Media Release: Mentor of the Year Award 2019

Art of Mentoring announces the winner of their inaugural Mentor of the Year Award 2019 on International Mentoring Day

Sydney, 17 January, 2020: To celebrate International Mentoring Day, Art of Mentoring, an Australian based mentoring business operating globally in 26+ countries, has awarded Tim Fletcher, Consultant Town Planner, the prestigious Mentor of the Year Award 2019.

Mr Fletcher participated in the Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) Emerging Professionals Mentoring Program in 2019.

PIA is the national body representing planners and the planning profession. It provides professional education, communicates key planning policy changes to its members and advocates on various policy positions to federal and state government bodies.

During the eight-month program, Mr Fletcher mentored Lou Hawkins, a senior statutory planner at Wodonga Council, who in turn nominated Mr Fletcher for the Award.

Winning nomination highlights mentor’s genuine support

In response to Art of Mentoring’s question, “what were you able to achieve with the help of your mentor and in what way was your mentor instrumental in this?” Ms Hawkins answered:

“Confidence. I suffered greatly from imposter syndrome, and found presenting (even in small teams) and public speaking, very intimidating. Tim helped me to work to develop my professional confidence. Since working with Tim I have become comfortable ‘taking up space’ in conversations and have presented on multiple occasions including at VCAT, council briefings and at an all staff forum. This confidence is not just related to public speaking, but all professional interactions and functions,” said Ms Hawkins.

When asked why Art of Mentoring should choose Tim Fletcher, Ms Hawkins provided this example of how her mentor went above and beyond to help her:

“Tim found a perfect balance between providing me with support and direction, and allowing me the necessary room to grow. He was able to lead me out of my comfort zone to allow me to be challenged whilst providing support and encouragement which facilitated my success. As a headstrong professional, I could not have achieved the success that I have without Tim’s willingness to ask me to do things that challenged me,” continued Ms Hawkins.

Mentee shares the secrets of her successful mentoring partnership

In a program follow-up survey, Program Manager Gina Meibusch asked Ms Hawkins, “what advice would you give mentees starting a mentoring relationship?”

Ms Hawkins replied:

“You get what you put in! The relationship needs to be driven by the menteethe mentor is not going to wade in take your hand and lead you down the path to success. You need to know (or to look for) where you’re going and what you want. If you don’t ask you’re not going to get. Be vulnerable! Point to it and ask for help.

I’m singing the praises of the program to anyone who’ll listen! We’re a regional branch, so there’s only a small pool of people locally we can turn to. Having someone like Tim is priceless.

The virtual program works well. Through good luck we met face to face once before launch. Tim was travelling past and we caught up for a coffee. If you can skype, it’s better than phone, as you get to know more of your mentor as a person. Even if you have a good match, building rapport is important. You need to understand them and you as a person. It also helps the advice be specific to youyou can see so much about each other and the answer is more real and genuine.”

Art of Mentoring recognises outstanding mentors across programs in Australian organisations and associations

Art of Mentoring also awarded six Finalist Awards to outstanding mentors in the following programs within organisations and associations:

  1. 2019 Anglo American Growspace Mentoring Program
  2. 2019 Australian Tax Office (ATO) Albury Mentoring Program
  3. 2019 CPA Australia Mid-Career Mentoring Program
  4. 2019 The Law Society of NSW Women’s Mentoring Program
  5. 2019 Association of Massage Therapists (AMT) Mentoring Program
  6. 2019 Association of School Business Administrators (ASBA) Mentoring Program


Mentoring helps attract and retain employees and association members through professional development

Art of Mentoring designs, implements and manages mentoring programs for organisations and membership associations throughout Australia.

Studies show that a well-run mentoring program helps attract and retain employees by demonstrating an organisation’s or association’s commitment to talent development.

Mentoring is also instrumental in preparing the next generation of leaders. Researchers have shown that teaching people high quality mentoring skills, helps them develop their transformational leadership capacities.1 There is also growing consensus that mentors benefit as much as mentees in this regard.

For associations, attracting and retaining members is critical to their financial viability. A well-structured and managed mentoring program offers significant returns by providing high quality professional development that engages their member base and advances the profession or industry they represent.

The Art of Mentoring difference

The Art of Mentoring team is led by Melissa Richardson whose experience in mentoring spans more than 20 years in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Melissa and her team use an evidence-based approach to mentoring drawn from research into the experiences of thousands of mentors and mentees around the world.

Melissa is a global assessor for the European Mentoring and Coaching Council’s ISMCP Award (International Standards for Mentoring and Coaching Programs) and leads the International Work Group for Mentoring and Coaching Program Manager training and accreditation.

Committed to raising the bar of developmental learning conversations worldwide, Art of Mentoring offers a blend of software, online educational content as well as highly experienced program managers to oversee programs and prepare mentors and mentees for success.


Art of Mentoring is a mentoring business based in Australia and operating globally in 26+ countries. They offer the latest in mentoring best practice with a vast range of evidence-based programs, expert consultants, software and world-class resources to support the design and implementation of effective mentoring in your organisation.

Art of Mentoring is a proud member of Coaching & Mentoring International (CMI), a global network of mentoring, coaching and developmental dialogue specialists, allowing them to support the Art of Mentoring product and services range with people on the ground in most parts of the world.

They have been designing and implementing mentoring programs since 1997. Their management is supported by an expert team of Program Designers and Managers.


[1] Kram, K. and Ragins, B.R. (2007) The Landscape of Mentoring in the 21st Century. In K. Kram & B.R. Ragins (Eds.) The Handbook of Mentoring at Work (pp. 659-692), CA: Sage.

For more information, contact:

Angela Bruce
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Art of Mentoring


Mentor of the Year 2019


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