Every month, we like to get to know a member of our amazing Victorian Guiding community a little better. This month we caught up with Assistant State Commissioner Billie Tranter.
Billie’s Guiding journey started 17 years ago, when her friend invited her to ‘bring a friend night’ at her local Unit. Now a Unit Leader for South Shepparton Senior Guides and the Victorian Assistant State Commissioner, Billie has some very inspiring insights to share as a young woman holding multiple leadership positions within the Guiding community.
How old were you when you joined Guides, and why did you join?
I joined Guides at South Shepparton when I was 8 years old. My friend invited me to a ‘bring a friend night’ and I loved it; I joined as a member the next week.
You currently hold the title of Assistant State Commissioner for Victoria. Could you tell us what this role involves, and what you’ve learned so far from your time as Assistant State Commissioner?
It’s been a really rewarding experience so far. I am part of the state team, and a big part of what we do is supporting the Guiding program and members in the state. I’ve been privileged to be able to travel around Victoria, attending ceremonies and celebrations and meeting lots of new and inspiring Girl Guides and volunteers. I’ve learnt quite a lot about how Guiding is managed in Victoria.
Prior to Assistant State Commissioner, I had been on the Girl Guides Australia Young Women’s Forum, which was a really beneficial experience as I learnt a lot about Guiding’s structure in Australia, how programs are managed and what a lot of Guiding terms mean. I’d highly recommend this kind of experience to young women in Victoria.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I’m not sure that it was a specific piece of advice, but as a Guide I was given a lot of support and encouragement in the advocacy space. My Guide Leader was very passionate about us challenging ourselves, and this was an area I was interested in so she gave me a lot of support in speaking up for what I believe in.
I was terrified of public speaking when I was younger. But the support I got from my Leader, and her encouragement to use our voices to speak up for others and provide a platform for young people (especially girls) to be able to speak up for themselves really helped me become the person I am today.
Who are the three guests you would most like to have at your dinner table?
There are many people I’d love to have dinner with, but my dream guest would be Jane Austen — I’m a big fan of her writing and I think it would be fascinating to have a conversation with her. I’d also be inviting Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai. I am so inspired by their stories and their ability to advocate for the things they are passionate about. I’d be quite awestruck at this dinner table!
When do you feel the most courageous?
I feel most courageous when I’m trying something new, especially something that’s outside of my comfort zone.
Being in that state of discomfort and doing the unknown always feels the most rewarding afterwards. I would always prefer to try something new and maybe not be great at it, but know that I gave it a go rather than sitting inside my bubble, perhaps not learning and doing as much as I could be.