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National Report February 2020

Girl Guides - Girl Rock February 1, 2020: Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), Australia. Credit: Ryan C / Event Photos Australia

Welcome to 2020!

A NEW year brings NEW beginnings – new girls in our Guide Units, new Leaders, new families learning about Girl Guides, new opportunities for each of us, new ways to explore to support girls grow, new activities to try, new campsites to visit, new adventure to be had, new challenges to master and so much more!

Please take time to reflect – what are you going to do NEW this year so more girls can enjoy this great game we call GIRL GUIDING?

I am excited to be starting the year with new Assistant Chief Commissioners. Welcome Miranda Cummings, Assistant Chief Commissioner (International) and Michaela Collins, Assistant Chief Commissioner (Young Women).

It was wonderful to share with so many Leaders from Girl Guides Victoria on 1 February at their annual Girls Rock celebration. The State Commissioner baton was exchanged at Girls Rock. A special welcome to Janelle Howell as the new State Commissioner for Girl Guides Victoria. I wish Janelle and her team all the best as they take up their roles and I look forward to working with Janelle closely as she joins the leadership of Girl Guiding in Australia.

With welcomes come farewells. Congratulations and thanks are extended to Lynne Emblin who has been State Commissioner in Girl Guides Victoria for six years. A very HUGE BRAVO to Lynne and her team for the dedication and commitment they have given to Girl Guiding in Victoria.

While giving BRAVOS – I ask you to join me, as you read this update, in two VERY HUGE BRAVOs for Anne Crummy and Bronwyn Cole. Anne Crummy has completed a six year term as National Outdoors Manager and Bronwyn Cole completes four years as National International Manager. These women have given above and beyond in many ways to ensure Guides around Australia have enjoyed exciting adventures in the outdoors and had the opportunity to explore Guiding globally. Thank you Anne and Bronwyn and we wish you well in all that Guiding has in store for your future.

CONGRATULATIONS also to the many members who were acknowledged for their community service at Australia Day ceremonies around the country. Thank you and BRAVO.

As the new year unfolded, we were shocked and saddened by the devastation from natural disasters, in particular the bushfires that ravaged our beautiful country. It was tragic. Thanks to so many who have so generously opened their hearts, provided support in the impacted communities, and given financially. Girl Guides Australia has been overwhelmed at the support offered to us by our global sisters. To all who have donated we give a very heartfelt THANK YOU.

You may have seen the Wall of Support on the Girl Guides Australia website – this shows messages from Guides not just from Australia but from Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world. It is a beautiful tribute and we thank all who have taken the time to send good wishes.

A special collectors’ badge is available so our members can show their support of the Bushfire Crisis which impacted communities all around Australia. The theme of the badge is Hearts and Hands. The 2019-2020 bushfire crisis impacted many hearts and many hands went to work; it will take many more hearts and many, many more hands to help in the recovery and rebuilding process. Badges are $5 each and can be purchased through the Girl Guides Australia website and State Girl Guide retail outlets.

February is time for us in Australia to think of our global sisters. World Thinking Day is celebrated by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all around the world on 22 February. As a global Movement with 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 150 countries, all with diverse backgrounds and experiences, World Thinking Day 2020 will celebrate this diversity in our Movement. WAGGGS have released Living Threads, a resource designed to inspire you to reflect on how you can put equity and inclusion into practice, and celebrate the diversity in your communities and beyond. It is available for download from the WAGGGS website.

With every best wish for the year ahead – I hope you welcome many NEW members and have many NEW and exciting Guiding adventures!

Rosemary Derwin
Chief Commissioner

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