Collaborative Design Project gives students the opportunity to work with real world clients to simulate a real world working relationship, and immerse students into different communities and cultures around Victoria.

The South Wimmera LLEN Group runs a MATES Mentoring program for the Wimmera Southern Mallee region of Victoria. They create mentoring partnerships between disadvantaged and disengaged youth, and members of the local community. This provides opportunities for youth within school, recreational activities and work to feel empowered and supported by an adult role model as they move into adulthood. In addition, it allows for key knowledge and life skills to be passed onto future generations.

We were tasked with exploring a new avenue of bringing in mentors to the MATES Mentoring program. The LLEN group wanted a new approach, specifically targeting men between 30-50, as this was a demographic which they were in need of due to a lack of volunteers.

We have created the G’Day MATES campaign… This campaign expands on the MATES Mentoring program by providing additional benefits for volunteers, through a communal space where mentors can visit and socialize. Through having this “MATES Space”, it creates a social aspect to the MATES program, which allows volunteers to create meaningful bonds with other mentors, as well as seek support for their mentoring experience. This also allows current mentors to bring their mates or other community members into the space, to show off the importance of volunteering and to encourage them to mentor youth through the program… Lastly, our campaign allows the LLEN group to start a conversation around men’s mental health in the Wimmera Southern Mallee Region.

Our outcomes use bright warm colours and imagery to reflect the atmosphere of the region, as well as the mountainside idea to represent the struggle of mental health, with emphasis on social support and its ability to overcome this. Through both print and digital media, we utilised both photography and graphic imagery to inform the public about the Mates Mentoring Program and the G’Day MATES campaign and educate them about their mental fitness.

Our response revolves around creating a journey for the community, encouraging them to visit the MATES Space. When there, the LLEN group are able to discuss the MATES Mentoring program and how the benefits of the space have a positive impact on their own mental health, as well as the benefits to disadvantaged local youth.