The Governor of Victoria's speech for the 2018 Queen's Scout and Guide Awards.
Mr Brendan Watson OAM, Chief Commissioner, Scout Association of Australia, Victoria Branch
Ms Lynne Emblin OAM, State Commissioner, Girl Guides Victoria. The Honourable Michael Baden-Powell, Grandson, Founder of Scouting.
Ladies and gentlemen
First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us this morning.
Tony and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House for the 2018 Queen’s Scout and Guide Awards, the Baden-Powell and Silver Kangaroo Awards and the Asia Pacific Award for Adults. This is a particular pleasure for me, as Patron of Scouts Victoria and the President of Girl Guides Victoria.
When I look at this group, I think of all that you contribute within our community.
But, of course, you are just a part of over 20,000 Scout and Guide members across Victoria, 100,000 across Australia, and more than 10 million members across the world.
All of you, however, are united under the values of respect, peace and service to the community.
We know those values are embedded in your ethos. They are not just hollow words. And they are truly global. That was brought home to us in a very particular way at this ceremony last year.
Two of the many outstanding young people recognised then were Omar and Saad Al Kassab, who, as many of you will recall, received the Messenger of Peace Hero Award.
We have caught up with them since. Omar has written how
scouting helped shape their lives – from their former home in Syria, to their new home in Victoria.
He said, ‘Nothing gives someone a better sense of community than scouting.’
Our life experience, and our experience in the courts as judges, informs us that the sense of belonging to which Omar referred is a great gift to give young people. It helps boost their confidence and their resilience.
The 124 young men and women who are receiving Queen’s Scout and Guide Awards today are a shining example of the commitment of scouts and guides to contribute to their community, and of the capacity to be strong and resilient enough to complete a challenge.
It always gives me a great sense of optimism when I see our newest Queen’s Scouts and Guides gathered here. I know that I am looking at a group who has learned a variety of specific skills, but also a group who knows about leadership.
Leadership that has been modelled by those who have helped, supported and taught you. (And that of course includes the proud parents here with us today). But the leadership too that you have learned: that you can adapt to every other part of your personal, academic and working lives.
So, congratulations to each one of you who has achieved your Queen’s Scout or Guide Award today.
And a very special congratulations to those who have received the very highest recognition of achievement in the Rover Scout section: the Baden-Powell Scout Award. It is an extraordinary achievement and a testament to your social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development.
We also congratulate the adult leaders who have received the Silver Kangaroo Award and the Asia Pacific Award. You are recognised for the special contributions to the wellbeing of scouting, made over the course of many years
We look forward to meeting with as many of you as we can.