The MENTORAPDG Program matches and connects mentees with potential mentors, provides a flexible structure to set clear goals and inspires interconnectivity between generations of designers.

“The job of the mentor is a strange one: not simply offering skills, companionship or an ideal self.

The mentor is an authoritative guide, using worldly wisdom to encourage maturation. They help the protege enrich, clarify and hone their consciousness: they juggle hard reality and gleaming possibility.”

– Damon Young, In Moments like these, we need Mentors, April 26 2010 SMH


The 2021-22 MENTORAPDG Program will be selecting 4 live performance or event mentees and 4 screen mentees. Applications closed on June 28, 2021.

In 2021 the program is open to the following specialisations:
  • Live Performance; Set Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Video Design, Make-up Design, Event Design, Set & Costume Design.
  • Screen; Production Design, Costume Design, Art Direction, Hair and Make-up Design, Set Decoration and VFX Design.


The relationship between mentee and mentor will be unique and will evolve over the mentorship. It will consist of four in-depth meetings over a 12 month period. These meetings will set career goals, provide feedback and discussion of the mentee’s approach to design and provide general career advice. Free-flowing conversation is encouraged at all times along the lines of the following suggested topics:

Feedback on mentee’s body of work to date:

  • A review of the mentee’s selected portfolio to establish what is working well/less well.
  • Discuss employment opportunities that come up and current work in progress.

Skills (collaborative, technical and managerial):

  • Design skills that may need improving, such as – drafting, visual communication, computer, illustration, graphics, time management, budgeting and scheduling.
  • Working with contracts, agents, producers, and running a freelance business.
  • Collaboration skills such as the director/designer relationship, designer/DOP relationship, working effectively with Production Managers.


  • What is “good design”?
  • The creative process – how do other designers practice?
  • The role of documentation – what are the expectations of companies and directors?
  • Responding to new technologies and work methods.


Potential mentees will apply using the application form below. Please indicate your preference for Screen or Live Performance mentoring; although many of the designer’s practices are common to both industry sectors the career paths are quite distinct. Graduates of tertiary training intuitions are encouraged to apply. Two years professional experience is a pre-requisite for applying to the program. The program is open to emerging and mid-career practitioners. 


Mentees will be selected on the strength of their application and whether an appropriate mentee/mentor match can be established. The following criteria are followed in selecting mentees:

  1. Training and skills.
  2. Professional experience working as a designer in Stage, events and/or Screen. A minimum of 2 years professional experience is a prerequisite. 
  3. High standard of design thinking and realisation of ideas.
  4. Career aspirations.


MENTORAPDG co-ordinators will endeavour to make an appropriate match, taking into account mentee and mentor preferences.
Mentors are typically based in capital cities, however mentees living regionally are encouraged to participate as the mentorship can take place via email, Skype and phone as well as some face to face meetings.

Please note that the mentorship is an association between individual practitioners and is not affiliated with stage productions, film projects or employment opportunities.


This is a voluntary, unpaid scheme in a structured format, with guidelines from APDG.

Mentors are established designers (at least 15 years professional experience).

APDG will provide support and management of the mentor program throughout its one year term.

It is expected you will be prepared to answer questions, offer advice and guidance in the creative and professional steps that your mentee can take to realise their goals.

We invite you to participate in this opportunity to share hard-earned knowledge and to experience the fulfilment in helping a younger designer. This is an exchange both ways!


Completed online Application Form (below)

Upload the following documents in the application form:

Resume/CV. (Max. 2MB)
Selected Portfolio: 4-10 pages, PDF (Max. 5MB)
Statement of intent: Why you would like to participate in the MENTORAPDG 2020 and what you would like to gain from the program? (Max. 2MB)


Current full or emerging designer membership of APDG is a prerequisite. Student membership will need to be upgraded to emerging designer membership.

Application Fee: $50

Join now or upgrade at www.apdg.org.au/membership


For Mentees:

Complete the online APPLICATION FORM now.

For Mentors:

Potential mentors are invited to email the co-ordinator applicable to your industry.


For Live Performance industry:

Email: mentor.liveperformance@apdg.org.au

Co-ordinator: Tobhiyah Stone Feller

For Screen Industry

Email: mentor.screen@apdg.org.au

Co-ordinator: Virginia Mesiti

Please note that the co-ordinators are professional practitioners working in a voluntary basis. APDG facilitates the program but the success of the program is reliant on both Mentor and Mentee committing to the suggested guidelines.

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