Corporate mentoring provides gold-medal finish for 100 jobseekers with disability

Tue 4 September 2018

One hundred professionals from ANZ, Bupa, Commonwealth Bank, Cummins, QBE and Victoria Police mentored 100 jobseekers with disability in the latest round of the Australian Network on Disability’s (AND) PACE Mentoring program.

Mentors and mentees came together during August to celebrate their completion of the PACE program at events held across Australia.

Shayne Elliott delivers a speech from behind a lectern. A projection screen behind him says 'PACE Mentoring'.

Image above: Shayne Elliott, CEO of ANZ 

A proud sponsor of PACE, in the last five years ANZ has seen over 450 mentors matched to candidates put forward by AND. Highlighting the benefits of the program at a completion event held in Sydney, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott said:

‘We know that employment is fundamental to financial wellbeing and social connectedness, so it’s important that together, we work on removing barriers to employment. The mentoring experience gives our staff the opportunity to gain insights into some of those barriers and build their disability confidence.’

Dylan Alcott speaks in front of seated audience. The projection screen behind him says, 'PACE Mentoring'.

Image above: Dylan Alcott, ANZ Ambassador 

Paralympic gold medallist and ANZ Ambassador Dylan Alcott was a guest speaker at the event. Encouraging a collective effort to change the way people think about disability, he said:

‘The hardest part about having a disability is the lack of expectations. We really need to challenge that. It’s up to corporate Australia and the government to help people with disability get out there and live the lives they deserve to live.’

While PACE provides a unique opportunity for jobseekers with disability to gain workplace exposure, develop their skills and expand their networks, it’s the mentors who are often surprised at how much they take away from the experience.

Reflecting on her involvement in the program, Catherine McNair, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at QBE Insurance said, ‘The past 16 weeks have been an amazing and thought-provoking experience.’

Any employee of an AND Member organisation can become a PACE mentor. All you need is a willingness to share your experiences, skills and knowledge. It’s a great opportunity to build leadership skills and disability confidence as you support your mentee to discover their professional goals and prepare for their chosen career.

It’s easy to get involved. AND manages the program from start to finish, including recruitment and selection of mentees, matching mentors with suitable candidates, pre-program briefings and post-program evaluations.

Watch this short video to find out more about the benefits of becoming a PACE mentor.

Download the transcript for the video 'What I've learnt from becoming a PACE mentor' (Word, 60 KB)

For further information, visit the PACE Mentoring pages on our website.

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