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Speech by the Governor of Victoria at the Queen's Scout and Guide Awards 2019


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 again pleased to welcome you to this beautiful setting for these important awards.

I am proud of the connection between my role and the Scouting and Guiding movements. The Governor of Victoria’s connection with our State’s scouts and guides dates back some 70 years.

That long history creates a special bond.

But our enthusiasm in hosting you here transcends the history.

Tony and I are keen to congratulate both organisations for all that they continue to contribute to help young Victorians achieve their full physical, intellectual, emotional and social potential.

Above all, we are wanting to celebrate you – the young achievers whom we have just met.

You are part of a world wide organisation of 50 million scouts and 10 million guides across hundreds of countries.

Your awards today, as Queen’s Scouts and Guides, recognise your demonstrated commitment to personal growth, leadership and service to the community.

You can be proud of your discipline and your resilience.

Knowing that your generation will see many complexities, including multiple changes of jobs throughout your working lives, these qualities will stand you in good stead. It will be your capacity for flexibility, collaboration and decision-making – all features of your learning as Queen’s Scouts and Guides – that will see you succeed.

But you are fortunate too to have leaders to follow. The staff, and so many who have generously volunteered their time to help you. It is a pleasure to have recognised some with their own awards today.

And your families, who have selflessly given the time and effort, (and, no doubt, some considerable time in the car), to ensure that you have been a part of this movement across many years.

We are confident that, in return, you will model that altruism and generosity to the benefit of others.

Perhaps amongst you today is another Prime Minister like Harold Holt, a sportsman and teacher like David Parkin or a comedian like Dave O’Neil. Or, a little further afield, perhaps an astronaut like Neil Armstrong or a world leader like former U.S. President, Barack Obama. All former scouts.

Whatever your chosen path, you have proven that you are well equipped to become leaders of Victoria.

And in that regard, it a particular pleasure to see the growing diversity amongst you, reflecting the diversity of our State and its talent pool of young people.

May I mention Deng Shan – our first Queen’s Scout from South Sudan, Queen’s Scout Aaron Li, whose family is from East Timor and Queen’s Scout, Zoe Herrera – recently appointed as State Venturer Youth Commissioner – the first youth member appointed as a Commissioner in Victoria.

We thank everyone involved with Scouts and Guides Victoria.

We thank Brendan Watson OAM, the outgoing Chief Commissioner of Scouts Victoria, and Lynne Emblin OAM, the outgoing State Commissioner for Girl Guides Victoria, the staff and the volunteers.

And we congratulate Rod Byrnes and Janelle Howell, the new office-holders, thank them for their contributions so far, and wish them well in their new roles.