Mentor Support Network announces new chairperson


A Hunter-based not-for-profit has appointed a new chairperson this week.

The Mentor Support Network (MSN) will be chaired by Shayne Connell, known for his longstanding work with support groups in the region.

The organisation, which is based in Merewether, helps students in financial need through providing scholarships and a support network. It also helps to develop mentors through providing training, networking and development.

Mr Connell is a community leader with a strong repertoire of experience to bring to the role.

He is the Chief Executive of LivingWorks, a leading suicide intervention training company, and has previous experience working for the Cancer Council NSW and the City of Newcastle.

Mr Connell praised the Mentor Support Network in helping to 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.

Refugee students ‘virtually’ presented MSN – Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Scholarships

A $30,000 grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has funded the Mentor Support Network (MSN) to provide scholarships for 10 Hunter students who came to Australia as refugees. Students were provided the scholarships ‘virtually’ after the scheduled presentation ceremony was cancelled to reduce the risk of spreading the Covid19 virus. MSN and the Charitable Foundation opted to announce the scholarships via a digital presentation. This video features videos from the students and Chair of the Foundation, Phil Neat as well as MSN Chair Jon Chin. Our sincere thanks to the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and to Purser Corporate Communication.

Posted by Mentor Support Network on Thursday, 16 April 2020

“Since 2003, the network 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,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Connell praised the work of outgoing Chair Jon Chin, who had been in the role since 2017 and helped to expand the reach of the organisation through developing the Education Scholarship program and launching the Refugee Student Education Awards.

Mr Chin also used his experience in the clubs industry to establish links that gave the organisation more financial support to continue its work.

Visit or email [email protected] for more information on the Mentor Support Network.