NRL star executes remote mentoring for regional athletes
Entertainment |

Technology that is inspiring the next generation of sporting stars

By Genelle Sharples December 12, 2017

Some of Australia’s best sporting talent come from remote and rural areas. Sadly these stars have to leave their hometowns to pursue their dreams and whilst many would like to, it’s hard for them to get back.

We know how important technology is in giving Australians new experiences, especially those in rural areas, so we thought we could help.

We worked to harness the power of our network to connect some of Australia’s most admired athletes with the clubs, schools and centres of their past to help them ‘Inspire the Next’ generation.

Using some amazing technology we brought players back to their roots virtually, into their old clubs where they worked to recruit, coach and inspire kids by stepping them through skills they could take back to their team mates and coaches.

We know that’s pretty special but sometimes the real thing can’t be beat, so we sent players back home as a surprise to the kids so they could show off just how much they’d learnt.

Here’s how it played out.

AFL – Josh Kennedy

As a young kid coming through I never really got the chance to see players or connect with them, I could always watch them on TV but it’s not quite the same. I grew up in North Hampton, about 500kms north of Perth. Footy in rural communities is massive and it’s something that I think holds a lot of towns together so to be able to give back is pretty cool and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the power of technology Telstra has these days.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to get involved, I think it’s something about being able to give back to the rural communities who miss out on some of the things that happen in major cities. The best thing is being able to connect back with the kids in my home town, it’s been a pretty cool journey.

NRL – Bevan French

The Tingha Tigers was my junior club, it’s a pretty rural, small community. All we did when I was growing up was play footy or look for swimming holes.

Obviously I can’t be in two places at once so being able to be at the Parramatta Eels HQ and home in Tingha at the same time was awesome.

Being able to come back and do this stuff with kids from country towns means a lot to me and if it inspires just one person out of this whole program, gives them a little extra drive and determination, then I’m pretty happy.

Advice | Inspiration | Telstra Careers |

Why a good mentor is important to your career

By Brie Mason July 25, 2017

Julie Trell is our Head of muru-D, which is the start-up accelerator backed by Telstra, and her role is to help talented entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.

She is passionate about the technology industry and helping the next generation of female leaders fulfill their potential.

So we asked Julie what advice she has for someone who is looking for a mentor, and how to make the most out of the relationship.

Here is what she told us:

Why are you so passionate about mentoring?

One of the reasons I went into teaching was because I loved being the catalyst for helping someone learn something. Seeing when the lightbulb went on and they experienced that ‘aha’ moment is incredibly rewarding. With mentoring, for me the only difference is that there are no tests and no grading of homework.

I also recognise how powerful mentoring can be when your role or job might be isolated and you need an objective person to provide insight to something you may be missing. Through mentoring, both the mentor and mentee can gain valuable insights and perspectives. It’s a mutually beneficial experience.

Do you think it’s important for someone to get a mentor early on in their career?

Absolutely! Asking for help and taking advice is a muscle we all need to strengthen. It’s hard at first – regardless of gender – but with practice and starting young, it becomes a more natural exercise.

Are there any particular qualities people should look for in a potential mentor before approaching them?

Yes, first find someone in your immediate or extended network as you are more likely able to find more commonalities to kick off the relationship. Find people who are willing to share their skills, knowledge, and experience.

A good storyteller doesn’t hurt either. A good mentor is someone willing to take the time and truly listen – and not tell you what to do or what you want to hear. A good mentor is someone who has empathy and understands what it’s like to start out in a career or take on a new responsibility.

What do you think is the best way to approach a potential mentor?

Do your homework. Send a personalised concise email (or ask for an intro from a mutual friend as that has some built in credibility).

Customise your request. If it’s someone you don’t know too well, find similarities or commonalities. “I see you went to X university, I was also a student there from XXXX-XXXX”. Or “I just read your article on Y and it resonated with me and here’s how”. Be very specific in your ask: “Would you be interested in helping me

How can you make the most out of a mentoring relationship?

Listen. Be respectful with your and their time. Check in to make sure it’s a mutually beneficial relationship – a two-way street.

Hear from Julie Trell at this week’s Vogue Codes Summit in Sydney. She’ll be part of a panel discussion speaking on the importance of mentoring and role models in the workplace.
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