Mentor Support Network, formally known as Hunter Youth Mentoring Collaborative Inc. (HYMC), is a not-for-profit that was established in 2005.


We award scholarships and support to students in financial need. We provide training, professional development and networking for mentors. Our work is delivered through partnerships with volunteers, our members and the corporate sector.

Annual Reports

Year on year, we strive to improve the services and support that we offer. Our current Annual Report outlines our yearly performance highlights for the last financial.

Our Team

Mentor Support Network is lucky to have a strong management team with a very comprehensive skill set.

Jon Chin – Chair
Jon joined the Mentor Support Network team in January 2017, and brings with him 25+ years of experience, having held long-term positions as Secretary of Hexham Bowling Club, State Councillor of ClubsNSW for the Newcastle and Hunter regions, Director and Deputy Chair of Northern Settlement Service, as well as being the spokesperson for the 140+ clubs in our region.
He holds the prestigious Life Membership of ClubsNSW award, for services to the club industry. He is a White Ribbon Ambassador and Chair of the Hunter White Ribbon Committee.
Jon is a committed fundraiser for many not-for-profit organisations and played a significant role in recruiting 3,000 volunteers for the Special Olympics held in Newcastle in December 2013.
In 2016 Jon was recognised as Newcastle Businessman of the year.

Coral Baldwin – Vice-Chair
Following a career position as a company representative, Coral has spent over 15 years volunteering as a mentor in local schools. She was a member of the Department of Education Mentoring Strategy Committee for five years and has run a public speaking program with school team leaders. Membership Officer and Events Officer.

John Dickeson – Treasurer
John joined Mentor Support Network as the treasurer in 2007. Before this, he was the Executive Director of Pathology at Hunter New England Health for 32 years. In addition to his current role with Mentor Support Network, John is entrenched in the local community and is involved in a wide range of volunteer activities including mentoring with Plan It Youth in high schools in the Hunter, reading support for children at Garden Suburb School and volunteering for the Leukemia Foundation.


Katherine Heinrich – Secretary and Public Officer

Katherine has had an international career spanning 30 years, having been Professor in Mathematics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and Vice-President, Academic at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Bringing a wealth of experience back to Australia in 2007, Katherine volunteered as Director of Back to Back Galleries in Cooks Hill, Newcastle, for seven years while also undertaking her role as Secretary for Mentor Support Network.


Jane Kift – Chair, Scholarships
I feel l have been mentoring most of my adult life in the different roles I have had (Child Care Centre Director, Dental Specialist Practice Manager and Palliative Care Volunteer). I formalised the work-related life-training by participating in two mentor training courses with Julie Fraser. In 2015 I began mentoring at Rutherford High School with the Planet-Youth Program and continued there until the program finished in 2017. Having joined MSN soon after starting at Rutherford, it seemed a normal progression to join the Executive. I have accepted the challenge and hope to ensure the scholarship program will continue to be as successful as it has been in the past.
Jennifer Flinn
Jennifer is a legal practitioner with over 20 years’ experience in private practice, industry and government organisations. Throughout her career she has mentored many young lawyers, supporting them to achieve success in a challenging profession. Jennifer is currently the General Counsel at the University of Newcastle, and is passionate about providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth to obtain access to higher education.

Nick Killin
Nick has held many senior positions, such as Business Development Manager with GHD, and Senior Business Development and Marketing positions involving regional research for the Hunter Valley Research Foundation and advanced manufacturing and export-oriented companies. Nick has a keen interest in regional development and has served as Chairman of both HunterNet and the HunterNet Group Training Company.

Pat O’Flaherty
After a career as a chemist, Pat completed doctoral studies in education and has also been Learning and Development Manager for Thales Australia. He mentored for two years with the Smith Family, and currently provides advice to small manufacturing operations and start-up companies.

Paul Battle

In 1966 Paul began in the rail industry as apprentice Fitting and Machinist at Cardiff Maintenance Centre and continued until 2002. He worked on both steam and diesel locomotives in various positions from tradesman to management after completing his Mechanical Engineering Certificate.  Through training apprentices in the Cardiff Training Centre, Paul’s interest in helping and mentoring young people grew. This eventually led to his involvement in school mentoring programs. Paul was one of three who formed Men’s Shed Youth Mentoring Inc. to work with Lake Macquarie High School to present the “Youth Frontier Program”.