Over the past several months, the CMRC has been running an innovative mentoring project named ‘LAUNCH.’ The project is a 6 month pilot, run in partnership with Marque Lawyers, a SME law firm with a commitment to social justice.
Mentees (from migrant or refugee backgrounds) who have never experienced a corporate workplace environment in Australia, are connected with mentors (lawyers from Marque), who then sit together to develop an individual goal setting plan for the mentees that develops their skills, confidence and self esteem.
Chichi, a mentee from Zambia, spoke of her personal circumstance before entering the project. “I had been out of the workforce for many years, I lost touch with my work ethics and sadly with myself. I forgot about the language and technologies used in the workplace and most importantly that I have the skills and qualifications for the desired job that I want. I lost my inner self esteem and the fear of not been valued crept in. I forgot that, ten years of my life, I had worked so hard and achieved a lot for myself and the company I had worked for.”
Chichi described how her mentor, Felicia (Fee), has helped her regain her confidence and self belief, “my mentor, Fee has done a great job concerning goal setting and motivating me to achieve my goals. She has thoroughly guided me through resume preparation and job hunting. Above all, she made me realise that I have got great skills by sorting out my messed-up resume. Honestly, when she reviewed my resume by updating it according to the Australian formula and put herself as my referee, I almost fell off the chair! Like I mentioned before that I lost touch with myself, I could not believe that everything on the two-page resume was me… Before the program, I had understated myself, so looking at my resume was a shocker!”
Project coordinator, Priscella Mabor said “Our aim was to reset the goal posts on what is an achievable goal and measure of when someone is ready to make informed decisions about their pathway to employment, navigating education pathways and staying afloat in either an education or employment setting.”
She described how the project was structured in order to ensure a best fit model for mentees and mentors, “all the mentors received trauma-informed cultural competency training and all mentees received pre-placement training. Participants in the program applied with written applications and were provided with a meet & greet event, after submitting professional and personal briefs. The mentees were able to select their preferred mentors through a speed dating process.”
Chichi has taken her new found confidence and resume and secured a second interview for a potential administrative role within a cleaning company she had previously applied to in a capacity of just being a cleaner. Depending on the success of the pilot, and all signs point to it having positive outcomes, the CMRC is looking to continue this LAUNCH model of mentorship and create more pathways to employment for migrants and refugees.
UPDATE: Chichi has successful secured employment in an administrative capacity and will being moving to Perth to pursue her new career path.