Length of time in Girl Guides:
5 years in Australia, 6 years in England – total 11. (1.5 as an Adult Leader)
Tutor at an Education Centre & Full-Time University Student studying Economy
How and why did you become a volunteer/ adult member?
I became a volunteer because I wanted to give back to the organisation that has given me so much. I’ve always wanted to inspire young girls and women to grow into their confident and self-respecting selves – and to empower young girls just as my leaders empowered and inspired me when I was a Guide.
Has the experience of Girl Guides been what you expected?
Girl Guides has exceeded my expectations in every way. Not only is it a safe place for girls and women to express themselves freely, it is a place where we all belong and are all heard. I never expected any organisation to be so caring for all its members and develop girls and women’s personalities to this extent. I’ve always believed in the strength of Girl Guides as being a force to change the world, through uniting girls and women all-round the globe and I find it truly empowering to be part of such a movement.
What are three things you feel you have gotten out of being a volunteer/ adult member in Girl Guides that has surprised you?
Among the countless things I learn every day by being a leader in this organisation, a few milestone achievements I feel I’ve gotten out of being in this movement are:
What are some of your favourite activities in Girl Guides?
- Development of my social and leadership skills: My experiences with Guides have shaped my social and leadership skills and overall personality as a whole; I now incorporate these skills into my daily life. I believe over the years my leaders have taught me what exactly it means to be a good leader; an analytical mindset, caring for their team among other things. I encourage myself to incorporate these things into everything I do, when I’m leading others, or simply when I’m leading myself. Leading a group of strong, independent girls is empowering, and for me, leading the young girls at Guides gives me a massive sense of satisfaction – knowing the change I’m making in their lives.
Development of my cultural awareness: Opening my eyes to the big wide world means so much to me and realising that I’m just a part of what makes up our population is empowering and inspiring. Advocating for women’s rights in different countries for years now has made me a culturally aware and open-minded person. The importance of inclusiveness and empathy in this kind of environment is crucial, and focusing on global issues, so that everyone feels like they are doing a good duty to the world. Guides has taught me the importance of being culturally aware and to embrace other cultures.
Giving me a chance to actively advocate and surround myself with like-minded women: Guides has given me, and 10 million other girls around the world to chance to make a change for what we believe in. By surrounding us in a safe environment where we can discuss what we wish to see in the world, adult members in Girl Guides have countless opportunities to make real, tangible change for the causes they care about. This year, I’ve been selected as a candidate for the Juliette Low Seminar – a conference which adult members of Girl Guides attend to learn about ways to actively advocate and implement change in their local and extended communities. Girl Guides is a unique organisation where everyone is welcome and heard.
I love taking part in and leading campfires. Something about sharing songs around a fire and telling stories with people we feel safe around is so special. Campfires have been a Guiding tradition since the start of our movement and to take part in them now, in such a digitalised world – to be able to escape for a few hours and spend time singing, sharing stories, or just simply talking makes me feel great.
I vividly remember a campfire I took part in as a young Guide – we sang songs, shared stories with our leaders and talked about things we really care about; what we want to do in life, what changes we wish to see in the world. This campfire made me want to become a leader – it’s where I first realised the power of leaders and how important they are for our movement.
Have you as a volunteer/ adult member learnt anything in particular as a result of your involvement in the Girl Guides?
I’ve learnt countless things by being a leader in the Girl Guides. Not only things like leadership, social and cultural awareness – but also administration, time management and organisational skills. All the things I’ve learnt at Guides have helped me in the outside world, whether it be my University studies or at my workplace.
In five years time, what do you think you’ll remember most about your time with Girl Guides?
In 5 years, I see myself still actively involved in Guiding, whether as a leader or a supporting role. However, if I had to name something to remember – it would be the incredible women I’ve met. From my fellow Leaders to women in Administrative roles, District Managers, Regional Managers and organisers of Fundraising events. Girl Guides is fuelled by the amazing women to take time out of their weeks to keep this organisation running and choose to volunteer their time here, and for them, I’ll always be grateful and inspired.
Some people may feel that Girl Guides is not relevant to young people growing up with digital life. What would you say to that?
Being young, social media and a digital lifestyle all play a large role in my day-to-day life. Although we depend on these things, Girl Guides has and is evolving with the times. We have many badges dedicated to women in STEM, and Girl Guides is constantly changing and keeping up with what’s going on in the world. Not only do we use digital devices, we teach girls how to stay safe online. Girl Guides remains relevant today, as it’s a safe place where girls can get away from a fast-paced life, but also to embrace today's digital lifestyle and enjoy it safely.
If I could put you in front of Australia, what would you like them to know about Girl Guides?
We are still a large organisation always looking for new members, and we have 10 million Girl Guide sisters in over 150 countries. I’d love for people to realise the potential that can be achieved by joining Guides, the opportunities are endless! Whether someone’s interests may be adventure sport, camping, service, leadership anything at all… Girl Guides gives opportunities to Girls constantly, allowing them to grow and evolve into the responsible women they are.
What do you feel is the role of Girl Guides in society today?
I feel that Girl Guides is very much a diverse organisation. We are one of the only organisations for girls that provide a holistic and dynamic education. We learn things that school doesn’t necessarily teach us. We develop our values and beliefs and learn to respect everyone around us – not only this, but we do all of this while having the time of our lives and taking control of what we want to do. Guides is a part of developing a better and brighter world, and we do this because of the amazing girls and women in our organisation. Three words: Friends, Fun & Adventure!