Mentor: Ruth Macdonald – Yarra Valley Water
Mentee: Sasha Johnson – Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
We embarked on this mentoring journey primarily to:
- Expand our networks in the water sector to build knowledge and support development of waterway policy, as Sasha was in a role at DEECA coordinating policy development for the new Victorian Waterway Management Strategy
- Learn from other professionals in the field to develop leadership skills and coaching/mentoring skills
We met via Teams every fortnight where we discussed a range of topics – from waterway policy to leadership to just having a rant about things going on in our lives.
Through the mentoring experience, and the wonderful content delivered by Siwan and Andy through the workshop sessions in Ballarat and Healesville, we took away many learnings to apply to our work in the waterway management sector.
We learned the importance of understanding your ‘why’: your purpose for why you do what you do. Recognising this and being able to articulate it is so important for connecting with others, whether that’s stakeholders, colleagues or the broader community, and for generating enthusiasm and drive in our teams – and for maintaining our own motivation in the face of challenges.
The importance of connection was a strong theme throughout the program, and we had the opportunity to connect with some colleagues at Yarra Valley Water on a trip to the site of the Reimagining your Tarralla Creek project.
We also learned the importance of heart-led leadership in our workplaces to create the best environment for people to flourish and reach their fullest potential. The above the line and below the line concept was an epiphany for us in our working and management styles.
As a result of learnings from the program, Sasha has been feeling supported and empowered to take on new challenges at work, including moving into a management position.
We are both keen to share the learnings from the program with our teams and continue to connect with the networks of like-minded professionals we met through the program to draw on their expertise, share challenges and successes.
Apply Now for 2024!
Applications are now open for The Waterway Management Emerging Leaders Program in 2024. The Program is a structured mentoring program focusing on improving the on-ground delivery of current Victorian riparian restoration projects. This Program provides an opportunity for the most effective approaches to be shared and adopted between all those working in waterway management across the State.