Who can we call upon to support and nurture our careers? Should mentoring be a standard practice in all of our workplaces? And, how do we go about establishing reciprocal mentoring relationships that promote positive outcomes for both mentor and mentee? These questions were the foundation for an inspiring panel discussion at Pullman Albert Park for the first Mentorship in Motion luncheon, presented in partnership with Mentorloop.
The panel consisted of four inspiring women from diverse professional backgrounds: Nat Biviano from IBM, Suzanne Dick from Harvest Wellbeing, Heidi Holmes of Mentorloop and our fearless moderator, Michelle Redfern, Director of Advancing Women. While all members of the panel have experienced mentoring in different stages of their professional lives, all have one key thing in common: mentoring relationships have fostered positive change in their careers.
Glorious late winter sunshine came flooding through the floor to ceiling windows in Albert Park’s Grand Ballroom space as 40 Venuemob VIP clients arrived in pairs; manager and employee, mentor and mentee.
Guests were lead up the opulent staircase into a large pre-function space with views over the glistening Albert Park Lake. A live violinist set the tone for the afternoon, playing by the sun drenched windows. Guests introduced themselves over welcome drinks and canapés – a definite favourite being juicy king prawns wrapped in crispy potato and topped with Romesco sauce.
Following excited chatter about what was to follow, the inquisitive party was soon led into the banquet space and seated at large communal tables facing the panel. Plates of succulent duck with carrot puree, crispy kale, delicate beetroot rounds and rich jus were placed in front of each guest.
The stage, styled by Dann Event Hire, set the scene for the afternoon, with luxurious velvet chairs, floating floral centerpieces and brass edged marble side tables. The discussion began with questions bouncing between the panelists and moderator, before tables were invited to ponder a few more: Who are the mentors in our own lives? What can we all offer in a mentoring relationship? And, what is the importance of reciprocity?
The volume of the room quickly increased as each table erupted into spirited discussion, focussing on the impact of mentoring for career progression and personal wellbeing. Most guests arrived at the event with no prior knowledge about the importance of nurturing reciprocal mentoring relationships in the workplace, and left the discussion with actionable strategies for approaching these relationships with confidence.
After plates were cleared, guests exited the banquet space and entered another sun drenched section of the Grand Ballroom set with an impressive handcrafted dessert buffet. Boards of gold-flecked pink champagne macarons, Yuzu tarts, lemon sponge pinwheels and blackberry meringue sandwiches lined the table. Standing in front of a bowl of liquid nitrogen, the expert pastry chef piped fresh green tea and vodka-infused parfait into the freezing haze and invited guests to pop the sweet parcels straight into their mouths. Dragon breath and resulting giggles from the whole room ensued.
Armed with new professional connections and strategies for establishing mentorship as a process for career progression, guests departed with baby bottles of Moët & Chandon and chocolate dipped honeycomb made from the hotel’s urban rooftop beehive.
With end of year events on the mind, the team at Pullman Albert Park gave guests an exclusive first look at their new promotion, offering event planners a complimentary bottle of Moet & Chandon for every $4,000 spent.
The inaugural Mentorship in Motion luncheon was proof that engaging discussion affects positive change on a personal and professional level, advancing careers and creating an open workplace culture that supports inclusion and diversity.