New Leader for Mentor Support Network

Newcastle and Hunter Region’s Mentor Support Network has appointed a new Chair to lead the organisation’s future direction.

Shayne Connell, well-known for his work with support groups in the Hunter, says he is looking forward to the new challenge and working with a revitalised executive committee.

Mentor Support Network (MSN) is a not-for-profit organisation that provides training, professional development and networking for mentors while also conducting an active scholarship and support program for students in financial need.

MSN has strong partnerships with the corporate sector and its services are delivered through a network of volunteers.

Shayne, who is CEO of leading suicide intervention training company, LivingWorks Australia, has also held senior positions with the Cancer Council NSW and served on the City of Newcastle Council.

Mentor Support Network helps connect experience with potential through advocating and promoting the many benefits of mentoring and the significant impact positive role models can have on guiding young people’s lives, said Shayne.

The network since 2003 has organised many mentor training programs, network sessions and awarded about 250 scholarships totalling more than $550,000 to students across the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland and Port Stephens regions.

It’s a privilege to lead such a not-for-profit organisation and work with corporate partners, such as the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation which in the past 12 months helped us create 10 new scholarships for refugee students.

Shayne said MSN had worked through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and was planning for a brighter 2021 with the support of its partners.

He paid tribute to retiring Chair, Jon Chin, who has been a long serving champion of MSN and who was instrumental in securing funding and support from local registered clubs for the organisation’s work.

Jon contributed greatly to the growth of MSN through developing an Educational Scholarship program and launching the Refugee Student Education Awards. He also strengthened relationships with MSN’s many valued members, partners and stakeholders.


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