Girl Guides Victoria seeks to be an inclusive organisation and to create an organisational identity that is uniquely Victorian and Australian. We are working towards developing respectful cultural relationships within our organisation. We want to celebrate our unique Australian heritage, and ensure that all of our Leaders and Girl Guides learn more of the history, culture, and celebrations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander significance.
Various individuals and groups within GGV have acknowledged long connection to the land – including using Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander names for Patrols, Leaders’ nicknames, and properties – to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Some Units have regularly particiate in local activities such as NAIDOC week. There has been no organisational commitment to advancing reconciliation until now.
Girl Guides Victoria are committed to honouring the traditions and work of the Reconciliation Working Group, are committed to using an inclusive Promise and Law (adopted in 2012), and now embracing the concept of ‘inclusiveness’ with regard to First Nations people.
Girl Guides Victoria have prepared a National Reconciliation Action Plan in accordance with the Reconciliation Working Group in an effort to strengthen relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and organisations, increase respect and observation of cultural learning and protocols, along with embedding these values in to the traditions of Guiding.
“I am very excited that Victoria is going to be the first Girl Guide state to create a Reconciliation Action plan. I am proud of the work I have done as part of the working group, of the work completed, and excited about the changes which are coming. I know there has been development and change in progress for decades. My Guiding experience, as a result, has been more culturally safe than it was for my mum and her mum before her.”
Girl Guide Youth Member and Wiradjuri person
“As Girl Guides Victoria launches the first Girl Guides’ Reconciliation Action Plan in Australia, creating focus and space to learn, discover, grow and create a more inclusive and diverse Guiding organisation across Victoria, we will each also be embarking on our own personal journey, as individuals within the larger organisation. I expect we won’t get it all right, all the time; but I do expect we will admire and cherish the learnings and understandings that will make this a meaningful, sustainable and critically important series of steps to take. For me, the process has caused me to reflect on my own upbringing and knowledge of our First Nation Australians, the traditions and ways of doing things – from yarning circles,
‘Welcome to County’ greetings, to lullabies sung to young children.”
Janelle Howell | Wirrigirri