Women's Early Career Mentoring Program

For all mentoring program enquiries please contact Jacinta Walsh: jacinta.walsh@monash.edu

Kathleen Fitzpatrick Mentoring Fellowship

The Monash Indigenous Studies Centre in the School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies, through the Global Encounters & First Nations Peoples Laureate Project, has the privilege of hosting the annual Kathleen Fitzpatrick Mentoring Fellowship Program until 2025.

This program is led by Professor Lynette Russell AM, the 2019 recipient of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellowship, awarded to her for outstanding research in humanities, arts and social sciences. Professor Russell AM has chosen to utilise this opportunity to support early career Indigenous women and non-binary and gender diverse peoples in academia.

2022 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Early Career Mentoring Program

In 2022 the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Early Career Mentoring Program was delivered through a pilot six-month Research Associate Traineeship specifically for First Nations female and non-binary and gender diverse peoples in Higher Degree by Research or Masters programs.

This pilot program ran between August and December 2022. Four part-time Research Associate positions were created, in partnership with our HR Business Partner Ebony Henderson  and the William Cooper Institute. Four outstanding Indigenous PhD students were recruited to the program from a highly competitive field of applicants. Our inspiring 2022 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Early Career Mentees were:

Rachael Benbow – Indigenous PhD Candidate in the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre in the Faculty of Arts, who is asking the question: How do Aboriginal women maintain relationships with their material cultures in colonial institutions?

Rachel Irvine – Indigenous PhD Candidate in the Department of Paramedicine in the School of Primary and Allied Health Care, whose thesis aims to quantify paramedics student preparedness in the provision of care to paediatric students, and identify aspects of the curriculum that could be improved to best develop confidence and preparedness for undergraduate students entering the workforce.

Ann MacRae – Indigenous PhD Candidate in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, who is using the implementation of mapping to develop and implement a trauma-informed approach to residential aged care.

Kirrakee Watson – Indigenous PhD Candidate in the Monash School of Art, Design and Architecture, who is looking at Aboriginal Place making and architecture contrasted to colonial placemaking and architecture.

The six-month mentoring and traineeship program was designed to expand the participants' academic and professional skillsets in preparation for their transition into academic or industry employment. Skills development was guided by the participants themselves. Training included public speaking, media, data management and storage, search strategies for online library and archive resources, and an intensive writing skills course. An important focus was building the participants' understandings of University sector operations.

Mentorship formed a critical component of the program. The Research Associates met weekly with each other and with their primary Mentor, Professor Lynette Russell. They were introduced to and mentored by professional and academic staff from across the University, including Professor Karen Adams, Director of the Gukwonderuk Indigenous Health Unit, and Kirsten Emes, the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Crucially, as the program was reaching its end, the Research Associates updated and workshopped their CVs and met with a Monash HR Business partner and the William Cooper Institute to discuss employment pathways and possibilities for Indigenous Early Career Scholars at Monash University, in line with Monash University's Indigenous Employment Strategy.

2021 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Early Career Mentoring Program

The 2021 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Mentoring workshop was a great success. The event was run as a series of online Zoom interactive seminars. An impressive line-up of highly accomplished Indigenous scholars shared their journeys and advice with our mentees, who are themselves emerging Indigenous educators, researchers, authors and leaders. This conversational event aimed to create support networks and provide mentoring in leadership, health and wellbeing, and career development.

Participants attended all four seminar workshop events.
Each workshop ran for 2 hours in duration (10:00am – 12:00 noon).

Week One: Friday 4 June 2021
Strategies for Success with Dr Teresa Ryan

Week Two: Friday 11 June 2021
Values and Priorities with Prof Bronwyn Carlson and Prof Karen Adams

Week Three: Friday 18 June 2021
Career Opportunities Outside of the University with Dr Misty Jenkins

Week Four: Friday 25th June 2021
Health and Wellbeing with Yolanda Finette

2021 Mentees

Fourteen early career mentees representing nine universities nationwide were selected from a large number of applications. The mentees were all in the final stages of their PhD studies or had recently submitted. Their research interests included:

  • Psychology;
  • Education;
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice;
  • Population health;
  • Indigenous Health and well-being;
  • Library and archival management of data and material repatriation;
  • Indigenous languages;
  • Culture, Language and Country; and
  • Ancestry.

Here is some feedback we received from our mentees:

Learning from experienced academics how to navigate in the academy. Knowing that I am not alone. Hearing that these wonderful mentors have gone thru similar things to what I am experiencing, and how they overcame them. Just brilliant.

Thank you so much for the great opportunity to be a part of the program, and for the wonderful gift I received today in the mail. I love the symbolism of the Bundjil and hope that we can collectively continue to ‘create’ (shape and influence) the world in ways that will make a difference. It was a pleasure to meet all the other participants and to engage with the presenters. I look forward to any future opportunities to connect with the group.

It was a wonderful experience for me to be guided by such amazing and strong Aboriginal women.

For more information

For more information, please contact Jacinta Walsh at jacinta.walsh@monash.edu