We asked Zoe de Paola, Olave member and Coordinator of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, five questions. Here is how it went:
1.Aside from Girl Guides activities, what do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy volunteering with the Access Monash Mentor program. It’s a great initiative to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds in achieving their goal of studying at university.
I’m new to Melbourne, so I also love to discover new places in the city and go to the beach with my friends.
2.How old were you when you joined Girl Guides and why did you join?
I joined Girl Guides when I was 13 years old, halfway through Year 7 (which often surprises people!). My closest friend invited me to a ‘bring a friend night’ at the Shepparton Senior Guide Unit. It opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities available through Girl Guiding, and it was so much fun to hang out with the other girls in the unit, I instantly knew I would make amazing memories with them.
3.What would the title of your autobiography be?
‘Always’. I’m always seeking out new opportunities and always looking for a new challenge, both within Girl Guiding and life generally.
4.What would you take with you to a deserted island?
Probably a fellow Girl Guide! Together we could use our camping experience and other Girl Guide knowledge to best ‘be prepared’ for whatever happens.
5.What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There is a particular quote I love from Juliette Low: ‘Badges are not medals to wear on your sleeve to show what a smart girl you are. A badge is a symbol that you have done the thing that it stands for often enough, thoroughly enough and well enough to be prepared to give service in it’. This doesn’t just relate to Guiding, but any milestone in life. It has made me realise achievements are most satisfying when the journey supports you in becoming a better person.