November 08,2016
The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation is proud to support Woor-Dungin's mentoring program "Maarni". Maarni is Woor-Dungin’s Aboriginal women’s employment, leadership and capacity-building program.

Woor-Dungin is a coalition of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, philanthropic foundations and donors, and pro bono service providers working in partnership to enable Aboriginal organisations to access the resources and support they require to achieve self-determination.

The Maarni program was developed specifically for Aboriginal women identified by Woor-Dungin’s partner organisations as leaders.

The program aims to develop the leadership, employment and governance skills of participating Aboriginal women. The program addresses the lack of suitable training and employment programs for Aboriginal women in Victoria.

The key objectives of the program are:
  • To provide work experience and training which leads to the employment of Aboriginal women in their local Aboriginal organisation and the wider community.
  • To provide capacity building and mentoring which increases the knowledge and skills of Aboriginal women to source the resources needed to enable Aboriginal organisations to realise the goals identified in their strategic plans.
  • To provide capacity building, internships and mentoring which increases the skills and confidence of Aboriginal women to join the Management Committee or Board of their local Aboriginal organisation and/or participate in wider public/community committees.
  • To provide support and mentoring to enable Aboriginal women to identify their personal goals, develop individual work plans and then access the resources, expertise and practical support needed to realise their goals.
This year, eight Aboriginal women participated from four of Woor-Dungin’s partner organisations – Willum Warrain, Winda Mara, Mallee District Aboriginal Service and Healesville Indigenous Community Service Association.

It was considered that an important part of the participants' development was the opportunity for ongoing mentoring from a diverse group of women with a vast range of experience and backgrounds.

Cheryl Asquith, Human Resources Consultant at Colin Biggers & Paisley's Melbourne office, volunteered this year as a mentor. As part of the program, Cheryl hosted an introductory session to meet participants, attended a cultural awareness session and developed a mentoring plan with tangible outcomes for the participants.