I had the opportunity to meet up with Dr Dinesh Palipana, OAM and his mentee Lucinda Wojtaszak during our Industry Mentoring Program (IMP) End-of-Year celebration on the Gold Coast. I was very keen to catch up with them both after their glowing nominations for the Griffith Industry Mentoring Program’s Mentoring Excellence and Most Engaged Mentee Awards.

Mentor Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM and his mentee Lucinda Wojtaszak.

As a doctor, lawyer, scientist, educator and disability advocate, Dr Dinesh Palipana is one of the busiest people I know. He is also a big believer in “paying it forward” and despite his packed diary, joined the IMP as a mentor in 2020. Since that time, he has generously mentored several students. His kindness and commitment to helping others is always evident and we are very grateful for his support.

Dinesh’s connection with Lucinda was particularly special and he shared how rewarding this experience has been for him and what a pleasure it was to mentor her. “Lucinda has been an enthusiastic, motivated, and energetic mentee. She has always been so engaged in our conversations and I have admired how proactive she has been throughout the Program. I have always looked forward to our meetings and the energy she brings to our lively discussions”.

Lucinda, a current Bachelor of Biomedical Science student with the long-term career goal of becoming a Neurologist, has discovered a newfound confidence and clarity for her future career path. She shared that, “Through every twist and turn of my uncertain journey, Dinesh was a constant pillar of support. His unwavering encouragement and patience were my guiding light, helping me find clarity amid the chaos of my ever-evolving aspirations”.

Having a mentor who is an inspiration to so many can be daunting. Lucinda had to push through her initial uncertainty in approaching Dinesh. She knew his time was precious, and ensured she was prepared for every meeting so as not to waste a second. She advised anyone considering the Industry Mentoring Program “…to jump out of your comfort zone and do those things that make you want to squirm. Use your time with your Mentor effectively as even though the time is limited, you can gain so much out of it.”

Dinesh believes in putting in the effort for self-improvement and offered the following advice to Lucinda, “Strive to be 1% better every day across any and all aspects of life and over time these small improvements will add up to enhance your individuality and increase your likelihood of success”.  Lucinda intends to live by what she has learnt from her time in the IMP, and it would be hard not to get caught up in her enthusiasm for her bright future – something she says is largely due to the guidance she received from her exceptional mentor.

We were delighted when Lucinda generously and enthusiastically accepted our invitation to present the Vote of Thanks speech on behalf of all 2023 mentees at the Gold Coast End-of-Year event. She delivered a warm, humourous and touching address to our assembled guests, her heartfelt words encapsulating the gratitude of all IMP mentees who have benefited from the guidance and support of their mentors this year.  She remarked that “the true essence of Mentoring is to have someone who believes in you, guides you and opens your eyes to new possibilities that you’d never thought you could achieve”.  Despite his busy schedule, Dinesh was in the audience to support her as she spoke.

Dinesh and Lucinda’s mentoring journey has been inspirational, marked with courage, dedication and a strong commitment towards personal and professional growth.  As we wrap up the 2023 Program, we look forward to supporting more transformational connections like this one in 2024, the 30th anniversary of the IMP.

For more information please contact:

Breeda Crowley

Industry Mentoring Coordinator, Student Success, Griffith University

Phone: +61 7 5678 0573

Mobile: 0449 618616

Email: [email protected]

Program Email: [email protected]

Website: www.griffith.edu.au/careers-employment/industry-mentoring-program