Program Manager Mentoring Program

By: Fiona Maxwell   |   Queensland Manager, Philanthropy Australia

Bryony Green (Victorian Women's Benevolent Trust) and Genevieve Timmons (Portland House Foundation) were paired up in Philanthropy Australia’s Program Manager Mentoring Program and have had a fruitful year. Here are some of their insights.

How have you both enjoyed the mentoring experience?

Bryony: “The opportunity to work with Genevieve has been an invaluable experience as it has provided me with practical skills as well as a more philosophical understanding of philanthropy, my career and life more broadly.

As a result, this partnership has built my confidence, changed and enhanced my approach to work, sharpened my career direction and provided important leadership skills to apply now and in the future.”

Genevieve: “Bryony’s approach to this mentoring opportunity has been the single most useful aspect of this partnership. She has sought out the value from every session, working conscientiously between sessions and coming with questions, ideas and challenges that have been central to the work we did together.”

What have been the key learnings?

Bryony: “The importance of understanding my personal motivation for my career path, being able to unpack it, and anticipate the changes to motivations as I go ahead. This led into developing my story – how did I get to be interested in philanthropy?

Finally we worked a lot on how to balance practical, creative and philosophical elements of the work.”

The mentorship was diverse in its discussions and in its settings. The pair tackled many areas, including the following:

  • Strategies to manage stressful situations
  • The importance of prioritising and tools to help become more organised
  • Where the money lands is equally as important as who provides the funds in philanthropy
  • Solidifying personal motivation for working in the philanthropic sector
  • How to maintain a good relationship with the Chair of the Board
  • Tips on building good rapport with grant seekers

In summary, the partnership between Genevieve and Bryony has been a successful and positive experience, valued by both parties.

There have been clear benefits and skills gained for the mentee and her respective organisation, and also for the mentor.

The value of these outcomes is a direct result of the commitment by both parties to work towards planned goals within the agreed framework, with some flexibility. 

With thanks to our program partners Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, RE Ross Trust and The Ian Potter Foundation.

Jan. 21, 2015

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