The SoCLA mentor program commenced in 2015 and has continued to grow since then. The success of the program is to a large extent the result of the work of Helen Green, who has managed the program for the bulk of this time Together with members' enthusiasm and commitment, Helen's dedication has been a key driver of the program. Following five years developing the program and many more managing Career Programs at Melbourne Law School where she previously worked, Helen has now re-focussed her careers practice solely towards assisting people going through career transitions and so, from July 2020, Helen is no longer involved in the program. On behalf of members and participants in the program, SoCLA thanks Helen for her outstanding contribution.
Applications for the SoCLA 2020 Mentoring Program have now closed.
In keeping with the Society's objects, the Society's Mentoring Program seeks to assist members at all stages of their career in their professional development.
If you are not a current member of the Society, you will need to join before applying for the Mentoring Program. To apply online for membership is a TWO STEP process. The first step is to register an account on the SoCLA website. Immediately after registering, please take the second step – on your user account page is a link to the online membership application form.
Given demand for the program, new mentors are always welcome. For further information about the program, click here.
Further enquiries about the program can be made to Louise McManamon (Mentoring Co-Ordinator) by email or telephone: 0411 854 849.
SoCLA members can apply online for the program. It is important applicants are familiar with the SoCLA Mentoring Program guidelines prior to applying.
SoCLA has engaged Louise McManamon to manage key aspects of the program with a view to developing and incrementally growing the program. Louise is available to advise and assist mentees and mentors during the year with any aspect of their involvement in the Program. Louise works closely with the Chair of the Young Constructors Committee.
Your suggestions and feedback matter. Participants in the 2019 program are encouraged to provide feedback about the program any time. A survey to 2019 participants was sent in December.
What do program participants say?
Here are just a few of the testimonials received from previous participants
I find mentoring very rewarding because not only do I get to share the hard lessons that I have learned in the last 25 years to hopefully ease and smooth the path to success for the mentees but I learn a lot from the mentees as well. I invariably develop a genuine relationship with my mentees which I value.
Laina Chan, mentor
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the SoCLA Mentoring Program over the course of 2017. The mentoring experience offered me a fresh perspective on our industry and the profession and another connection with the next generation of practitioners. I am hopeful that the exchange of information and experiences was mutually beneficial. SoCLA is to be commended for this initiative and I would recommend it to all.
Julian Berenholtz, mentee
Participating as a mentee, for the first time in the 2017 SoCLA mentoring program was a privilege that I will forever cherish. Fortunately for myself, I was able to collaborate with my assigned mentor, plus via an informal arrangement, with a previous mentee of theirs also; such a great honour. What a fantastic opportunity for this Construction Management student to engage with knowledgeable, accomplished, industry leaders who were generous with their time, and graciously engaged in a diverse range of topics enabling open conversations which challenged, complemented, reinforced and supported my comprehension of the industry, former employment and studies; and ultimately improved upon mechanisms I had previously applied to elevate my efforts and direction. Part of my future successes will always be attributable to knowledge gained during this endeavour.
Whilst the thoughts of partaking were intimidating at first, my mentors proved very approachable and welcoming. Scenarios, where one can remove the defence shield usually in place to prevent derision or embarrassment, are rare, however in this exclusion zone the barrier could be lowered with full knowledge that the experience was a chance to interact and discuss my fears, apprehensions, philosophies and shortcomings, plus seek advice on how my mentor’s studies, journey, inhibitions and accomplishments had helped them achieve their dreams, and are utilised to propel them towards their next objectives. Follow up of our meetings with debriefs helped me to contemplate the subjects deliberated, and expand on conversations to provide added context, and propose future discussion. It was fantastic to learn of the motivations that inspired my mentors, as they were very authentic in communicating challenges they once faced and techniques they've adopted to conquer obstacles which I encounter and will continue to when I transition from tertiary study to employment.
Conrad Pereira, mentee
I found the SoCLA mentorship program highly valuable for developing my knowledge and expanding professional network. In every meeting, new ideas and aspects of the construction industry was discussed, tailored to the student's areas of interest. Also, I was able to identify new skills to develop as part of my professional development. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is considering to undertake.
Ian Zarrin, mentee
I have been involved in the SoCLA mentoring program since its inception as a mentor. Even though I am a lawyer the mentees selected for me were not lawyers and I found the interaction with the mentees enlightening indeed. It gave me a broader insight into other sections of the construction industry and, most importantly, a better idea of the pressures placed on the younger members of the industry who, I am sure, will be the leaders of the future.
During the period of the mentoring program the construction industry was going through difficult times and we had discussions that extended our thought processes to examine present and future options. We also covered topics such as further education, the nuances of specialisation, paying attention to disruptive technology and work/life balance.
Apart from opening my mind to new ways of thinking I believe that the mentees were better equipped to face the future than if they did not participate in the SoCLA mentoring program. I also feel that the mere fact that they sought to participate was an indication in itself that I was dealing with people who:
- cared for themselves, their professions and the community,
- wanted to improve themselves and
- wanted to get the most out of life.
I believe that they will.
Past Chair, SoCLA (mentor)
It was a pleasure to participate as a mentor in the 2016 SoCLA mentoring program. I found the experience rewarding and I greatly enjoyed my meetings with my mentee. I look forward to participate again as a mentor in the 2017 mentoring program
Caroline Kirton QC, mentor
Mentoring of young members of SoCLA across the professions is at the core of its objectives. The structured approach that has been implemented provides a clear guide for the participants and encourages their participation. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to share ideas and encourage initiatives for professional development of younger members of SoCLA. I look forward to further involvement.
Ian H Bailey AM SC, mentor
I am fortunate to have participated in the SoCLA Mentoring Program in 2016 and, in particular, to have had the opportunity to meet and learn from a very senior and respected member of the legal profession. I’m grateful for the time that Caroline took to speak with me about career development and change. Caroline’s honest guidance and encouragement remains invaluable and motivates me to be ambitious and aim high.
Rebecca Dickson, mentee
The Mentor Program is well organised. My mentor was of the highest quality and knowledge. We had discussions about the legal industry, the construction legal work and career opportunities for myself. This is an excellent program.
Robert Zucca, mentee
Great networking and good industry insight. As I act in the industry as a contractor, Laina's legal perspective on matters was really interesting. She was really insightful. Great mentor.
Ryan Woodhall, mentee
My mentor was great. It was inspiring to meet a female in construction law who has her level of experience and level of involvement in so many activities.
“My mentor has been one of the most influential people in my life over the past year. It has been an honour to be mentored by someone so senior in the industry and committed to the program and my development”
Raeesa Rawal, mentee
“The SoCLA mentor program gave me the opportunity to develop an informal relationship with a senior professional in the industry. I found this invaluable as it enabled me to gain insight from a senior professional about their experiences and thoughts on interesting topics in construction law. I also attended numerous industry events and built up my network as a result of this relationship. I highly recommend participating in the program.”
I have very much enjoyed being involved in the SOCLA Mentoring Program. The opportunity to spend time with and exchange (hopefully useful) ideas and advice with a remarkable young lawyer in Raeesa Rawal, was not only interesting but also challenging. It really is quite wonderful to be involved, to even a small degree, in the development and unfoldment of the professional careers of bright up and coming construction lawyers. I whole heartedly recommend participation in the program
Michael Whitten QC, mentor
The SoCLA Mentorship Program provided me with an invaluable opportunity to be paired with a senior member of the construction law profession. My mentor took great interest in my development as a construction lawyer and offered me much guidance and support. Through the SoCLA Mentorship Program I was able to network with other construction law professionals who I still keep in contact with today. I would highly recommend the SoCLA Mentorship Program to younger members of the construction law profession.