Mentor Support Network appoints new leaders

Mentor Support Network appoints new leaders

Newcastle and Hunter Region’s Mentor Support Network (MSN) has appointed two new leaders for the not-for-profit organisation which has been operating since 2005.

Judy Hart, a retired pharmacist who has been involved in community volunteering for many years, is MSN’s new Chairperson.

Judy joins another new but friendly face for the organisation, Melinda Smith, who has been unanimously endorsed by the MSN committee as its Patron.

Judy and Melinda said they were both honoured to be approached to take up positions for MSN, a regional organisation that provides training, professional development, and networking for mentors while also conducting a 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.

Judy has held a variety of executive board positions, including Chair, in numerous not-for-profit and community organisations.

“I have a firm belief in the value of mentoring for the achievement of education and career potential and am delighted to be involved with Mentor Support Network,” said Judy.

She takes over the position of Chairperson from Shayne Connell who stepped down at MSN’s recent 2022 Annual General Meeting because of increased work and family commitments.

Shayne, who had been Chair for 18 months, thanked the MSN committee for its hard work and the organisation’s volunteers for their time and dedication in helping the young people who benefit from MSN.

Melinda is a strong advocate for mentoring and helped establish MSN in 2005 where she served on the Executive Committee and has subsequently been awarded Life Membership. She has continually maintained interest and assisted MSN in its activities.

Melinda, who spent 25 years in the media across radio and television, co-anchoring NBN Television’s 6pm News for more than a decade before establishing her own successful corporate communication and public relations consultancy, is MSN’s new Patron following the untimely passing last year of Dr Bernie Curran AM who filled the position since 2019.

She is also a non-executive board director of The Mutual Bank and has supported the work of many regional charities and community organisations as well as the University of Newcastle’s MBA Advisory Board and 2NURFM’s Advisory Board.

Judy and Melinda have already participated in their first official function for MSN by being involved in the organisation’s 2022 Scholarship Ceremony where 35 students were presented with their education scholarships.

MSN has now presented nearly 400 scholarships valued at more than $700,000 in its 17 years of operation.


IMAGE | MSN’S new leaders – Melinda Smith (left) and Judy Hart (right).

Mentor Support Network

Formerly known as Hunter Youth Mentoring Collaborative Inc. (HYMC), and established in 2005, Mentor Support Network (MSN) is a not-for-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged students achieve their educational goals.

MSN, in conjunction with volunteers, members and the corporate sector, provide regular networking events, annual forums, scholarship programs and youth mentor training.

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