Breakfast dishes out hearty advice

The event committee, left to right: Sarah Dunstan, Amanda Muxworthy, Suyingh Beardsley, Victorian State team Girl Guides Representative Marise Liebelt, Cath Stocks, guest speaker Professor Wendy Wright, Kay Rankin, Casey mayor Amanda Stapledon, Sharon Gunthrie, Mary Jo Cochrane.

By Danielle Kutchel

Approximately 70 female students from schools across the City of Casey took part in the Girl Guides Victoria Women of Note Casey Mentor Breakfast at the start of May.

The breakfast is an annual event which has been running for 25 years, and is supported by the City of Casey.

It allows year 11 girls from across Casey to come together and hear from mentors from a diverse range of careers, to give them an insight into their potential future pathway. The vocational areas are selected in advance by students and the breakfast’s committee selects mentors who are relatable to students and who are able to provide an insight into their professional experiences to date.

“We choose year 11 students because they’re seriously starting to think about their future, but it’s not a career expo. This is something where they get to hear successful professional business woman speak about their career journey, and speak to other women in careers or professions they might be considering” said Cath Stocks, Co-President Girl Guides Victoria Women of Note Casey Mentor Breakfast.

She said the room was abuzz with conversation, as the students grasped the opportunity to ask questions and hear inspirational stories.

“Some of the advice given is you can do it, never give up, knock on doors, don’t just sit back, ask questions, do anything you can to put yourself out there,” Ms Stocks said.

“We think it’s very inspiring. The mentors are from our own community and they are beautiful role models – kind, caring honest, good upstanding citizens. They show you don’t have to be ruthless to get to the top.”

Mentors this year included a policewoman, a paramedic and an interior designer, and Casey mayor Amanda Stapledon was also in attendance.

Ms Stocks herself was previously a mentor as a business owner, before being asked to join the event’s committee.

She said she is proud to be involved in giving back to the committee.

“There’s nothing like it, it’s really exciting to be able to offer this to our students.”

This year’s event also welcomed Professor Wendy Wright, scientist and researcher, as guest speaker.

Ms Wright also spoke at the very first mentor breakfast 25 years ago, making this year’s speech a poignant throwback.

Ms Wright was chosen because she had been instrumental in paving the way for young women with an interest in science and the environment – concerns which are at the forefront of society’s awareness, Ms Stocks explained.