Scout leaders recognised
SEVEN volunteer scouting group leaders from around the Indigo Shire were recently named among Australia’s top scout leaders for their outstanding contribution to the movement.
Australian Governor-General and Chief Scout of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC announced the recipients as part of World Scout Day on August 1.
Recognised were 1st Beechworth Scouts Group’s Assistant Venturer Leader Bronwen Angelini, and Assistant Scout Leader Colin Bowey, who were both recipients of the Special Services Award as were Rutherglen Group Leader Melissa Field and Yackandandah Group Leader Katrina Gollan.
Recently retired Beechworth Assistant Cub Scout Leader Helen Leek was a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award with Beechworth Group Leader, Donna Hughes receiving the Silver Wattle Award and District Scouts Leader for the Upper Murray District, Terry Shipway receiving the Silver Koala award.
Beechworth’s Bronwen Angelini who has been involved in scouting for eight years, said being part of its community meant giving young people life skills.
“Raising our children and being an actively involved parent in the scouting community has created a special connection for us with them too,” she said.
“It’s fun too with risk taking in a safe environment.”
Ms Angelini said volunteer leaders contributed to the next generation stepping up as leaders.
Colin Bowey who has been in the scouting movement for five years, said scouting helped young people enjoy activities and experiences that may not be available to them or their families.
“Skills learned as well as developing leadership ones helped them with employment opportunities later too,” he said.
Donna Hughes said as leaders they were also role models for young people.
“It’s also been great for our family as we have had amazing experiences over the last 10 years that we would never have otherwise experienced.”
Rutherglen’s Katrina Gollan said it was a wonderful recognition of her role where support was given to scout leaders so they could do the best job with the kids.
Terry Shipway who has been in the scouting movement for 28 years said it had been a great opportunity to engage with the scouting community.
He said volunteer leaders got involved for the kids where the reward was in seeing how it benefited them.
“As a District Scout Leader I mentor Scout group leaders from both the Upper Murray District and Alpine Gateways,” he said.
The district with 12 scouting groups stretches from Corryong to Benalla and from Rutherglen to Mt Beauty.
Chief Commissioner of Scouts Victoria, Brendan Watson said the awards were richly deserved.
He said the volunteers supported weekly meetings at the local scout halls, and embarked on weekends away camping, hiking, or learning new skills such as canoeing and rock climbing.
“At the same time they developed Victoria’s future leaders,” he said.
The award recipients were among scout volunteers across the state who gave a combined 1.7 million hours each year to help young Victorians achieve their best.
An official ceremony and celebration for the awards will be held in Gembrook on September 16 with Chief Commissioner of Scouts Victoria Brendan Watson presenting the awards.
HONOURED: (from left) District Scout Leader Terry Shipway with 1st Beechworth Scout Group leaders Donna Hughes (left), Bronwen Angelini and Colin Bowey who have been recognised for their outstanding volunteer contribution to scouting. LEADER: (inset) 1st Yackandandah Scouts Group leader Katrina Gollan.