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“The reason we’d been put together became clear very quickly”

KPMG has been an AIEF Partner for over 10 years, supporting AIEF Scholarship Students through a variety of activities, including the AIEF Mentor Program.

There are currently 18 KPMG mentors from offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. They support students one-on-one by listening, assisting with goal setting and study plans, helping students recognise their strengths, acting as a sound board for ideas and problems, and providing a stable and consistent presence in their student’s life.

Kymberly Dryden, Manager R&D Incentives at KPMG, started in the AIEF Mentor Program in 2018. Kymberley mentors Tarli, who is in Year 11 at St Vincent’s College, Potts Point, and below gives an insight into her experience.

How did you hear about the AIEF Mentor Program? I read about it in the KPMG newsletter.

Why did you sign up to be an AIEF Mentor? I read about the program, and thought that it was a great opportunity to provide the sort of guidance that I would have loved to have had when I was younger.

What have you learnt from being an AIEF Mentor? I’ve learnt a lot, including different communication styles and how to assist others in forming their own decisions rather than telling them the answers.

What was it like the first time you met Tarli at the induction event? I was actually very nervous, but we had a lot of structured tasks for us to work through together which helped us get to know each other. I think it became clear very quickly why we had been matched together.

What kinds of activities do you and Tarli do together? We mainly catch up for dinner near her school.

What has been the highlight of your relationship? We did an Escape Room Challenge together at the last AIEF event which was great fun, and we were able to escape the room with time to spare!

What is your favourite thing about Tarli? Tarli is involved in lots of sports and extra-curricular activities and seems to be willing to give anything a go – I don’t know how she does it!

What does Tarli want to do when she finishes Year 12? How are you helping her make these decisions? Tarli wants to study psychology, and has a good understanding of what’s involved. We have spoken about the types of opportunities and jobs that might exist for her when she graduates, and my own experiences at university. It’s still early days and I’m sure that it’s all subject to change.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of joining the AIEF Mentor Program? It’s a great experience – I’d encourage anyone that’s interested to reach out to some of the mentors within the KPMG network to ask any questions.

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The achievements of your young students are the important outcomes upon which to focus. Education is a proven way to positively impact on a young life and provide pathways for a better future.

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Federal Member for Sydney


The AIEF Scholarship Program and the AIEF Pathways Program are supported by the Australian Government in collaboration with individual, philanthropic and corporate supporters from the private sector.