MMVLLEN Mentor E- News Nov 2016
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November 2016
Dear Mentors,

Well here we are - our final newsletter for 2016! We can’t believe these final few months have gone so quickly.

If you are new to mentoring, welcome! Every two months we will be sending you some information via this newsletter designed to benefit and support you and your mentee's efforts. The newsletter will include volunteer program updates, news as to what is happening in the region, and job, education and training information. 

In each newsletter we focus on a particular theme. This time, as a result of your valuable feedback we build on the training on cross-cultural communication conducted at our recent mentor debrief and provide further insight on this topic. We trust you and your mentee will find this information helpful and look forward to your feedback. And as always, please contact us if you have any questions... 

We hope you like the new 'MMVLLEN image' (pictured above) - it is meant to reflect the nature of our work - making links between stakeholders to benefit young people. You will undoubtedly be seeing a lot more of it!

Thank you for your support this year. Our best wishes for the festive season and a big, bright and beautiful 2017.

Oh, and happy reading...

The MMVLLEN team



Overview of Mentor Debrief - 9th November 2016 Our latest Mentor Debrief was held on the evening of 9th November at the Kensington Town Hall. We collected feedback from mentors at the start of the session and used it to shape the evening to meet the needs identified. Mentors spent time together sharing experiences and helping one another overcome some of the challenges associated with mentoring. Feedback obtained on the overall program was very positive. Some mentors were experiencing difficulties in connecting with their mentees, and finding places to meet. We will allocate time for further exploration and discussion of this issue at our next debrief. Another item raised, related to the referring of mentees with a mental health issue. There is information about referrals in your manual - please do consult it - or ring if you need further information and advice. We will be happy to assist! A highlight of the evening was a great presentation by Sherry Rose from the Centre for Multicultural Youth on cross-cultural communication.

WhatsApp WhatsApp is a 'digital space' established for the sharing of thoughts and experiences or to bounce ideas around - without judgement! If you are currently part of our WhatsApp group, we’d love to hear from you. If you are not yet part of the WhatsApp group, we will be adding all of our mentors to the group soon. If you do not wish to participate, please let Ruth know by December 11th, 2016. If we do not hear from you, we’ll assume you wish to join. It is completely voluntary, and you can remove yourself from the group at any time, should you wish to. 

Recruiting new mentors for 2017 We will shortly be recruiting new mentors to join the internship program in 2017. Recruitment will begin in mid December. Look out for the advertisement on Please do refer anyone you think may be interested in supporting young people in Maribyrnong and Moonee Valley. 

Youth Internships Co-ordinator - a change is coming in 2017! Ruth will be on annual leave from Thursday 25th November to Monday 12th December. If you have any questions during this time, please contact Jane Kovacs or Veronica Snook on phone 9376 7251. 

Sadly, Ruth will be leaving the MMVLLEN, and the role of Youth Internships Initiative Coordinator, at the end of December. She will be moving on to pursue exciting new endeavours relating to her postgraduate studies. We will greatly miss Ruth's valuable contribution to the internship program. Our thanks and best wishes go with her. We keep you informed as to who will be taking over the role... If you are interested in applying please watch for the advertisement on in December. 


The following are tips for building cross-cultural relationships. They are adapted from information provided by, and build upon, the presentation by the Centre for Multicultural Youth on cross-cultural communication at our recent Mentor Debrief...

(Picture from Australian Youth Mentoring Network)

Be culturally aware - Recognise your own cultural beliefs and biases. Be open, respectful, non-judgmental and willing to learn about the culture of your mentee.

Discuss cultural differences and similarities - Discuss differences in verbal and non-verbal communication.This can be fun and helps to build the relationship. (For example, in Australian culture, making eye contact is considered honest and upfront, in other cultures it is disrespectful.) Listen carefully and speak clearly in language that is appropriate to the level of English of your mentee. 

Be conscious of the pressures faced by young people - Young people from refugee or migrant backgrounds are faced with the extra pressures of negotiating a new culture, language and systems. They may also have traumatic backgrounds. This is in addition to the usual pressures faced by young people associated with school, work, peer and family relationships and responsibilities! Be aware and empathetic, don't pry. 

Use a strengths-based approach - Emphasise the strengths of the young person and promote pathways where these strengths can be explored.

Don't assume - Everyone is an individual. Two people from the same country can have very different cultures. Do not stereotype according to race, gender, dress or sexuality. Ask and encourage lots of questions.

Be patient, persistent and consistent - Relationships take time. Build trust and be supportive. Maintain regular contact. Keep promises.

Be aware of power dynamics - In some cultures young people hold mentors in very high esteem. Do not abuse this power. Use a personable approach, encourage questions and pursue ideas and activities led by the young person.

Have fun! - Make sure activities are engaging for both of you. Mentoring should be a fun experience for both mentor and mentee. Laughter breaks down barriers...



The MMVLLEN's End of Year Celebration - is on Wednesday 30th November 4.00 to 6.00 pm at the Kensington Town Hall. All Mentors and Mentees are welcome! Please RSVP to Mary phone 9376 7251.


Free workshops! If you are interested attending a free workshop to learn how to research and write reports or plan events then click on the relevant event poster (below) to find out more: 




#work now - This new program is for job seekers in Victoria who may be struggling to find work. The program will help anyone who wants to work but who need a little help with getting started. Please click on this link for more details:

Trainee receptionist wanted - Wingate Avenue is currently advertising for a trainee receptionist to start in January 2017. For more details visit their website at:

Skills Road - If you are wanting some tips on preparing resumes, applying for jobs and interviewing, have a look at this website:

AFL SportsReady - An independent, not-for-profit company dedicated to helping young Australians develop careers through traineeships and educational opportunities. They advertise job opportunities for young people at:

Season's Greetings!
Copyright © 2016 Maribyrnong and Moonee Valley LLEN, All rights reserved.

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