20 Aug 2021
Three RPS employees have volunteered to take part in UDIA Queensland’s mentorship program this year, one as a mentor and two as mentees.
UDIA Queensland has been running the program since 2017, to help newer property industry professionals build their network and skillset, and to promote connections between individuals at all levels of the industry.
As a mentor, RPS Service Line Leader – Urban Design Peter Egerton says it’s about giving back and supporting the up-and-comers who will shape South East Queensland’s built environment in the decades to come.
“I was mentored by my generation’s leaders and there’s obviously a real desire to give back. The best way we as consultants can give back is to give our time,” he says.
“I’ve been involved with UDIA Queensland for the majority of my career in Brisbane, so over 25 years now, which made stepping into a mentoring role a pretty natural and obvious choice.”
He says the program will make it much easier for today’s young property professionals to seek out mentoring, noting that “the mentoring I received early in my career was very informal, you really had to seek people out if you wanted to learn.
“I would’ve signed up for UDIA Queensland’s mentoring program in a heartbeat, and I would’ve pushed a lot of my staff through it as well later on in my career.
RPS Service Line Leader - Urban Design Pete Egerton and his mentee Kate Cornwell
According the Institute’s CEO Kirsty Chessher-Brown, UDIA Queensland’s mentoring program was developed with this in mind.
“The generation of senior developers we have now didn’t have access to the kind of platform that our program offers, it was very much friends knowing friends,” she says.
“There aren’t that many mentoring programs in Queensland when it comes to property development, and the access to industry experts that we can provide to younger professionals really sets our program apart.”
She says the program is only growing in popularity, noting that “the take-up rate of people who want to get involved has really increased over the past 18 months. This year we’ve had our biggest intake yet with 21 mentees volunteering to take part.”
For those currently participating as mentees, the benefits are clear. RPS Senior Planner, Nick Meadows, says the program is “invaluable”, and that signing up was a no-brainer.
“I’d taken part in different mentoring programs before as a mentor rather than a mentee, but the UDIA Queensland program seemed like a really good opportunity to advance my career by being on the mentee side of things,” he says.
“Every time I meet up with my mentor David, (David Nicholls of HopgoodGanim Lawyers) there’s a new piece of knowledge or advice he gives me that might completely change my way of thinking.”
Nick says the networking opportunities the program provides are just as useful.
“The UDIA Queensland program’s been great for meeting a broader range of people, doing site tours and stuff like that.
“At the meet-ups most of the mentors obviously know each other, but getting to know other mentees is really good as for networking and exchanging knowledge – you do pick up some great bits and pieces.”
Ms Chessher-Brown says this was one of the goals of the program, saying “we wanted to give participants the opportunity to not just have those one-on-one sessions, but mix with everyone in the program. We like to see that interaction and cross-pollination between all the different mentors and mentees.”
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