• Mentoring Program

    Please note: The 2016/2017 program is currently underway. If you are interested in participating in the program for 2017/2018 as a mentee or mentor please email melinda.edmunds@curtin.edu.au

    PHAIWA established an e-mentoring program in November 2011. For the pilot program, eighteen mentees were paired with senior public health professionals with experience in advocacy as their mentor.

    The e-mentoring program aims to promote and transfer advocacy skills to public and allied health professionals in WA. PHAIWA is keen to develop and nurture the expertise of individuals and groups working within health promotion, public health and sectors external to health, to ensure that high quality, innovative and effective advocacy leadership continues in WA.

    We acknowledge that younger or less experienced health professionals may not get the chance to put advocacy skills into practice until opportunities arise in their role. Advocacy can also be quite confronting, for example being in front of a TV camera, or developing a press release, let alone meeting with politicians! Our mentoring program can help you access these advocacy skills and increase your confidence.

    The program runs for 12 months. It is open to anyone working in public health, health promotion, health research or allied health. We also welcome applications from emerging leaders outside the health sector, if their work has some interest in health and wellbeing. Your geographic location will not be a barrier as the majority of communication and support will be done electronically or via telephone.  PHAIWA strongly encourages expressions of interest from:

    • Indigenous people;
    • People working with disadvantaged/priority population groups;  and
    • Those working in rural and remote areas.

    The focus of the mentoring program is on identifying and supporting emerging leaders in public health to ensure a level of succession planning.

    PHAIWA facilitates:

    • Pairing mentees with an experienced public health advocacy professional as their mentor;
    • Conducting an orientation to the program, including a meet and greet with other mentees and mentors (via skype or teleconference where necessary)
    • Developing a series of online support documents, skill testers and quizzes to ensure mentee’s interest is maintained;
    • Forming a mentees chatroom, where advocacy strategies conducted locally by the mentees will be collected, discussed and showcased to other mentees;
    • Providing on the ground advocacy support to mentees such as advice for media, interviews, meetings with management or decision makers, etc; and
    • Special invitations to attend PHAIWA advocacy skills based workshop either as participants or presenters (conducted statewide).

    Mentees are expected to:

    • Participate in the online quizzes and chatroom on a regular basis and keep us informed of how you are progressing in relation to successfully implementing advocacy in your area;
    • Keep a record of contacts with your mentor, including a brief summary of phone, email and face-to-face communications.
    • Provide your mentor with details of your organisation and your role, issues you cover, possible advocacy goals and any advocacy experience you have;
    • Proactively look for windows of opportunity – sign up to PHAIWA Mediawatch and e-news services, read newspapers regularly and monitor local media and policy, etc;
    • Draft advocacy documents (e.g., media releases, letters etc) to enable your Mentors to provide feedback and support (e.g. through sharing information, commenting on drafts); and
    • Keep your mentor and PHAIWA informed of all outcomes of advocacy (e.g., send newspaper clippings, transcripts of radio interviews) – this is important for evaluation.

    Read more about the program here….

    Planning for the next generation of public health advocates: evaluation of an online advocacy mentoring program. Emily O’Connell, Melissa Stoneham and Julie Saunders

    Public health advocacy is critical to achieve public health objectives. This paper reports the qualitative evaluation of an online e-mentoring program that combined skill-based activities with mentoring from an experienced public health advocate to build the advocacy capacity of a group of public health professionals.