IMP Case Study - A Rewarding Experience of Cultural and Knowledge Exchange as a Mentor

Objectives of the International Mentor Program

The International Mentor Program (IMP) aims to strengthen the capacity of young emerging leaders from Cambodia and Nepal. Networks between skilled Australian local government professionals and young future leaders in partner countries and built through mentoring in practical workplace and project management skills. The program addresses a wide range of issues, from gender equity to inclusive governance, community development and environmental sustainability.

The Program has been well-received and now is approaching the final stage. As a sponsor of this year Program, McArthur is proud to support Local Government Professionals Australia to create a positive learning journey for each and every mentor and mentee.

As learning is often two-way, the mentee/mentor relationship is invigorating and rewarding for both parties. We are excited to share an update on a mentoring experience from one of our mentors this year.

Learning a new culture and perspective from a young future leader in Cambodia


Paul Gravett is the Manager of Community Engagement at City of Kwinana, Western Australia and a mentor in Local Government Professionals Australia’s International Mentoring Program.

Paul is currently mentoring an emerging leader in Siem Reap, Cambodia as part of the Young Leaders Stream of the program.“Having worked across local and state government in community development and engagement for the past twenty years in Western Australia, I was excited about the prospect of mentoring someone from another country to make a difference in their local community. After our initial session, my mentee settled on her project: facilitating first aid instruction for young people in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This comprised identifying partners and an approach to deliver this initiative to a group of fifty eager youth.

Key elements such as project management, identifying potential funding and sponsorship sources, marketing and promotion, stakeholder management, budgeting, information management, venue set up and enjoying the experience were regularly discussed and workshopped. I was delighted to see a successful project delivered (ahead of schedule due to competing school and university exam timetables) with a room full of smiling, engaged and enthusiastic participants. Sponsorships from local businesses, including the provincial hospital and the mentee’s employer, enhanced attendance numbers and program delivery, as too did the co-opting of friends and colleagues along the way.

For the remainder of the program, we aim to talk more about community engagement approaches and techniques that could possibly be applied in Cambodia to enhance involvement of young people in local community-based activities.

I have learnt a lot from my mentee about their country, culture and ways of working, and have thoroughly enjoyed our mentoring sessions and her willingness to learn and grow through this experience. I am really glad that I applied for this program and look forward to seeing what else we can do in the time we have remaining.”

We are looking forward to attending the final presentations of mentees from Cambodia in end of October 2019.