Networking & Learning Meetings
(Photo thanks to AJM photography.)

 The first took place on 4 April when Tara Davidson from Live Your Best Life (LYBL) spoke on “How to Help Youth Become Independent.”

Tara addressed the pressures on young people today and the positive impact a mentor can have. “Research suggests that youth who identify with having an active mentor in their lives are more likely to thrive in today’s complicated world.”

At LYBL when working when young people, Tara often uses the LYBL ‘Be Your Best Self Wheel.’ This simple, effective and powerful tool can assist young people to shape and define their mission/goal. In turn this helps them gain clarity on what is important to them, right now, and move from survival to connection. The structure of the wheel can be used to check in and shape future discussions and act as a tool for accountability for the mentor. For more information on the wheel contact Tara at LYBL.

Our second meeting was held on 16 May when Tony McLaughlin of Big Steps Education spoke on “Mentoring and Engaging Boys.” Tony began with a list of facts about boys such as:

  • By High School 70% of special education students are boys;
  • In all states of Australia boys make up over 80% of students expelled or suspended; and
  • In the last 20 years teenage boys suffered an absolute decline in employment.

This was followed by explanations offered for the situation boys find themselves in and how mentors and teachers can best work with boys to help them succeed. Boys are not the same as girls and must be treated differently.

Both presentations were excellent and enthusiastically received. Tara and Tony have generously provided us with electronic notes to be shared with members. If you have missed getting the notes, please contact for a copy.

The next Networking and Learning meeting will be at 7:30am on Tuesday 8 August at our usual location – Parade Ring Room, Newcastle Harness Racing Club, Broadmeadow. The speaker will be Brad Dunn. The title of his presentation is “Muloobinbah (Newcastle) an Aboriginal Perspective.” The Members’ 5 Minutes speaker will be Bryan Blisset of RUSH.

Yes, our first breakfast meeting was so popular we have decided to offer more at this time of day.