About The Program

MentorLink is a facilitated mentoring program currently open to occupational therapists working in both the public and private sectors throughout Australia.

History of the Project

The Need

While there are heightened needs in rural areas, there are also well documented recruitment and retention difficulties in metropolitan areas, particularly in outlying areas where there is considerable demands on health services given the urban sprawl. Additionally many of Occupational Therapists tend to work in sole or small practices, both public and private, leading to professional isolation and lack of professional support and supervision, even in metropolitan localities. The mentoring program is offered to all occupational therapists throughout Australia.

The Role of Mentoring

Mentoring can be seen as a professional development (education) activity that can support and assist practitioners who are working in rural and isolated locations, and where little or no professional support is available, to improve their skills and develop their professional abilities. The Mentor develops a relationship with the new graduate or less experienced practitioner (the Mentee), to facilitate their growth and professional development. The Mentor undertakes to make themselves available to the less experienced practitioner to:

  • Form a nurturing helpful and supportive developmental relationship
  • Fulfill the mentoring functions (teaching, sponsoring, encouraging, connecting and befriending)
  • Be regarded as a role model
  • Demonstrate how the profession works and to facilitate socialisation. (Morse, unpublished).

There are demonstrable benefits for both participants in this process. The Mentee is introduced to resources, people and processes that facilitate their career development. As such mentoring has been affiliated with academic success, and in the long term, increased job satisfaction, higher earnings, promotion and career advancement. (Morse, unpublished).

Mentors on this Program gain valuable training and development skills, as well as increased confidence in their own professional expertise. Mentees may also serve to keep their Mentors at the forefront of knowledge, technology, and technique again adding to the professional skill and knowledge base of practitioners in the workforce. (Morse, unpublished)

MentorLink Program

A pilot mentoring program MentorLink was developed by OT AUSTRALIA Victoria. The program was funded by and trialled successfully during 1999, 2000 & 2001 with funding from the RHSET Program (Rural Health Support in Education and Training). The Allied Health Professions Alliance then used this pilot project as a base from which to develop a submission to the Department of Human Services for the funding of a mentoring program for a range of allied health professions.

The DHS supported the program with funding from July 2002 the end of 2005. OT AUSTRALIA Victoria continued to provide the MentorLink program for Occupational Therapists in Victoria as a service to members. In 2008 it was agreed with OT AUSTRALIA that the MentorLink program be made available to occupational therapists throughout Australia.

Program Objectives

  • To meet the professional support and nurturing needs of practitioners as a means to enhancing sustainable and quality practice.
  • To give priority to practitioners who work in rural settings, new graduates and those working in public health facilities.
  • To customise self-matching software and utilise software functions for competency assessments, support and the development of e-communities.
  • To market the program widely in accordance with the priorities listed above.
  • To enlist the participation of participation (mentees and mentors).
  • To provide ongoing support, problem solving and conflict resolution to partnerships.
  • To evaluate the program on an annual basis to assist in the quality improvement of the program for subsequent years.

Trade Marks Statement

Trade Marks contained in this site are the property of Occupational Therapy Australia except where explicitly stated to the contrary, and are intended to identify the information provided. The Trade Marks may not be reproduced, reused, adapted or redistributed without prior written permission from Occupational Therapy Australia. Requests and enquiries regarding use should be directed to:

Occupational Therapy Australia
6/340 Gore Street
Fitzroy Vic. 3065.

Liability Disclaimer for Mentor Services

The material on this site is made available on the understanding that users exercise their own skill and care with respect to its use. Before relying on the material concerning mentor services, users should carefully evaluate the accuracy, completeness and relevance of the information, and should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

Occupational Therapy Australia, its office bearers, members of the Committee of Management, members, staff or mentors, to the extent permitted by law, are not liable for any loss, damage, costs, liability or other form of contribution to any persons following their taking up of the mentor services offered by Occupational Therapy Australia.

Fees

The MentorLink program is offered free of charge to current financial members of Occupational Therapy Australia. Non-members pay a fee equivalent to a full time Association membership to participate. Mentors participate on an honorary basis.

Intellectual Property

The MentorLink website hppt://www.mentorlinklounge.com contains material which is subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights owned by or licensed to Occupational Therapy Australia. Use of the material is subject to prior written agreement.

References

Morse, M. (unpublished) An exploration of strategies to assist vocational transition for graduate podiatrists (Master thesis). Victoria University, Footscray. morsem@mildurabase.ramsayhealth.com.au