National YP Mentoring Program

SSSI is continuing its industry-leading Mentoring Program in 2020 - entirely online! With many disruptions to the ways in which we all live and work, sharing our knowledge and experiences about our profession across generations is more important now than ever. The program will run from June to November, with where mentors and mentees meet to discuss given topics on a fortnightly basis, exploring a range of facets from career goal setting, leadership and emotional intelligence, networking, and more. Mentors and mentees can be expected to make a 10 - 12 hr time commitment over the length of the program for meetings and preparation for meetings. 

The program runs in two streams: (a) undergraduate, for current students or recent graduates, and (b) graduate, for young professionals who are in the workforce and looking to step up their careers. We are seeking mentors for both of these streams urgently, as we have had a significant interest from mentees from around the country and would love to find ways to support them. 

Applications for this year's program are now closed.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is the opportunity to learn from someone who has a wider and broader experience than you (for the mentee, the one receiving the mentoring) and to share learnings, reflections, guidance and accumulated wisdom (for the mentor, the one giving the mentoring). It can be a formal or informal process, that takes place over a defined time or just through natural relationship development with colleagues and peers.

Mentoring is a two-way process, as the mentee often shares a new perspective to the mentor, and the mentor often learns more about themselves through the process.

Why is it beneficial?

The mentoring process is valuable to both parties involved, the mentor and the mentee. The immediately obvious benefit is that the mentee receives guidance around decision-making, career pathway visibility and thinking outside the box about what is possible for their short, medium and long-term future. What is perhaps not as obvious is that the mentor also gains just as much – the chance to reflect upon their own choices and learn new insights that could help them, but also the opportunity to make a real difference in the career of another person. This is often reported to be a very fulfilling and rewarding experience, and one which is tinged with fresh inspiration and insights into the industry as seen from the perspective of the mentee, which can be transformational in itself.

Why does SSSI offer a mentoring program?

One of the ways in which Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute strives to serve its members is by strengthening the Australian geospatial and surveying industry through the intergenerational transfer of knowledge, experience and inspiration for a brighter future in a global context. The mentoring program is an important way of supporting the future of our profession.

SSSI is the peak national body for all custodians of quality spatial data creation, storage, maintenance and use in Australia. SSSI exists to serve the evolving needs of this community, maintaining its rich heritage, in balance with adapting to new technologies as we move towards the fourth industrial revolution with changes in the way we work and the skills valued in the workplace. What sets SSSI apart is it’s unique national reach, which enables a number of significant strengths:  stronger and broader advocacy, the ability to break down geographic silos and build stronger technical excellence, the ability to offer a plethora of events that allow a broad and diverse network of professionals with strengths in many areas the ability to network and collaborate, certification to strengthen the core of the Australian geospatial and surveying industry for a future where it is even more strongly positioned in an international context and more. 

What did previous participants have to say?

SSSI has received some excellent feedback on the program:

What have you enjoyed most about the 2019 Mentoring Program as a Mentor?

●        The opportunity to engage with and share my experiences with bright, enthusiastic, talented young people, passionate about the industry and excited about the next phase in their lives. It has been a privilege to participate and rewarding for me personally.

●        Witnessing the interest and thirst for information from our 'younger' surveyors. Also, it has helped me reflect on a few things that I have taken for granted.

What have you enjoyed most about the 2019 Mentoring Program as a Mentor?

●        The entire program has been very insightful. It covered all topics related to career, personal and professional development and also pointed me to the most important things at different stages of my development. I have learnt a lot from my mentor. The program has also helped me to reflect on various areas of improvement for me. It's been a great journey so far.

●        Learning from someone with 30 years experience. How to 'talk business' and the type of language to use. The scope of the spatial industry.

What has been the most surprising insight you have had from the program?

●        How diverse we are but still it is a close-knit industry

●        Maybe not surprising, but just how important it is to take a step back and reflect on how I am travelling - get a good strong set of goals and the right headspace to become a leader

●        That I need to slow down and understand that meaningful connections take time to build, that it's ok to find your way and to not have all the answers

●        I had no definite career goal before now.

●        The biggest insight I have had is realizing the diversity in the spatial science industry. I’ve had to ask myself, “Where would we be in time and what would we do without maps?” The importance of mapping to humanity has been and is absolutely astounding.

●        I should do more with the knowledge I have. Knowing a lot doesn't make sense without application.

●        Being able to talk about the past made me realize how much I have achieved in my professional career and how much more knowledge and storytelling there can be. It is also nice to feel valued as a trusted person by a geospatial colleague with the same world view, rather than being a subject matter expert to people who don't understand your world view.

The 2020 SSSI Mentoring Program

This year’s program will cover the following topics:


Stream A - Students

Stream B - Emerging Leaders


Industry trends and career goal setting

Industry trends and career goal setting


Teamwork and communication

Emotional intelligence and leadership



Networking with peers and clients


Applying for a job

Managing up and working relationships


Personal/professional development

Time and priority management


What it's like in the real world / Yes, I've got a job, now what?

Win-win: Adding value for your employer while adding value to yourself

Key dates for the 2020 Program

Applications close

18 May

Mentors and mentee pairs connected by Program Coordinators and conversations begin

7 June

Program formally kicks off

21 June

Program closes

30 November

Graduation ceremonies



1 CPD point per meeting, limited to a maximum of 5 CPD points per year (as per section 3.10 of the SSSI CPD Guide) excluding BOSSI requirements.  If you are relying on CPD points for BOSSI assessment purposes please contact SSSI-NSW.

The program is open to all Australian professionals (members and non-members). Previous participants in the program are also welcome to apply.

Got some more questions?  Check out our FAQs!

Click here to view some of our frequently asked questions.  

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