A State Commissioner and Board Chair update from the Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT Board of Directors

28 May 2024

The Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT Board has pressed pause on the recruitment process of the next State Commissioner, suspending the process. The current candidates have been informed and they remain as candidates for consideration in the role.

The Board would like to thank Emily Milton Smith for her time in the role of State Commissioner and Kerrey Williams and Shaylah McClymont as her deputies for their support and commitment to the organisation.

While this recruitment process is suspended, the Board has unanimously agreed to appoint Sarah Neill AM as Acting State Commissioner to continue to deliver Guiding in NSW, ACT & the NT. During this time, the Board has appointed Member Elected Director Sue Belling to the position of Board Chair, with Luisa McDiarmid (Simeonidis) appointed as Deputy Chair.

The Board will conduct governance and human relations reviews to ensure Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT is structured appropriately to meet the current and future needs of Guiding.

Sarah has a long history of management in Girl Guides, serving as State Commissioner and Board Chair from May 2016 until May 2021, displaying exemplary service to youth and community through her Guiding leadership.

As State Commissioner and Board Chair of then Girl Guides NSW & ACT, Sarah oversaw a merger with Girl Guides NT to ensure Guiding continued to the benefit of the NT community and led strategies to improve the experience of the Association’s members.

Sarah held (and continues to hold) many Volunteer Management and Leadership roles for Girl Guides Australia and Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT, including State Commissioner, Board Chair, Board Member, Girl Guides Australia Board of Directors, and National Coordinator Adults.

Sue Belling has been heavily involved in all facets of Guiding leadership and management throughout her adult life, including past terms on the Board and serving as Deputy State Commissioner from 2003 until 2009. With a history of training and currently mentoring new Managers and Leaders, Sue understands the effects of policy and technological changes on volunteers. Sue has been at the forefront of transformational change in her professional career and as an adult member in Guiding.

With skills encompassing detailed analysis, program delivery, and change management Sue has a deep understanding of the challenges involved in steering the organisation towards improved outcomes for every Member.

Luisa McDiarmid was Deputy State Commissioner from 2009 – 2014 and has an extensive list of local and international Guiding experience. With Luisa’s knowledge of and experience in Guiding extending from Unit level to the World Association (WAGGGS), she has an excellent understanding of the inter-relationship between Girl Guides entities and the role of the Board.

Sarah, Sue, and Luisa, have always performed their duty to Guiding with and in good humour. They are dedicated to the mission of Guiding and they have each demonstrably strived to develop, support, and mentor young women in achieving their absolute best while making significant contributions to future governance and acting in the best interest of our current and future Youth Members.

Questions concerning these appointments may be submitted to the attention of CEO Mark Stedfut here.

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