Out For Australia
Frequently asked questions
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How do people sign up to be mentors and mentees?
Direct them to outforaustralia.org/mentoring . Mentoring applications open and close at the start of each semester, so please keep an eye on social media and your emails for closing dates. 2017 dates are in the 2017 mentoring calendar. Please note that, while applications are accepted all year round, it may take some time for the Mentoring Coordinators to pair prospective mentors and mentees outside our application open dates. Please also note that mentors and mentees must return the Mentoring Code of Conduct before being paired.
Can I get a mentor or mentee?
Yes, in fact this is strongly encouraged. If you're still a student, you will be eligible for a mentor. If you're a professional, you're eligible for a student mentee, however, you may also ask for a mentor if you feel that it would help you in your role with OFA.
How do I explain the mentoring program to others?
Here are the key details about the program:
the mentoring program is a year-long program pairing student mentee with mentors in their field of study or interest
the program involves you meeting your mentor/mentee periodically in person or using technology and asking questions about career development, being LGBTIQ in the workforce, a sounding board for career ideas
we also provide a number of workshops in your state to help you get the most out of the program
the main benefits of the mentoring program for mentees are:
be comfortable, confident and supported - at university, at work and in the community
develop professionally - through our comprehensive mentoring curriculum and access to some of the industries greatest mentors
form friendships - at our events through our approachable, professional and open style
access our networks - our mentors, partners and friends can help you develop and succeed in your career
the main benefits of the mentoring program for mentors are:
share experiences - and recognise the power of your story on younger generations
form friendships - at our events through our approachable, professional and open style
build connections - with mentors, mentees, and our very supportive partners and friends.
give back to the LGBTIQ community - through making a genuine difference to someone transitioning into the workforce.
If the person has any questions about the program, direct them to the relevant state mentoring coordinator.
Who do I talk to if someone has a problem with the mentoring program?
This could include, for example, needs to be re-matched, hasn't received a mentee yet
Direct them to the relevant state mentoring coordinator. Ensure that you follow up with both the mentoring coordinator and the person in the program to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
What if someone hasn't been matched because an appropriate mentee/mentor can't be found?
In the case of mentees, think about whether you know anyone in your network that you might approach, if not for a formal mentoring relationship, even a once-off cup of coffee. In the case of mentors, think about how else mentors might like to be involved, for example, by speaking and attending events.
People and enablement
Where is my engagement letter?
If you have not received your engagement letter, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Do I have an end date?
Yes, an end date should be specified in your contract, but please note that this is simply an opportunity for us to have a chat around what you're getting out of your role and whether you would like it to continue.
How do I find out more about the organisation?
Who do I talk to if I could be doing more in my role?
In the first instance, the CEO, your national counterpart or your state director. If you still feel underutilised, please contact the CEO.
How do we hire people?
We hire people on an as-needed basis. The decision to hire someone from the national team rests with the CEO and the Board while state directors are responsible for State Recruitment. Hiring communications are via social media and email. The application is online with a short interview over the phone or in person. Please contact email@example.com with any questions on recruitment.
What do I do if I'm thinking about moving on from Out for Australia?
Have a chat with the CEO or the relevant state director as soon as possible. It might be possible to refine your role slightly to suit changes in your circumstances. However, we understand work gets busy, commitments change and you can even just run out of steam and feel like a break. Therefore, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you're thinking of leaving.
What if I have a serious issue with someone or something in the organisation?
Your first port of call if you're in the state team is your state director and the CEO if you're in the national team. If the problem is about them or relates to them, talk to someone else senior in the organisation that you feel comfortable talking to. If the problem persists or there is no one in the executive team that you can talk to about it, don't hesitate to contact someone on the Board.
I'm taking holidays or some time off. What do I do?
Holidays and breaks are absolutely fine. Please just give us notice of any planned holidays and update our leave tracker. Please also ensure that your 'out of office' on your Out for Australia email account is turned on.
Can I get a reference from someone in Out for Australia?
Yes, we can provide a letter of reference from the CEO or state director (as appropriate and with CEO permission) detailing your role in Out for Australia, your key achievements and a record of your diversity training through Out for Australia Academy.
Communications and design
I want to post something on social media. Who do I talk to? Who has access?
Generally only the CEO, the communications coordinators and the state directors have access to social media. You can speak to your state communications coordinator to put something up. Ultimately responsibility for social media assets is held by the National Communications Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
What social media assets do we have?
We have a Facebook account which is our primary asset, although we also have LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Generally, we do not create sub-pages for particular intiativies or areas (for example, an Out for Australia Queensland FB page). The exception to this is private groups and discussion forums used internally.
There is an error in something we've posted or I think it might offend someone. What do I do?
Contact your State Communications Coordinator or, if you feel something needs to be taken down urgently, contact email@example.com
I believe that someone has posted something deliberately offensive, hateful or spam. What do I do?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com urgently or the National Communications Coordinator or CEO by phone or text. Our policy is generally to not delete content that is argumentative, passionate or similar. However, we do delete policy where it is scandalous, deliberately offensive, hateful or otherwise.
I want someone to design a poster or banner, who should I contact?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that design work of a high quality does take time, so please give Brand and Design plenty of time. Alternatively, design your own poster, banner or other collateral item and Brand and Design can review it quickly for you.
How can I get one of our sponsors to host an event?
Please contact your local partnerships coordinator or National Partnerships Coordinator. Please note that this can take time and organisations can be quite slow to agree to host, so you will find it far easier if you can establish some reliable connections in your city. However, the national team will, of course, help you wherever we can.
I want to talk to one of our sponsors about something. Who should I talk to?
We encourage you to speak to friends and colleagues at our sponsor organisations about what Out for Australia does and opportunities to get involved. Generally a quick call or email to your State or National Partnerships Coordinator to give them the heads up is appropriate and before you speak to a sponsor or potential sponsor where practical.
How do I get local leads to provide venues or facilities in my city?
Make sure that you speak to a wide variety of people at our events. As our events are often very well received, you will spark interest in people looking to host an OFA event in the future. Ensure you follow up with people that express an interest through coffee or lunch or other format. Promote the organisation where you can and seek assistance from your State and National Partnerships Coordinator.
Can I approach organisations other than our partners to see if they're interested in hosting an event?
Yes you can, particularly if you're already given the Partnerships team a heads up. We encourage you to explore and brainstorm potential events with sponsors and prospective sponsors. However, you will need to get the state events team and state director involved once it comes time to lock in events and dates.
Is there somewhere I can find a general description of how we run events with checklists?
Can I invite politicians to our events?
Yes, you can. We have many politicians that support us. You should be mindful that we are not a political organisation. Therefore, you need to respectfully request that politician guests limit their comments to the theme of the event. It is also important that you invite politicians from all major parties to dispel any accusations of bias or partisanship.
Do I have to provide a debrief on our event?
Yes. Please see here post-event report. This report should be completed promptly after the event and sent to your state director and the Deputy CEO.
What sorts of events can I host? Do they all need to be panel style events?
The choice of event style is yours. Not all of our events are panels in professional services firms, in fact, it is desirable to have a variety of events that appeal to a variety of our members. Smaller events such as dinners or lunches and events in a different setting such as picnics, movies and musical performances can work well. Please bear in mind that our events should still be and feel professional. For example, pub crawls, boat cruises or other similar events are out of scope and should not be held as an Out for Australia event.
How do I source speakers for events?
Speakers are ordinarily sourced from the mentoring pool for your state as well as friends and connections within that state. If you would like a high-profile or interstate speaker, you must contact the CEO or Deputy CEO as invitations need to come from the national level.
How much money do I have to spend on catering and other expenses?
Money for events comes out of the state budgets which have been finalised for 2017. Please speak to the state directors about money for each event. Please also note the expenses policy.