A blustery Portland was the venue for the first workshop of this year’s Waterway Management Twinning Program, that brought together 20 waterway professionals keen to begin their mentoring partnerships. Getting to Portland was all part of the experience, with a few brave souls going on small planes (yay Siwan, Karen and Fiona), and others driving a long way with varying degrees of ‘GPS’ confidence…
The foundation of mentoring partnerships
Getting to know each other was key to our time together, as mentoring partnerships need to be based on trust and mutual respect to really work. We explored why we wanted to be part of a mentoring partnership, and our expectations of each other as we enter our eight month journey together. Some tips on presentation skills and the power of a great photo were used as the basis for each partnership to introduce themselves and their project to the group.
It was fantastic to have an afternoon learning about each other without lots of words cluttering up the powerpoint. Instead, vibrant images of what people care about, and why they are investigating particular topics with their mentor, led to good discussion and memorable insights into what motivates us to be involved in waterway management.
The second day we focused on active listening and effective communication, with conversation maps, storytelling, and tips and techniques for engaging stakeholders, making for a fun and interactive session.
Getting into nature
Our afternoon was spent out on the Lower Glenelg River in canoes, with each mentoring partnership sharing their canoe – another lesson in working together! No-one capsized and we had a terrific time taking in this beautiful stretch of river.
We ended our paddle on a tree lined stretch of river with a sleepy koala opening up one eye and stretching his leg to signal he had seen us.
Coming to a close
The following day was all about developing our Mentoring Agreements and signing off on what we hope to achieve both personally and professionally from being involved in the Program. Overall, we had a great three days and Lucy has captured the feeling and enjoyment felt by the group in her movie of our time together.
Mentoring is all about relationships and investing in people. The mentor gets just as much out of the relationship as the mentee and judging by the great three days we had we know that this year’s Waterway Management Twinning Program is going to be great!
Our Waterway Mentoring Partnership this year are:
The below participants were unfortunately unable to attend Workshop One:
- Project – Working effectively for Aboriginal capacity building: Mentor Travis Lovett, Dept. of Environment Land and Planning.
- Project – Exploring Aboriginal values on a priority waterway: Mentor Rene Woods, Murray & Lower Darling Indigenous Nations (MILDRIN); and Mentee Kristen Less, Conrangamite CMA.
If you’re interesting in hearing more from the Waterway Management Twinning Program and being involved next year, please take a look here – applications are now open for the 2019 Program!
Thank you to all our wonderful participants for a fun and successful Workshop One!
Video soundtrack by Scott Holmes