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad. It is one of the most modern cities in the country and definitely the safest.

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

My background is in Journalism. I worked as an intern in one of the major commercial news channels in Pakistan, before moving to Australia in 2011, and on and off after that while completing my Bachelor in Perth from The University of Western Australia in Communications and Media. Most of my experience in Journalism in Pakistan was in the area of Politics and Human Rights, which of course is rather understandable considering the human rights violations in the country on a daily basis and political unrest. I used to interview people directly affected by the situations and present their stories in my first language, Urdu.

3. What challenges have you faced in your job search journey in WA?

I have a rather long list for that! Starting with the fact that I had to give up my career in Journalism in Australia due to multiple barriers. Even though I did have quite a distinguished overseas background in Journalism, along with a qualification in that area from a prestigious university from Western Australia, it was almost impossible to work as a journalist in the country. It was mainly due to lack of ‘Australian experience’ in the work field and the lack of understanding of how the job market works here. I kept on applying for jobs online to no benefit. Most of the time, it felt like no one was even looking at my application. My ultimate frustration caused me to give up on my dream of being a journalist and I requalified as a Media teacher, and started teaching in Australian high schools.

4.  What skills did you gain from participating in the program and how did this help you in your job search?

For me personally, Kaleidoscope’s online workshops act like a bridge between getting the qualification and finally joining the workforce. I wish I had this ‘bridge’ when I graduated as a Journalist, as I wouldn’t have struggled during my job-hunt process and ultimately changed careers due to lack of positive outcome. The online workshops specifically gave me an in-depth knowledge about the job-search process in Australia. Even after being in the country for almost ten years, I was lacking this vital information. I learnt some really basic things like making my job search efficient by learning how to use online professional mediums like LinkedIn and what words to use in my resume to make it stand out more in front of the recruiters who have uncountable resumes to look at. These strategies might sound basic and simple but play a vital role in making one stand out in the crowd of job applicants. In fact, I think the workshops should be a mandatory process for anyone who has finished their qualification and is looking to find employment in the area of their expertise or for those who have just arrived in the country and want to start their professional journey in Australia. Most of the time, people aren’t struggling to find a job because of lack of qualifications or experience, but due to lack understanding of the path that leads to one’s dream job!

5.  What are the three key benefits you gained by joining the program?

1. Cultural understanding of people from different backgrounds

2. Confidence of taking risks

3. Sense of belonging

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

I was matched up with Sue Myc, the chairperson and radio announcer at 89.7FM Radio. This match turned into one of the finest things that happened in my life since moving to Australia in 2011. I moved here to become a journalist but was forced to give up that dream due to lack of ‘Australian experience’ in that area. My mentor, Sue allowed me to run a 15 minute segment of her morning show once a week, where I would share information regarding a topic of my choice. This didn’t only allow me to learn how to conduct my communication on live radio, but also helped me polish my research skills; a very vital skill for any journalist, as I had to ensure that my information was correct and was presented without any bias. I also learnt how to use the radio equipment, which was definitely the hardest part but definitely the most useful one.

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

Some of the workshops were specifically dedicated to the Australian workplace culture and job application processes. A lot of unspoken facts were explained in these ones, such as not calling ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ to people at work and using their first names. I am sure that it is something that requires a lot of getting used to for people from many countries. In terms of job application process, we even did practise interview questions, and got little tips on how to conduct ourselves around our employers. As I said, a lot of unspoken rules that exist but a lot of migrants are unaware of.

8. Did participating in the program expand your professional community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

Working at 89.7FM Radio, as a part of the Kaleidoscope programme, was to help me get into the field of Journalism, but I have got so much more than that since I have been a part of it. Firstly, the opportunity to make friendly connections with people who had spent the majority of their lives here in Australia allowed me to understand the core of Australian culture. One of tendencies amongst migrants is to only mingle with people from their own backgrounds; regardless of how long they have been in their adopted home, mainly because it is their comfort zone. However, this pattern restricts them from sometimes assimilating in the new country. For me, 89.7FM Radio turned out to be a platform where I made deep connections with people who truly understood Australia and Australian values, and to my amusement, for the first time in a decade since I left my home country, I feel like having a sense of belonging, through the people who come from completely different background from my own.

9. Have you gained employment in your field? Can you tell us a little bit about your new role/job?

All thanks to the Kaleidoscope Program, I have my own radio show now on 89.7FM Radio. It is called The Brown Culture, and aims to share the culture/values/history of the Indian subcontinent or South Asia or countries like (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) with people from different backgrounds in Australia, along with playing Bollywood and Lollywood music. Those of you who don’t know, Bollywood is India’s film and music industry while Lollywood is Pakistan’s film and music industry. The staff at 89.7FM radio was very generous to let me create something that I am truly passionate about. People from the Indian subcontinent represent a high number of Australian population, but not a lot of people truly understand their culture. The whole point of the show is to educate people about South Asian/Brown culture. Being a migrant, I understand that when people truly understand a culture on a human level is when the barrier between ‘them’ and ‘us’ is diminished. I aim to let people feel that we are all one, regardless of our race, religion, ethnicity , and no one really is ‘others’.

10. What advice would you give to a new mentee starting the mentoring program?

Show up for your online classes prepared and make the most of every single opportunity of learning something new. Being a part of this programme is a privilege. Had I received it 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be just starting to practise journalism in Australia.

11.  What would you rate the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program out of 5 (5 being the highest)?

5 stars!

Interested in joining the next cycle as a mentee?

Applications for KMP 2021 Cycle 2 will open on 1 May 2021. To register your interest in becoming a mentee in our next cycle please complete an expression of interest form via the link below.

EOI for KMP Mentee

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 – Andrea Williams

We spoke with Andrea Williams (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 own and operate a medium-sized company called Asset Reports, which I started in 2007 and now have approximately 55 staff Australia-wide. We service the investor market by providing a wide range of Property Reports.

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

The main reason I signed up to be a mentor is that when I migrated to Australia at the age of eight years old, I had to watch my parents restart their careers with little assistance along the way. I wanted to use my personal experience, knowledge and contacts to help make someone’s journey a little more seamless by offering support through a challenging transition.

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

Being a mentor was a rewarding feeling; I enjoyed meeting Alice and learning about her background. The most rewarding part of the whole mentorship was being able to help Alice gain confidence in her own ability and take positive action.

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

The main skill I gained was the ability to adapt very quickly to Alice’s personality and way of learning.

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

The biggest challenge I faced as a mentor was learning to take a step back and let Alice lead the way. I was often tempted to write her cover letters and do the whole application for her, but I knew that it wouldn’t be beneficial in the long run. We spent a lot of time editing cover letters together and it resulted in her recognising the importance of the changes suggested and how she can learn from them for the next time.

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

Yes, absolutely. The biggest thing that surprised me was how the mentees viewed the job advertisements online. In Australia we are quick to respond to job advertisements by applying online, emailing or calling the company. However I found that the mentees read every single word of the advertisements and will not apply if they believe they have not met just one part of the selection criteria. I encouraged Alice to apply regardless as employers are not always going to get exactly what they are looking for. I also learnt about the way the workforce functions in Vietnam and how it differs to Australia.

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

I was always very happy to employ newcomers to Australia and especially now after meeting so many. Newcomers come from all economic and socio-political backgrounds and bring unique viewpoints and different ways of doing things. Most importantly, if we embrace cultural diversity in our own companies, we are giving people a chance at a new career and possibly one that they may not have had before moving to Australia.

8.  How does participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

The program expanded my knowledge in the complexity of Project Management. As I have run a business for most of my adult life, I have always been dealing with my own team. It extended my community network as I was able to reach out to people that were not in my industry to ask for assistance and advice for Alice.

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

I think that everybody with a professional background should be a mentor. It improves our knowledge of the world and the journey behind someone migrating to Australia. Naturally, you also develop your own leadership skills, improve communication and personal skills, and remind yourself of everything you could teach somebody. It is also a wonderful experience for the mentee to even just have somebody to call and lean on.

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

The tip that I would give to a new KMP mentor would be to advise the mentee to be less critical of themselves when reading job advertisements online. Some job ads are overly detailed, and it can really throw the mentee off. I had to explain to Alice that she can still apply for jobs even if she did not meet all the selection criteria. In conclusion, the main bit of advice I have to offer is to be patient with the mentees. They are facing a whole new professional world and need as much encouragement as possible to lock in their next professional role.

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 – 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.

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.

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