Operations Flinders – Peer Group Mentor Program Update

Peer Group Mentor Employment Outcome Development Program Plan| 2018 – 2020  

Funded by IMPACT100 SA

Context of Report and Summary

 The Operation Flinders Foundation transforms young lives through world leading evidence based outback intervention programs, leadership and youth development. The eight-day intervention programs (exercises) in the Flinders Ranges provide youth ‘at-risk’ with demanding outdoor challenges and further ongoing support.

Our aim is to empower young people even further through ongoing follow up and leadership opportunities once they complete the eight day outback intervention program in the Flinders Ranges. Through the Peer Group Mentor (PGM) Program participants are empowered to grow, learn and increase their life and employability skills. Peer Group Mentors (PGMs) in 2018 have joined the program through two pathways, either directly nominated by field staff, based on their performance during an exercise, or past participants may self-nominate. In 2018 the Foundation has received approximately 50% of all nominations from each pathway, with 112 youth aged 14-18 active in the PGM program.

The PGM program is an integral ‘arm’ of the Foundation delivering valuable training and opportunities for young people in our community. The PGM program supports young people to acquire skills and knowledge they can utilise more broadly. This has been made a major focus of our year, thanks to the Impact100 SA grant. Whilst the original purpose of the PGM program remains the same, to develop mentors who can walk again on an exercise and mentor other youth at risk, the move towards greater accountability and professionalism is exciting. The program in 2018 has made moves to encapsulate the broad notion of ‘youth development’ looking to offer the young people tangible recognition they can utilise beyond the scope of the Operation Flinders Foundation.

Through the IMPACT100 grant Operation Flinders was able to focus our newly hired Training Manager, Lana Dulic, to specifically meet the goals of setting up and delivering an accredited VET and employability program for PGMs. Lana is the key person to spearhead what we have called the Peer Group Mentor Employment Outcome Development Project which is funded by the grant. Lana’s background includes many years as a case worker working with high risk teens and running training and employment programs for this clientele. Much time has been spent scoping and interviewing several potential Registered Training Organisations (RTO) to ascertain which provider would best suit our program’s needs.

From all the RTO’s we engaged with, it was clear that Scouts Australia could provide a nationally accredited partnership for Operation Flinders which was robust and still allowed for Operation Flinders to tailor make the training program to a wilderness therapy context whilst providing a framework for the outcomes of focusing on workplace development and training for PGMs.

Through the IMPACT100 grant Operation Flinders will be offering Certificate II level nationally recognised training in Outdoor Recreation partnering with Scouts Australia, to the PGMs. The IMPACT100 grant will fund each PGM’s Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation and its associated workplace training/readiness components. Each unit of competency in the Certificate II completed will provide the PGM with employability skills and further SACE points. The competencies in the Certificate II are non-technical skills which play a significant part in contributing to an individual’s effective and successful participation in the workplace. The Certificate II will be delivered across training intensives, run over 5 days, where 15 units will be taught and assessed.

Incorporated into the five day delivery, PGMs will link up with job service providers, complete resumes, do mock interviews and prepare for job readiness. We will be supported in this, by our already existing and positive relationships with job service providers such as Job Prospects and Culturise. Our corporate sponsors will also endeavour to support us by offering work placement opportunities for PGMs, with Operation Flinders being the key link between the two. Operation Flinders will launch a corporate sponsors PGM workplace initiative through a targeted event/forum, with follow up information provided at further Operation Flinders corporate lunches, events and gatherings to keep this a focus of ongoing engagement and opportunity for PGM workplace opportunities.


The following is a summary of the program plan, Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation and Workplace Training schedule and dates of implementation:

Key Focus Area: Develop partnerships with Registered Training organisation (RTOs)
Objectives Actions required Project Driver Measure Review/Progress notes
1.       Provide Peer Group Mentors (PGMs) with an opportunity to access further training they otherwise would not have access to in order to improve their employment outcomes


–          Identify potential RTOs suitable for our client cohort

–          Set up meetings/negotiate prices

–          Choose an RTO based on qualifications on scope

–          Form a partnership

–          Complete a business case and model

–          Track spending

–          Training Manager –          Meeting minutes

–          Emails

–          Signed partnership agreement

–          6 monthly
Key Focus Area: Improve PGMs employability skills through provision of Nationally Recognised Qualifications
Objectives Actions required Project Driver Measure Review/Progress notes
1.       Higher employment        rates for PGMs/’at risk youth’

2.       Positive outcomes for families and those ‘indirectly’ impacted by behaviours

3.       Further opportunities for PGMs to gain skills that would benefit their long term futures/goals



–          Map PGM program to relevant qualifications

–          Promote the training to PGMs

–          Develop and deliver training that is relevant to their skillset and goals

–          Identify individual goals and support them to access alternative training not offered by Operation Flinders/Partnering RTO

–          Training Manager

–          Youth Development Manager


–          Number of enrolments into course

–          Number of completed Units of Competency (UOC)

–          Number of completed qualifications

–          Number of work experiences

–          At the end of each delivery of UOC

–          At the end of each qualification

–          Throughout the whole process eg. evaluation/feedback forms

Key Focus Area: Develop partnerships with Job Service providers 
Objectives Actions required Project Driver Measure Review/Progress notes
1.       Improve employment outcomes for Peer Group Mentors

2.       Provide PGMs with the opportunity to gain work experience

3.       Link them up with Operation Flinders’ current corporate supporters and other organisations

–          Identify relevant and appropriate job service providers/corporate supporters

–          Set up meetings

–          Identify roles and responsibilities of all involved

–          Promote our services to current corporate supporters and potential organisations who are wanting to support the foundation

–          Collaborate with Business manager to  identify current corporate supporters who are willing to engage with Operation Flinders to create workplace opportunities for PGMs

–          Link PGMs with corporate supporters who will then support them in securing work experience/job placements


–          Training Manager

–          Business Manager

–          Meeting minutes

–          Number of completed resumes

–          Number of secured work experiences/job placements

–          Signed partnership agreements/Memorandum of understanding (MOU)

–          Follow up register


–          Every 6 months

–          After each placement


Certificate II Outdoor Recreation (Scouts Australia) Training and Employment Program Plan

 There will be three delivery/training program dates for PGMs for 2019:

  • 13th – 18th April
  • 12th – 17th July
  • 4th – 9th October

 Employability service partners Operation Flinders have met with interested in engaging with this program include:

  • IKON Institute – potential Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
  • Job Prospects
  • Workskills
  • TAFE
  • Maxima
  • Culturise: Diversity and Inclusion
  • Wesley Mission
  • Student Assertive Outreach, Centacare program