Mentoring FAQ

Before I nominate …

Do I have to be an APS or Commonwealth employee to take part in the Indigenous Mentoring Program?
  • Mentees must identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, and be employed by the APS or the Commonwealth.
  • Mentors can be Indigenous or non-Indigenous, and be employed by the APS or the Commonwealth.
Am I eligible to be a Mentor for the Indigenous Mentoring Program?

You will need to be at the APS 4 level or above (or equivalent for Commonwealth agencies). You do not need to identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to be a Mentor – we're looking for people from a diverse range of backgrounds and employment. You will, however, need the support of your direct manager or supervisor to participate in the Program, and the nomination process asks if you have their support, so we encourage you to discuss this with them before you nominate.

How much mentoring experience should I have to be a Mentor?

Individuals' experience will vary across the Program. You may have a lot of experience as a Mentor or none at all; either way we will provide training.

Can I be a Mentor and Mentee at the same time?

Of course! Consider what your availability will be; if it might be taking on too much, perhaps you could complete one program as a Mentee, and join the next as a Mentor. Remember you will need the support of your supervisor for both arrangements before committing.

Can Mentors have more than one Mentee?

Yes. A Mentor can have more than one Mentee if their commitments allow, and they are comfortable with being in multiple mentoring partnerships.

How long does the Indigenous Mentoring Program run for?

Typically each formal relationship will last for six months, after which it can continue on an informal basis if both parties wish.

Mentor/Mentee matching …

Am I guaranteed of being matched with a Mentor/Mentee?

Mentor/Mentee matching will be conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission. There may be occasions when we'll need to discuss alternatives if there are issues matching participants due to location, background or Mentor/Mentee preferences

It is also likely that non-Indigenous Mentors will outnumber Indigenous Mentors. Mentees who have a strong preference for an Indigenous Mentor may have to wait a bit longer, however we'll do our best to find one for you.

Will my Mentor/Mentee need to be in the same location as me?

We'll do our best to match participants from the same location, however this may not be possible in every case. There will be Mentors/Mentees working in remote locations, requiring a long distance relationship using communications channels such as telephone, video conferencing or Skype.

During the mentoring relationship…

What can I expect from my Mentor?

You can expect your Mentor to provide you with guidance, and commitment to imparting experience and knowledge while listening to you, and challenging you along the way. Your Mentor won't resolve issues or obstacles for you; they will work with you and help you identify your own solutions.

How many hours am I expected to spend communicating and meeting with my Mentor/Mentee?

There is no set requirement, however keeping lines of communication open will ultimately influence the quality and success of a Mentor/Mentee partnership. We recommend no less than 1–2 hours per month via whichever medium you agree to use.

Can the mentoring relationship continue following completion of the Indigenous Mentoring Program?

Yes. When the formal mentoring relationship has concluded, the relationship may continue on an informal basis with the mutual consent of both parties.

I want to find out more about the Indigenous Mentoring Program?

If you would like to know more about the Indigenous Mentoring Program, please contact the Indigenous Capability Team on 1300 656 009 or indigenous@apsc.gov.au.