PIA SA Young Planners Mentoring Program

The SA Division of PIA has a formal mentoring program, which is run through the South Australian Young Planners group (SAYP). The mentoring program is designed to assist young planners to successfully adjust to the workforce and to develop their professional skills.

The program broadly defines mentoring as ‘a mutually beneficial relationship which involves a more experienced person helping a less experienced person to identify and achieve their goals.’

An initiative of the National Young Planners Group, the mentoring program was developed in response to the 2004 PIA National Inquiry into Planning Education and Employment, which recognised a need for a program of this nature which would assist in retaining and supporting young planners in the formative years of their career. South Australia was the first Division to pilot this program in 2006, and it is now run on an annual basis and co-ordinated by the SAYP Committee.

Participation by young planners is voluntary but strongly encouraged because of the benefits they will get out of the mentoring relationship. Mentors are experienced and respected members of the profession who volunteer their time to liaise with a young planner in order to transfer their skills and knowledge.

Mentoring is a two-way process. Both the mentor and the mentee need to commit themselves equally to gain the true benefits that the program offers.

Details about the PIA SA Young Planners Mentoring Program can be found on the PIA SA Division website under Member Services.

Workplace Mentoring

Young planners can also gain knowledge and confidence through interaction with more experienced planners at their workplace. This is generally done by senior officers and may be formal or informal in nature.

Not all Councils are able to provide mentoring. However, where some form of mentoring is available, it can be of considerable value in helping young planners in their new role. Hence, it is recommended that young planners enquire as to whether mentoring is available at their organization or whether it could be provided on an informal basis.

If a mentoring relationship is not possible, young planners are still able to learn from colleagues by being proactive in observing colleagues at work and asking any necessary questions.

The best place to learn good habits in office practice and procedures is to observe more senior planners at work.