Here at CHESS Connect we deliver a variety of specialised person-centric services in employment, disability and wellbeing. Primarily, we connect with people through our Disability Employment Service (DES) ParentsNext, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the mental health and wellbeing space.

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We’ve seen first-hand how a holistic ‘mentorship approach’ to our service delivery provides positive long-term outcomes for our customers. This could be a jobseeker who secures employment, with ongoing support in the workplace with their employer to ensure their success. Or a single parent who begins training to build their skills so they can be competitive when seeking work once their children enter school.

We also see big gains with our NDIS support workers, who can mentor their customers over many months and years to build determination and capacity – helping them connect with community, explore their interests and live fulfilling, inclusive lives.

A mentorship approach allows us to walk alongside our customers so they can achieve their goals through their own determination and self-agency.

Mentoring isn’t counselling or coaching. Its development and growth driven, providing person-centred support that encourages people to build on their skills and strengths, develop confidence and apply this to new situations and experiences.

Service delivered through a mentorship lens can be life-changing. Many customers come to us with a goal or a desired outcome. A holistic mentorship approach can achieve positive growth that aligns with the mentees’ goals and abilities – which not only leads to outcomes, but can have a much broader impact.

We see the roll-on benefits of this approach across the ecosystem of our customers lives, be that in the workplace, with their colleagues and employers, at home with their families or socially, within the community.

Across all of our programs, mentorship is a core competency of our teams within CHESS Connect.

Here are 4 reasons why we think mentorship is a great approach to service delivery:

1. Mentoring is about relationships and is highly personalised

Building a trusted relationship, whilst still encouraging independence, is an important part of the mentor/mentee dynamic. This mentorship approach underpins our core concepts of safe, respectful and personalised service and support for each of our customers.

2.Mentorship is development and growth orientated

Mentoring is about focusing on the future, with the mentor sharing their knowledge and expertise to positively influence personal and professional growth. Whilst we do work towards specific outcomes, the priority focus is building capacity and developing strengths so our customers can move confidently towards their goals.

3.Mentorship takes a long-term approach to achievement

A good mentor will take the time to understand the goals and identify the challenges of the person they are working with and get a broad view of what motivates them. They can then apply a long term, tailored strategy to help overcome barriers and achieve goals that aligns with the mentee’s abilities and development.

3.Mentoring is driven by the mentee

Most importantly, direction and growth is driven by the mentee, our customers. Choice, control and self-agency is promoted as much as possible within the frameworks of each of our programs, helping customers meet their obligations whilst they work towards their goals.


Respected author and mentor-coach Eric Parloe captured our philosophy on how we approach mentorship with our customers.

“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.”


Meet the Author

About Heather
CHESS Connect Marketing Manager Heather is passionate about driving growth and engagement through brand storytelling. A big fan-girl of fantasy fiction, Heather loves reading, writing and the occasional Netflix binge.