The Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program is the initiative of Christine Pace and other members of the Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship 2015/16.
It will be launched on Saturday, 20 May, at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney, with Senator Deborah O’Neill as guest speaker.
Christine says the idea for the program arose from conversations at the Catholic Women’s Colloquium held last September.
“A lot of women were talking about the need for women to get together and support themselves to have an impact in the Church,” she says.
“I thought the answer to that is a mentoring program which would provide a structured way for women to get together in faith and grow in confidence and skills.”
The program also fulfils a requirement of the Young Women’s Fellowship that participants initiate a project at the end of the fellowship.
“So, for the project component, our cohort has split into two groups. One‘s developing an Interfaith Resource and the other’s working on this program,” Christine says.
“I think mentoring is useful for both men and women but it can be particularly valuable for women, because women can sometimes doubt themselves, and mentoring plays an important role in boosting confidence.”
Christine is no stranger to the concept of mentoring, having benefited from it herself.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have two mentors – one through a professional association and one through workplace connections. It’s really great being able to talk to someone at a higher level who validates your ideas and encourages you.”
The Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program sits under the auspices of the National Office for the Participation of Women, a body of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
“Women will be able to sign up for a faith or career mentor and they’ll be matched with a woman of similar skills or interest and locality (where possible). They can choose how best to connect, for example meeting in person, phone conversations, email and so forth.”
“The great thing about this mentoring program is that it will be structured around our faith and it will encourage women in their faith, as well as in their career and networking. The mentors we hope to attract will be successful Catholic women in a range of different fields.
“My hope is that it will evolve and grow and become well known. It’s about women supporting women in their life and faith, and hopefully that in itself will have a positive impact on the Church and society.”
Register for the mentoring program.