During 2020 the Girl Guides Victoria (GGV) Reconciliation Working Group has continued to meet regularly, usually by Zoom, to continue to develop a pathway for Girl Guides Victoria to become a more inclusive organisation.
The Working Group is made up of eight members including:
- those who identify as First Nations and those who are non-identifying;
- those from metro Melbourne and those from regional Victoria; and
- a mix of Volunteers and Joyce Price Centre (JPC) Team members.
We have prepared a second draft of our RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan), outlining the actions we propose to take in our first ‘RAP year’. The RAP has been approved by the Girl Guides Victoria State Leadership Team and submitted to Reconciliation Australia as a proposal. Reconciliation Australia will need to endorse our RAP before we can adopt it. This is to ensure that what has been written is appropriate and achievable, and will stand up to public scrutiny.
The core pillars of our RAP are:
- To develop and foster relationships with First Nations communities;
- To build and engender respect for First Nations people and cultures; and
- To develop more opportunities for First Nations people to become part of Girl Guides, whether as youth members, Leaders, Volunteers or staff.
We have commenced working on some of the actions that are needed to commence our reconciliation journey, and to make sure that everyone is on this journey together. Our main achievements to date have been:
- Developing a training program to ensure that adult Volunteers and staff have the opportunity to learn about First Nations cultures, to help Girl Guides Victoria to become a ‘culturally safe’ space and to support Leaders to feel confident to run First Nations activities and events. Pilot training sessions will commence in September 2020 and will be offered via Zoom.
- Developing and proposing a more appropriate Acknowledgement of Country so that the wording is suitable for younger Girl Guides to read and say.
- Purchasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags for GGV.
- Developing educational material that will support GGV to:
a) Engage with First Nations communities respectfully;
b) Undertake activities such as Acknowledgement of Country and use of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags with the appropriate protocol; and
c) Access resources that Leaders can use in their Units to support First Nations youth members and Leaders and to explore First Nations history and culture in their program. These are available online for interested Leaders.
- Developed a Reconciliation Badge to be worn on the Girl Guide sash. The badge syllabus requires Girl Guides to attend an approved cultural activity such as participating in a local activity for Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day, Mabo Day, NAIDOC etc.
Are you an Aboriginal Guide Leader?
We are keen for other members of Girl Guide Victoria who identify as First Nations to be involved with the work we do! You could join the Working Group as a regular member, or be consulted on projects that you are particularly interested in, or be available to check over materials or help with events.
If this is you, please contact our Sponsor, Gwenda Freeman on 0417 580 931 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you, even if just for a chat.