How it works
Menslink’s Mentoring Program pairs men who have survived their adolescence with young blokes aged 13-18 who are still on their way there.
Volunteer male mentors, from all walks of life, share their wisdom and life experience with young men needing a constructive influence in their lives who benefit from the support and friendship a mentor provides.
Menslink mentors are not parent-figures or counsellors. They are friends and guides: someone a young man can call upon, outside of his family and friends who will listen and offer his own experiences without judgement.
Volunteers and mentors meet in a relaxed group session, where all participants can get to know each other and a young bloke can choose a mentor he feels most comfortable with.
The two then meet regularly, on an ongoing basis, and form a friendship. Menslink also organises and pays for (non-compulsory) monthly activities or events – such as kayaking, surfing, gallery tours, movies, rock climbing and camping. These activities are great for everyone because they provide a fun, safe opportunity for the mentor and mentee to get to know each other, and make friends with others in the program.
Menslink youth mentoring aims to help young men:
- Build resilience and confidence
- Recognise the outcomes of the choices they make
- Enhance their positive potential in all aspects of life
We are not here to replace dads, uncles or male friends.
We are here to provide an extra layer of support that a young man can lean on in times of need. Support in the form of a trusted advisor, and positive friend and role model, who can listen and share advice by drawing on his own life experience.
As award-winning author Steve Biddulph puts it in his book, The New Manhood:
“Even the best fathers cannot raise their sons alone. Fathers need extra help from other men to do this properly. In tribal situations the whole male community got involved with the teenage boys, mentoring, training and initiating them. A father could count on all kinds of help, and boys could count on positive input – usually more relaxed and accepting than fathers manage to be. A boy in his mid to late teens needs other men to step in, who will teach him skills, give him a sense of worth and take him out beyond the family walls. In other words, he moves to a mentor. His own father may be a mentor to someone else’s son. Different from fathering, mentoring is an informing but less nurturing role, which in no way takes away or threatens the closeness of father and son.”
A positive mentoring relationship requires trust and commitment, so it’s important that volunteers and young men take the time to think about whether it’s right for them. Lots of young blokes and mentors have found it to be very positive and rewarding – but you only get out of it what you put into it.
Before you decide, give us a call on 02 6287 2226 and have a chat. We’ll walk you through it, and if you’re keen we’d be happy to have you on board.
All services at Menslink are free.
There are no fees or charges. They’re completely confidential and mentoring is available to any young man, aged 13-18.