Our three mentors (L-R) Rizwan, Diana and Andrew

Our commitment to making infrastructure work for our communities is our purpose and is woven into the work we do every day.

By sharing our experience, skills and passion, we believe we make a real difference to the lives of people who live in the communities in which we operate. 

At our M5 East Motorway contract, our people are forming relationships with the local community that bring our commitment to life and make a positive contribution. 

Through the In School Mentoring Opportunity (ISMO) program, a mentoring initiative conducted by the Raise Foundation, three members of our M5 East team volunteer their time at JJ Cahill Memorial High School, reaching out to young people and empowering them to become more resilient, capable and connected.

To prepare for their endeavor, our people completed a two-day training course to learn about becoming a mentor and how to work positively with their young mentees.

Diana Barnes, M5 East Environmental and Community Coordinator, sees the value of the grass roots engagement with the community and its next generation residents.

"Personally, I hope that I can help my young person recognise they are not in this game of life alone and there is a myriad of people, and organisations, out there to help them become the very best they can be," Diana said.

We have a diverse team at M5 East, all of whom can draw on life and career experience to make a lasting impression on a young person.

Susan O'Reilly, Partnerships Manager at the Raise Foundation, spoke of the troubles facing Australia's youth and how a mentor can make the world of difference.

"Young people in Australia are struggling. Their unemployment rate is double the national average and one in 10 are completely disengaged from school," Susan said. 

"Having a confiding relationship with a trusted adult is one of the single best predictors of psychological health and wellbeing for young people who face adversity, and it's the reason Raise exists.

Every time I witness one of our thousands of mentoring matches, I see the impact our mentors are having.

"It drives me to ensure we can offer our mentors to as many young people as we possibly can, right across our country."

Our three M5 East volunteer mentors participated in their first session at the high school in April. Sessions continue on a weekly basis now until the program completes with a graduation ceremony for the students in September 2018.

The mentors are just three of approximately 15 participating in the ISMO program at JJ Cahill Memorial High School. Nationally, there are more than 70 schools registered for ISMO through Raise.

To learn more about the Raise Foundation, visit www.raise.org.au


Pictured above: Our three mentors (L-R) Rizwan, Diana and Andrew