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Speech given by the Governor at the Scouts and Girl Guides Victoria Awards.


I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the unceded lands that we meet on today – the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people – and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present.

It is a pleasure to welcome you all to Government House this morning for the 2024 Scouts and Girl Guides Awards presentation.

This is my first time hosting the ceremony and, while I may be new in this role, the relationship between Government House and the Scouts and Girl Guides Victoria is not.

Generations of Scouts and Guides have gathered on the Government House lawns to receive these awards.

Like you, they have worked hard, often balancing study and, part-time or full-time work, alongside important community initiatives.

Of course, there are things that differ from your predecessors.

Though you are still the Queen’s Scouts and Guides, you are one of the first groups to receive your awards under the new leadership of His Majesty King Charles III.

The King’s coronation in May last year, marked the beginning of a new reign and a new relationship between the Monarch and your organisations.

There is much in common between the ethos of the Scouts and Guides, and the many charitable efforts of His Majesty.

Following the establishment of the Scouts movement, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Lord of Gilwell, described the need to “change boys from a ‘what can I get’ to a ‘what can I give’ attitude.”

Similarly, when reflecting on the work of the Prince’s Trust and its impact on the lives of disadvantaged youth, the then Prince of Wales admitted “I keep thinking I’m not doing enough…I want to go on doing more and more.”

There is a shared belief, between the Scouts and His Majesty, in giving one’s time and effort for the benefit of others.

There is a long history of this shared commitment, many examples of which can be found in Government House records.

It is driven by a commitment to service.

To working for the benefit of Victorians and the community they create.

Between 2022 and 2023, more than 23,200 youth and adults were involved in the work of Scouts Victoria.

293 Girl Guide Units were active in 2022. These units shared an emphasis on improving life skills such as resilience and self-worth, while also working to create environments that promote support and respect.

Both the Scouts and the Girl Guides work hard to ensure the next generation of Victorians are armed with important life skills that will allow them to face and manage the issues of our time.

Thank you to the leaders, family, and friends who have played an important role in supporting each of you in your activities.

And also, to the Girl Guide and Scout leaders who have given their time, care and wisdom to guide you through the challenges and successes of your projects.

And to the Chief Commissioner of Scouts Victoria Rod Byrnes, and State Commissioner of Girl Guides Victoria, Linda Kors.

Thank you also to all the staff and volunteers who make all of this possible.

Congratulations to all of today’s recipients.

I look forward to speaking with each of you and hearing more about your plans for the future.