Krista Rumble, 22, student
This year I am completing an internship with my church (South Shepparton Community Church) and I assist in running a playgroup for mums and kids and an after-school program called Kids Rock for Prep to Year 6 students. They are both outreach programs.
People often associate churches with judgment and there is a perception they won’t be accepted and that’s not the case. It’s important for people to feel accepted and genuinely wanted and that’s what I try to do.
My role as a mentor is helping people find their place and know they are valued, not because of what they have done but for who they are.
I was brought up with the saying “If you’ve been given, much is expected of you” and while I never really had a lot of money, I have a really good family and it’s a joy to give back.
I’ve been a leader on youth camps and those relationships are ongoing as I try and help people deal with the questions of life.
You know you’ve done the job well when those young people can then offer the same support to you.
A charter to support women
The Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Alliance Advisory Committee brings together a group of volunteers committed to supporting and promoting women to take on leadership roles.
Representing diverse interest groups the charter members all have a common goal — to increase the participation of women in decision-making forums including business or workplace positions, community groups and boards of management.
The committee is guided by three principles: diversity, active citizenship and gender equity and has organised several successful events including International Women’s Day celebrations, a movie night for Refugee Week, and a sexual harassment forum that featured Australian Human Rights Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick as keynote speaker.
Pat Moran (pictured left), Margo Koskelainen (middle) and Betul Tuna (right) are three members of the alliance who actively mentor and support women.
Pat Moran, 75, support volunteer
My family background revolved around respect. I was taught to respect myself, respect other people and we were taught to expect it in return.
In 1979, when I joined the Department of Social Welfare as a family support worker, my outlook broadened considerably when I learnt that wasn’t the case for many people.
I feel privileged to have walked alongside those parents I have worked with, encouraging them to respect themselves and support them in their role in bringing up their children.
Even today some of those people pull me up in the street; in a lot of cases my involvement in their lives has had a lasting influence.
I have a real passion for family no matter how it’s made up.
I try to be a mentor to other women and have encouraged, for some time, women to stand for council. I’m involved in the Women’s Participation in Local Government Association and work with them to attract women, and give them the confidence to work at the coal face.
I have encouraged and trained women to take on volunteering roles. You get back as much out of volunteering as you give.
Something I am proud of is helping women discover strengths they didn’t realise they had.
Margo Koskelainen, 72, international softball umpire administrator
Internationally, softball umpiring is a very male-dominated sport but we have a very strong program in Australia. When I retired as the Australian Softball Federation’s national director of umpiring, 48 per cent of our umpires were women, the nearest to us was Canada with five per cent female umpires.
Opportunities to mentor people come along all the time.
I have travelled all over the world and I’ve found that Australian women are so much more giving of their time to other women than in other countries.
My mentoring involves watching the women umpire, taking notes and then talking to them at the end of the game. I teach them about people management and anger management, how to keep control of their emotions. But these skills don’t just apply to softball; they are life skills.
The feedback I get from people I mentor is mostly gratitude for the skills they develop and the understanding they gain that they can do almost anything.
At the Sydney 2000 Olympics we had one Australian lass umpiring softball and in Beijing (China) in 2008 we were the only country to have two female umpires. Seeing the women succeed is what I get out of mentoring.
Betul Tuna, 30, youth leader
Some time ago I noticed there were many young women in my community who had finished Year 12 and weren’t really doing anything. I see unemployment as a generational thing in some sections of the Turkish community and I felt I needed to do something to break that cycle.
I started volunteering with the Australian Nur Centre youth group mentoring the girls, working on personal development and helping them improve their self-esteem.
The flow-on has seen those girls develop the confidence to return to study or gain employment. They have some direction and now see that there are so many choices for them.
The past few years have been difficult for me so helping these girls has occupied my time and also helped me. I’m a single mother with three children and I went back to school after 12 years. It can be done.
I am almost finished my Diploma of Community Services at TAFE and then I’m planning to study a Bachelor of Arts majoring in sociology at La Trobe University. My aim is to be a social worker.
I can’t solve all the unemployment problems but I can help that one girl who is in front of me.
Cheryl Hammer, 51, CEO,The Community Fund Goulburn Valley
I suppose I fell into mentoring.
When I started our lavender farm near Dookie I was involved with different committees — all tourism focused — and then people started recommending me to other people that had ideas they wanted to develop.
Many were home-based businesses, a lot of them started by women at their kitchen tables. For me mentoring was letting them discover, through our discussions, what they were capable of.
Because I’ve been a journalist for three decades I have the confidence to talk to people and the skills to research. I’ve never been frightened to have a go at new ideas and I’ve tried to pass that on.
I love to see people grow in confidence and I get a real kick out of them developing an understanding of where they want to be. It’s fabulous to see growth and self confidence.
When you are mentoring people you have to be open and honest about what you do and don’t know. You can’t be a closed book. To me mentoring is something you feel, not something you learn to do and it doesn’t have to have a dollar value.
I was fortunate to have some good female mentors when I was younger, I remember they were always so giving of their time and themselves.
Cate Eddy, 54, teacher and netball coach
Recognising that young people have potential and helping them realise that potential is important.
In my work role I love to see young teachers develop and learn to deal with the many diverse situations they encounter so they too can help other young people.
Sport is a great outlet for kids, particularly for those who have challenges in their lives. I would hope that through their sport, and learning skills such as teamwork and supporting one another, they will be able to cope with whatever life throws at them off the court.
One of my proudest moments was the 2011 GVNL grand final; my girls were down by 15 at half time and fought back to win. They worked so hard to win that match, not for everyone else but for each other.
Most people respond well to kindness; I try to be approachable and open to people and help kids appreciate that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are trying to do your best.
When I look back to my (netball) playing days I remember some wonderful people I admired as coaches. I consider that I’m really only carrying on from that and doing for others what has been done for me.
Photography: Julie Mercer