Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - KELSIEKEL IORIO

IRENE Bur­rows has been help­ing Townsville girls be­come strong and re­source­ful women for decades.

The Aitken­vale Dis­trict Girl Guides man­ager has been in her cur­rent role for 15 years, but a part of Girl Guides for more than 90 per cent of her life.

“I went into Brown­ies at the age of seven and I’m still here, I’m 72 now,” she said.

“I be­lieve in the ba­sics of Guides, the aims, the prin­ci­ples.”

Ms Bur­rows pro­gressed through the Girl Guides youth ranks in Mount Isa be­fore mov­ing to Townsville in 1965 and join­ing the Aitken­vale branch.

“Our dis­trict is 54 years old now and when we first started the num­bers were more than dou­ble what we have now,” she said.

“My re­spon­si­bil­ity is to all of the units and the par­ent sup­port group. We have some ex­cel­lent par­ents who give their time and make life eas­ier for us.”

Ms Bur­rows said girls in their teens were be­com­ing less mo­ti­vated to pur­sue Guides while bal­anc­ing school, part- time work, so­cial lives and more.

“I mostly work with the girls from 10 to 14 years old, they have so many more com­put­ers and phones and all that sort of thing these days that they don’t com­mit so much to guid­ing they way they used to.

“These days girls have far more to do now than they did back in the ’ 60s.”

Ms Bur­rows said the dis­trict was seek­ing vol­un­teers, par­tic­u­larly younger women who wanted to dis­cover how re­ward­ing lead­er­ship roles could be.

“While I’m still get­ting on with the girls, I’m very aware that they re­late bet­ter to younger peo­ple,” she said.

“I’m happy to pass on my knowl­edge to them but phys­i­cally, as you get older, your parts wear out and you can’t do the things you used to. I don’t get up on the low ropes and the fly­ing fox any­more, but we do out­door cook­ing, pi­o­neer­ing.

“You get out of guid­ing what you put into it. That’s why I’m still here to­day.”

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