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Tuesday 22nd May 2018


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MATES making a difference

Article Category  Community Interest
Date Published  Monday, May 29 2017
Author  Lorraine Merton - Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN

MATES making a difference
Dimboola Memorial Secondary College and Dimboola Primary School are combining forces to find mentors to make a difference in the lives of young people in our community. They are seeking mentors to join he MATES mentoring program.

This successful program, had its beginnings in Dimboola when DMSC ran a pilot mentoring program in 2010. From the initial pilot program, the MATES Mentoring Program was further developed by Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN and established in other schools across our region, in other regions in Victoria and interstate. Over 400 young people across the Wimmera have been matched with a mentor since the program began.

Julie Nooteboom coordinated the MATES program at DMSC from its inception in 2010 until 2016 and worked tirelessly at her own school as well as assisting other schools to implement this very worthwhile program.

In 2016, Sue Kuhnell took the reins of the DMSC mentoring program, and joined forces to support Dimboola Primary School to also establish a MATES mentoring program.

Mentors catch up with their mentee for just one hour a fortnight. This small amount of time can make a big difference and can change a young person’s life forever.

The program continues to receive positive feedback from mentors, mentees and parents of mentees.

Parents of participants in the program say:

    ‘Extremely worthwhile and it has been the highlight of her time at school’

    ‘The support that my son’s mentor provided at a crucial time in his life was invaluable.‘

Mentors in the program say:

    ‘Mentoring has taught me a lot about myself.’

    ‘It gives me a chance to relax during a busy working week.’

    ‘A fantastic experience.’

    ‘The program has been an absolute pleasure. I thoroughly enjoy the company of my student and I sense he enjoys mine’.

Mentees in the program say:

    ‘My mentor is very caring and listens to all my problems and she has made me really enjoy school.’

    ‘I love spending time with my mentor.’

    ‘I am more confident in myself.’

    ‘I wish it could have gone for longer.’

No special qualifications are required to be a mentor – just a genuine interest in the well-being of young people and one spare hour a fortnight.

Anyone interested in becoming a MATES Mentor for a student at DMSC or Dimboola Primary school, please contact Sue Kuhnell at DMSC on 03 5389 1460 or come along to a no-obligation information session between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm on Wednesday the 7th June at the DMSC Health and Fitness Centre.

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