News

New Leader for Mentor Support Network

Newcastle and Hunter Region’s Mentor Support Network has appointed a new Chair to lead the organisation’s future direction.

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Thanks to our Sponsors and Supporters

MSN recently wrote to our supporters. That letter began:

"Dear Supporter, Who could have foreseen just how critical your support for the Mentor Support Network and our Scholarship Program would become for the youth in our region? Thank you!"

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MSN Scholarships in the News

Over the last few months articles on the MSN scholarships program have appeared in local news publications; from the awarding of educational scholarships to 45 local students in February, to the awarding of 10 refugee students education awards in April.

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A new Challenge for all MSN members

The Executive Committee members of MSN hope that you and your family stay safe and well in these extraordinary times.

For many of us, with gatherings and meetings cancelled and social distancing an imperative in our everyday lives, we are facing challenges that only a few months ago were unimaginable.

Members of MSN, our generous sponsors, our supporters, our schools, teachers, mentors and other professional and caring people who have made its possible for so many young people to pursue their dreams are now faced with the reality that this system will face many new challenges.

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MSN Stalwarts retire

The Mentor Support network has farewelled three highly respected members of the Executive Committee; Coral Baldwin, Nick Killin and Katherine Heinrich. Each has stood down after distinguished contributions to helping young people whose education might have faltered because of financial constraints without the support of MSN.

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2020 MSN Refugee Student Education Awards Virtual Presentation

Ten Hunter students who came to Australia as refugees have received scholarships that will help during their education. The scholarships are made possible through a $30,000 grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

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2020 Scholarship Presentation

The annual MSN scholarships presentation on 11 February was a great success. Forty-five students from across the Hunter received scholarships to support their educational expenses during 2020.

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MSN and Engineers Australia Newcastle Division

Five years ago the scholarship interview team suddenly found themselves without an interview room – just days before the interviews were to commence.

A quick call to Helen Link, General Manager of the Newcastle Office of Engineers Australia solved the problem.

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Caitlan Johnston named to the Jillaroos

For 2018 scholarship recipient Caitlan Johnston one of her dreams has been realized. In October 18-year old Caitlan was named the 18th player for the Jillaroos, the Australian women’s Rugby League team.

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2020 MSN Educational Scholarship Program

Thanks to the incredible support of our sponsors, this year we were able to offered scholarships to 43 local students.

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MSN Refugee Students Education Awards to continue in 2020

On 5 December Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation (NPCF) announced 12 new grants, totalling more than $700,000 to support community initiatives addressing issues of disadvantage across its key focus areas of health, social well-being and young people. And with these grants the Charitable Foundation celebrates a milestone of providing more than $20 million for charitable initiatives in regional NSW. We are honoured that Mentor Support Network was one of those 12 recipients.

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Thanks to our newest sponsors for 2020

Since out September newsletter three organizations have become MSN sponsors for 2020. Many thanks to Collective Heart and Orica Community Investment Program.

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MSN Scholarship recipients speak at 2019 Celebration Breakfast

On 3 December, Three recipients of 2019 scholarships spoke at the MSN Celebration breakfast; captivating the audience of sponsors, members and mentors.

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Sponsors for 2020

The work of MSN and in particular our ability to offer educational scholarships to so many deserving students, is only possible with the financial and in-kind support of many local organisations.

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2020 MSN Educational Scholarships Program update

The applications keep coming in. Many thanks to those of our organizational members who have been working with students to ensure their applications, along with supporting letters, reached us by 27 September 2019 at which time the application process concluded with a record number of applications having been received.

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Thanks to our 2019 ClubGRANTS supporters – Jon Chin JP, MSN Chair

Mentor Support Network’s ability to help students who are in financial need via our Educational Scholarship Program is very much dependent on the support of our corporate sponsors.

I was privileged to have attended two ClubGRANTS cheque presentation events in early August to receive, on behalf of MSN, funding from a number of local clubs, including some that have supported our Educational Scholarship Program since its inception in 2008.

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MSN Scholarship recipient Rebekah and her robot project

2019 MSN Scholarship recipient Rebekah is a student at West Wallsend High School where she participates in the Plan-it Youth Mentoring Program. Rebekah is passionate about robotics and has been using her scholarship to purchase supplies and parts for a robot she is building.

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Update on the MSN Refugee Student Education Program

Students in the Refugee Students Education Program have now completed both the career advisory and the mentoring components of the program. The official wrap-up was marked by a celebration at Strike Bowling Charlestown and a great time was had by mentors, mentees and supporters who attended to mark the occasion.

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Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group

In early May MSN attended an afternoon tea at Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) to meet with employees, members of the NCIG Community Engagement Group and other charities who like MSN, had been successful in their recent application for funding. The NCIG grant to MSN will provide funds to support at least three students of the 2020 MSN Educational Scholarships Program.

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Appointment of MSN Patron – Dr Bernie Curran AM

Mentor Support Network (MSN) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Bernie Curran AM as their patron. “When I was asked to be patron of Mentor Support Network, it was like asking me to be patron of something I know so well but on the other hand, something I know nothing about. I know the art or mentoring. I know the importance of mentoring. But what I’m learning is just how dedicated these members are, working in the community to make remarkable differences in the lives of the young,” Dr Curran said.

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Students to benefit from Lord Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast – Jon Chin JP

I am really delighted to report that Mentor Support Network was selected by the Mayor as the beneficiary of the 2019 Newcastle Annual Lord Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast http://lmpb.org.au/ held at Wests New Lambton on 7 June.

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Student Achievers: Jodie and Benjamin

Jodie (2014 MSN Educational Scholarship) recently updated us on her education and career. Current student Benjamin was delighted to learn his funds could be used to purchase a desk to support his studies.

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Research: Material deprivation and social exclusion among youth

In late 2018 the results of a study “Material deprivation and social exclusion among young Australians: a child focused approach” were published in The Conversation

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Thanks to MSN Sponsors

Jointly the support of MSN sponsors ensures the success of our many programs: 41 students received scholarships for 2019 (10 through the MSN Refugee Youth Education Awards in partnership with Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation); presentations, workshops and mentor training will be offered during the year; and the MSN Annual Breakfast will again celebrated the importance and power of youth mentoring.

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MSN Student Refugee Awards Presentation

With financial support from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation (NPCF), in 2018 MSN established a pilot project: The MSN Refugee Students Education Awards Program.

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2019 MSN Educational Scholarships Presentation

On 19 February, 31 local students were awarded MSN Educational Scholarships to be used to support their education during 2019.

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Mentor Training and Grant from PWCS

The first sponsor to provide financial support to MSN in 2019 is Port Waratah Coal Services. The grant will be used to support mentor training programs during 2019.

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2019 Educational Scholarships Program

The call has just been made for applications for the 2019 MSN Educational Scholarships Program.
Eligible students are:
• At least 15 years old
• Living with financial hardship that impedes their education
• Strongly committed to their education goals
• Attending a local educational institution such as a school, TAFE or the University.

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Past Scholarship Recipients

Since the scholarship program began in 2008 175 scholarships have been awarded. Three past recipients spoke at the presentation: Angela, Dorcas and Jacob. All three spoke about the impact of the scholarships while they were studying and what they are now doing. Angela learnt English (using part of her scholarship for English tutoring), completed school and university (Social Sciences) and is now working in the disability services and support sector. Dorcas, also new to Australia, completed school and is now a business student at university. Jacob spoke of the impact the scholarship had in enabling him to successfully complete grades 11 and 12. He has started second year law studies in Armidale.

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Congratulations 2018 MSN Scholarship Recipients

On 20 February MSN presented educational scholarships for studies during 2018 to 26 students from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland. This year all the students are studying at high school and many will be jointly undertaking TAFE studies. Joining the recipients at the presentation were friends, family and supporters, as well as MSN sponsors and members.

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Awards to MSN Chair Jon Chin JP and Past Chair Kay Sharp AM

At our Scholarships presentation Kay Sharp was named a lifetime member of MSN. In 2016 Jon was named Newcastle Business Club’s Business Person of 2016.

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Success of Past Recipients

We are extremely proud of our past scholarship recipients achievements and are delighted to have played a small part in making their success possible.

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10th Scholarships Presentation

Scholarships are awarded to students at least 15 years old who are committed to achieving educational goals, but who, because of financial hardship, are at significant risk of being unable to do so.

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