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

Applications are now open for KMP

The award-winning Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is currently recruiting new mentees for its next cycle which will commence in February 2022.

The Mentoring Program, now in its fourth year, has already helped over 234 skilled professional migrants improve their employment potential by matching them with mentors from their industry or occupation. Past participant survey responses indicate the program achieves results with 80 per cent of past mentees reporting being employed in their fields within six months of completing the program. This compares to entry data which shows 91 per cent of mentees were unemployed or employed in survival jobs, with 9 per cent under employed in an associated industry at the commencement of the program. View the latest infographic here.

Since it inception, KMP has recruited more than 350 mentors from over 180 different organisations. Many of these mentors have migrated to Australia and understand the struggles and employment barriers that newcomers face. The depth and experience of this pool of mentors enables KMP to assist newcomers across a diverse range of professions and industries.

The 3-month mentoring partnership assists newcomers to build professional networks and increase knowledge of both recruitment practices and a better understanding of their profession locally. The mentoring journey benefits both the newcomers and employers in Western Australia by sharing new ideas and boosting business development and cultural diversity in both the workplace and the community.

Applications are now open and will close on 2 December 2021. Anyone interested in joining the program as a mentor or mentee can obtain more information by attending an online information session or can apply by visiting www.kaleidoscopeinitiative.com.au

Word of mouth continues to be the most effective marketing tool for this program so we encourage all mentees and mentors to share their experiences with friends and colleagues and encourage anyone interested to apply.

The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning, the City of Swan and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre, and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests.

Impact of Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program

Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program has been helping skilled newcomer professionals improve their employment potential by matching them with mentors from their industry or occupation. Did you know, of the 192 mentees who have taken part in the program, over 78% are now employed in their field.

This short video highlights some of the key statistics about mentors and mentees who have joined the program.

Submit an application today to join the next KMP cycle as a mentee.

Improving employment potential for skilled migrants

Through the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, experienced migrants are given the opportunity to secure work in their field of expertise, including employment at BHP.

The program helps migrants improve their employment potential, obtain work and builds the capacity of employers to reap the rewards of a diverse workforce.

BHP Superintendent Balraj Hansra joined BHP almost a decade ago as Graduate Geoscientist and signed up to be a mentor in the program, motivated by his appreciation of the difficulty for newcomers to find work in Australia.

“My mother came to Australia as a migrant and despite having a Master’s degree and being trained as a Registered Nurse in the UK, she found it difficult to find work here because she had no Australian experience,” Balraj said.

“After reflecting on this, and the impact it had on her and the rest of our family, I wanted to do everything I could to positively change the situation for those who have recently migrated to Australia.”

Balraj mentored Mehdi Najafi through the program, who now works as a Geotechnician at BHP’s Nickel West, Leinster Nickel Operation.

Mehdi was born and raised in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, where he studied a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and graduated with a Master of Geotechnical Engineering. Mehdi has nearly eight years’ experience as a Geotechnical Engineer in Iran on a wide range of civil, infrastructure and mining projects.

Mehdi explains the mentor program opened up the opportunity to have his qualifications recognised and to continue working in his field of expertise.

“Coming to Australia has always been a dream of mine, to create a better life and find more opportunities for work, but as a migrant we do face a lot of difficulties,” Mehdi said.

“You have to work hard to reach your dreams, and it’s not always easy, but the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program provided that path for mentorship, experience and networking, that has helped me secure work at BHP – a leading global resources company.”

“Mentoring Mehdi and seeing his personal growth was a highlight for me,” Balraj said. “The program gave me the space to develop my coaching skills and appreciate the challenges that new migrants face when searching for professional roles in Australia.

“It was also a reminder that we need to see and value global experience just as much as Australian experience and leverage off the high level of diversity we have here in Australia.”

 

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.