What is the Mentor program?

WIAS is a network of skydiving women and men, committed to building the participation and retention of women, through skill-building and inclusion.  

Mentoring is nothing new, particularly in sport. We’ve all turned to an experienced friend or colleague for advice, especially when we’re learning something new or facing a new challenge. The WIAS Mentor program follows this concept in a more structured way, to help guide skydivers through a challenging learning process.

Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship, in which an experienced skydiver helps a newer member on the pathway to achieve their goals. It’s confidential and it usually takes about one hour per month (in person or via phone/skype) over six months. The mentor focuses on the needs of the mentee and gives them options to help them find their own direction.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”- John Crosby


  • To achieve a higher retention rate for women in skydiving.
  • To ensure women of all experience levels feel they are part of a vibrant, inclusive culture that provides equal opportunities.
  • To encourage women in skydiving to achieve respected roles in leadership, instruction, coaching and competition.


Using the WIAS Mentor program to inform and support newer skydivers

Using the WIAS Mentor program as a communication network between mentors and mentees

Identifying ways of upskilling women and developing leadership skills to take on leadership roles

Supporting events and projects that are directed to these goals

Using existing APF tools – website/ASM/email broadcast – to promote women doing great things in our sport.


Tokenism – This program is not just about pretty pictures of happy women waving around the pink logo. It is a genuine effort to improve women’s skills and sense of achievement in our sport, seeking tangible results for retaining women of all experience levels.  

Reverse sexism – In working to be inclusive towards women, we must not be anti-men. Where practical, we’d encourage any female focussed events and projects to embrace any men in the sport who share our goals. 

Free kicks – It is never necessary to lower standards of competition, instruction or any other standard expected in the APF merely to give a woman an opportunity. 

Who needs a mentor?

Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship which involves a more experienced person helping a less experienced person to achieve their goals.

Effective mentoring

  • Is a relationship that focuses on the needs of the mentee
  • Encourages all mentees to develop to their fullest potential

(Mentoring Australia)

“ Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”- John Crosby


Who will know that I’ve got a mentor? 

Only the APF and those that you tell. The mentor relationship is strictly confidential unless you want it to be otherwise.

Can I choose my mentee/mentor?

If you have a person in mind for this, you may both apply to the APF for the program but you will need to fill in the questionnaire and follow the same process as others. We may find you a more suitable match.

Is there payment for my services as a mentor?

No, you’re doing it for the love of the sport! Good karma will pay dividends

Do I have to pay anything to be a mentee?

No, this is a benefit of your membership with the APF, as long as you’re a current financial member.

What happens if the mentor relationship doesn’t work out?

Mentoring relies on mutual respect. Although being similar types of people is not essential, valuing the characteristics that each brings to the relationship is. However, sometimes it doesn’t matter how much goodwill existed at the outset, clashing personalities can come to the fore. Opposing ways of doing things can be beneficial and a relationship where there are constant challenges and disagreements can have positive results. If your issues in the relationship are not resolvable, or you require assistance to resolve them, contact the APF for advice.

How do we meet?

You can meet at a location that is convenient to both of you. This can be face to face (Preferable) or over the phone, but it should be at a comfortable place without distractions. A bustling drop zone is probably not the best place to meet, unless you can find a private area.

Do we only meet once a month or will my mentor be available by phone and email when I need them?

Your mentor’s time is valuable, but if you ask nicely and with some notice she may agree to be available for ad hoc discussions as required.

Do I need to know my goals before I get a mentor?

No, but if you already have goals in mind – great! If you don’t have any specific goals before you start, this is all part of the discovery process.

What if I change my mind?

It’s natural to change your mind and decide that you have new goals or don’t need your mentor any more. You should include your mentor in these decisions as they are there to assist you objectively and won’t take it personally.

What if I can’t or don’t want to finish the mentoring program?

Let your mentor know as soon as possible and they will inform the APF. Your mentor will ask you questions and see if this is the right decision for you, so be prepared to be honest as all feedback is gratefully accepted. Be assured that your mentor won’t take this break-up personally!

Will my mentor encourage me not to do things that I want to do?

Your mentor’s role is to remain objective and not influence your choices, except to help you to analyse your options and opportunities. Your mentor doesn’t have a hidden agenda or ulterior motives but will probe you by asking the right questions to ensure your decisions are well thought out.

Do I have to be friends with my mentor/mentee?

While many people develop long-lasting friendships as a result of the mentoring partnership, it doesn't always happen naturally. Mentoring is a relationship between two people who mutually respect each other and there are professional boundaries. Participating in a mentorship does not mean that you have to offer or will receive special opportunities in the sport that others may not.

What can a mentor do for me?

  • A mentor will share experiences and valuable lessons to help you deal with similar decisions that they encountered
  • Will assist you to develop your progression and achievements in the sport with a range of advice and expertise
  • Will build confidence, raise self-esteem and push you to find opportunities to succeed
  • Be a sounding board for problem solving and discuss different approaches and narrow down the options
  • Can help you integrate easily in the skydiving community – discuss experiences with fitting in at your DZ or breaking into a new group with confidence
  • Provide support with whatever it is that is important to you in skydiving (or discovering what that is)

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How do I become involved in the Mentor program?

click here.jpgTo fill in the confidential Mentee Questionnaire

Mentees can: Learn new skills, achieve bigger goals, learn to make better decisions, develop greater confidence and establish opportunities to network with experienced mentors and other skydivers.


How do I become a mentor?

Great! It takes a special person to give their time and energy to someone who needs it more.

click here.jpgto fill in the confidential Mentor questionnaire

You don’t have to be a high achiever or an instructor. We are always looking for mentors who fit the following criteria:

  • many years involvement in the sport of skydiving
  • experience in different aspects of the sport (competing, instructing, coaching, judging, coordinating events, sports administration/council, etc)
  • patience and passion to empower others to improve
  • a good listener and perceptive about others’ motivations as well as their strengths and weaknesses
  • able to understand and use what motivates a person to drive them to succeed
  • confident, mature and positive outlook
  • objective and open-minded approach
  • adaptable to changing priorities
  • give feedback in a positive and constructive way
  • has at least one hour per month (in person or by phone) to spend with mentee

Support WIAS

You do not have to be female to support this program, as WIAS is an inclusive community of skydivers that aims to:

  • Achieve a higher retention rate for women in skydiving
  • Ensure women of all experience levels feel they are part of a vibrant, inclusive culture that provides equal opportunities
  • Encourage women in skydiving to achieve respected roles in leadership, instruction, coaching and competition.

Supporters of WIAS may be people that are not ready to become a mentor or perhaps, do not feel that a mentor – mentee relationship would work for them. Perhaps you have just graduated from a mentor- mentee relationship and now you wish to add your passion to the program. Supporters of WIAS can be anyone!   

WIAS is more than the mentor program…It is about leadership, instruction, coaching and competition.

click here.jpg To show your support for Women in Adventure Sport. 


The WIAS Program aims to provide support and opportunities for women in skydiving and to encourage participation and retention.



Australian Sports Commission (ASC)- Making Mentors

This is a guide produced by the ASC to help sporting clubs/organisations/individuals establish a successful Mentoring Program. There are many tips and guides to follow; this is a useful resource to those who are contemplating becoming a Mentor. By Rebecca Layton

Mentoring: Similarities and Differences

There are many professional relationships in the learning, achieving and journey of the sport. The most commonly known are mentors, coaches and instructors. Even though there are many similarities, there are also some subtle but important differences to understand. This table will help you differentiate between each institution.

Skysisters Facebook Group

SKYSISTERS is about encouraging, supporting, motivating and challenging experienced, up-and-coming, and new female skydivers through skills camps, record attempts, conventions, education and communication.


Women and Girls Principles and Checklist for Sport and Recreation Organisations

A comprehensive resource that provides information regarding programs and funding opportunities. 

Graphics and marketing materials for use with APF permission.


WIAS Poster (A2)

WIAS Brochure



Support for women in skydiving. Women's Adventure Magazine, 17 December, 2014

Elite skydiver Amy Chmeleckie: Inspiring women in skydiving. Still Stoked, For women in Action Sports, 4 December, 2014

Catching up with Katja Larinen, Freestylist. Skydive Mag, 3 Dec. 2014

Canberra mums skydiving for charity in Mother Jumpers. The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 November, 2014

Golden Knights' female - only skydiving squad deserves respect. Sports Illustrated, 26 November, 2014

Women's World Record, 117 way - Perris Valley. Channel 9 interview, 22 October 2014 VIDEO

Women In Adventure Sport...Absolutely By Mel Curtis, 8 October 2014

Lisa Perdichizzi Scholarship

As part of its commitment to a diverse and inclusive culture, the APF and the Perdichizzi Family are offering an annual scholarship to encourage women in skydiving through upskilling, training and leadership development. 

Lisa Perdichizzi

The Scholarship

The Lisa Perdichizzi Scholarship has been created through Lisa’s Family and an APF grant to support skydivers in:

  1. Elite sports development, or
  2. Career pathways, or  
  3. Other identifiable leadership roles

One scholarship, valued at $2,500 is available to any individual APF member (any gender, any experience level) to undertake training/coaching/education/personal development as part of their plan to improve female retention and growth in our sport.

Note: This education would need to be a formally recognised training course or a clearly defined program of coaching in excess of what the candidate is currently doing. This scholarship is not intended to simply offset training costs for a current female competitor. There must be a clear and new benefit to the APF.

Criteria and process

Applications must be made via the APF online process.  

Candidates must:

  • Define the category of their application – Elite Sports Development or Career pathway
  • Outline what training/coaching/education/personal development will be paid for through the scholarship.
  • Outline how this training/coaching/education/personal development fits into a plan to retain and grow female membership.
  • Commit to providing receipts and progress reports as reasonably required by the APF
  • Be a current APF member and reside in Australia

Candidates must demonstrate the following personal qualities and skills

  • Desire to boost female retention and growth in skydiving
  • Willingness to engage in speaking appointments if required 
  • Strong, positive social media presence to promote APF objectives
  • Desire to mentor and support newer female members and contribute to WIAS Mentor program

Applications will be judged on likely medium to long term benefits to the candidate and the sport of skydiving. 

2021 Applications open on January 14th and close at 5pm AEST on March 31st, 2021. 

The recipients will be decided by the APF and awarded by the end of April.

Apply for the Scholarship

Please note: Many programs or ideas to boost female retention and growth initiatives are also eligible for support through the APF Fiona McEachern Sport Development Fund


Stephanie Vaughan Mentor


   Girls at Toogs


Deb Hobbs Mentor 1

 Stephanie Vaughan - WIAS Mentor
 Fun times at Toogoolawah! Deb Hobbs - WIAS Mentor




  Janine Hayes Mentor

 Bellatrix - Bronze medal at 2015 WC  Janine Hayes - WIAS Mentor


Millie Spinoza WIAS Mentor


  Riss Anderson WIAS Mentor


Fun in the Sun

Millie Spinoza - WIAS Mentor  Riss Anderson - WIAS Mentor  Fun in the Sun!




WIAS website logo.png


Bellatrix 4 way FS team pic by Dan Tothill

 WIAS Logo 2017 - 

WIAS Logo 2014- 2016  Bellatrix 4 Way FS Team & National

Women's Champions


 Leanne Critchley


Kate Vaughan WIAS Mentor


sonya 2

Leanne Critchley - SQPC Administrator

 Kate Vaughan - WIAS Mentor  Hello from FNQ -  Sonya Gelman


Shelly exit


FunnyFarm 2017


Girls Go Large 7 way

 Shelly Delaney  Funny Farm - 2017  Girls Go Large - Toogoolawah - 2017