Rovers (Australia)

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Rover Scouts Australia
Rovers (Scouts Australia).svg
Age range 18–25
Founded 1918
Founder Lord Baden Powell
Rovers Australia
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Rover Scouts, also known as Rovers, is the fifth and final youth section of Scouts Australia, Rover Scouts are adults aged between 18 and 25 years of age and are organised into local Crews, which can be associated with a Scout Group or operate stand-alone.

Rover Scouts began in 1918, and are based on founder Baden-Powell's book Rovering to Success and the theme of knighthood. Rover Scouts are actively encouraged to become better citizens through taking part in Scouts Australia's training programs, developing leadership skills, participating in outdoor activities, attending national and international events, providing service to the community and generally building their life skills.

Rover Scouts are distinguished by a red shoulder panel on the blue Scout uniform shirt, with green badges on each shoulder if the wearer is a fully invested/knighted member, as well as the traditional 'knot' of five ribbons (tan for Joeys, yellow for Cubs, green for Scouts, maroon for Venturers and red for Rover Scouts) – this distinguishes Rovers from every other section.



The Rover Scout Section is organised from a National level down, however the day-to-day running of the section is organised at a Branch (state) level. The larger states (Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland) are split into Regions, which in turn are made up of Crews. Victoria has the largest Rover Scout population, with around 1,200 Rovers and there are around 250 Crews Australia-wide.

Unlike the other sections of Scouts Australia, Rover Scouts are self-governing with Rovers under 25 becoming the leaders while still taking part in the program. After the 1970 Design for Tomorrow Report, instead of becoming a new section, Rover Scouts began to admit young women into their Crews and asked their over 25 leaders to step back to become Rover Advisers, with the Crew Leaders, Region Chairs and Branch Chairs taking up the responsibility for their Rovers. The National Rover Council, a group of Rover representatives from each state, who co-ordinate interstate efforts was also founded in 1979 and just like the Crew, Region and Branch Chairs are all under 25 years old.

The Crew System[edit]

A Rover Crew is run by its members and led by an elected committee. The committee normally consists of a Crew Leader, Deputy Crew Leader, Secretary and Treasurer but large Crews may also add a Fundraiser, a Quartermaster and other roles. Rover Scouts are young adults and make their own decisions but sometimes Crews wish to have input from people over the age of 25, called Rover Advisers. These people are selected by the Crew because of their previous experience, both in Scouting and in life.

Region Rover Council[edit]

While allowing District Rover Scout Forums in some states (to organise promotions and social events only), the next step in the Rover Scout government ladder is the Region Rover Council (called Rover Communities in Victoria). These bodies run Rovering in their geographic areas and are typically based on the same Regions as the other sections of the Scouting Movement. These Regions can also run various Branch events on behalf of the Branch.

There are currently a number of Region Rover Councils in both New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, assisting the Crews in their area by offering service, organising social functions, distributing information, assisting with training, facilitating the Baden-Powell Scout Award and many other tasks. Not all states have Region Rover Councils, with Crews in the smaller states reporting directly to their Branch Rover Council.

Branch Rover Council[edit]

The Branch Rover Council is formed by representatives from each of the Region Rover Councils (in states that have them) or directly from Crews, and may also have representatives from sub-committees (for events, property, marketing, risk management, motorsport etc.). This body approves Branch awards, co-ordinates training, liaises with other Branch Rover Councils and National Rover Council, develops polices and initiatives and encourages the further development of Rovering.

Branch Rover Councils also have a number of sub-committees which organise various parts of Rovering life. For example, these may include:

  • Management Committees that run campsites and facilities owned by Rovers (Victoria only)
  • Event Committees, which organise some of the main events in Rovering
  • Rover Motorsport is CAMS affiliated but also the responsibility of the Branch Rover Council

Some states have a Lones Rover Crew, which accept members from country or other areas where the nearest Rover Crew is further than practical travel allows or who cannot attend a regular Rover Crew due to work or other commitments.

National Rover Council[edit]

The Australian National Rover Council (NRC), is the body that governs Rovering at a National Level. It oversees the running of Rovering conducted at a Branch level, and designs policy to affect Rovering as a whole in Australia. This team works together to develop a strategic plan and then implement this over the course of their elected year. They also liaise with the Branch Rover Council Chairmen and the Branch Commissioners for Rovers (or their equivalent) in each state to help them with any issues, ideas or help that they may need.

The NRC is composed of an executive of a Chairman, Vice Chair and a Training and Development Officer, and delegates from each state, plus the Scouts Australia National Team, and a representative from the Scouts Australia National Youth Council and New Zealand Rovers. The council meets as a whole at their annual meeting where there are two delegates and a Branch Commissioner (or equivalent) from each state and territory with voting rights and two observers from each state or territory.

The National Rover Council Chairman is therefore a member of the Scouts Australia National Team and attends National Team, National Operations and National Executive meetings and through direct participation at the highest level possible puts the "Rovers view" into Scouts Australia, Rovers is the only section with this direct access. The 2014–2015 National Rover Council Chairman is Mr Ryan Beeby

The NRC meet at the The National Rover Council Meeting held annually usually held in January following the major event for the year (Jamboree, Venture or Moot). The conference usually runs over three days and incorporates State/Territory reports, discussions and workshops as well as networking activities. The Conference is an excellent opportunity for Branch Rover Council Chairs, their delegates and observers to meet with Rovers from other states and share their knowledge and ideas and learn from one another in a positive environment. It is also an opportunity for States to put forward papers, plans and ideas to the council to be voted upon so the Chair can then take the resolutions to the National Operations Meeting. it is also when the elections for the years executive take place.


Rovers run an Australian Rover Moot every three years which is open to Rover Scouts and Senior Scouts from around the world over the age of 18. The most recent Australian Rover Moot was held in Perth, Western Australia in January 2014. The next Australian Rover Moot will be held in Victoria in December 2016/January 2017.

During 2005 and 2006, the Centenary of Scouting Peace Boomerang completed a journey of over 18,000 km around Australia spreading a message of peace and unity leading up to the Scouting 2007 Centenary.

Planning is underway for activities and celebrations to mark the centenary of the Rover section, which takes place in 2018.

Award scheme[edit]

The National Rover Service Award is Scouts Australia's Adult Recognition Award presented for an outstanding contribution to the Rover Section over a sustained period. The minimum requirements to be considered for the award is five years' service by a Rover, and ten years' service by a Rover Advisor or other supporter. The Rovers and other supporters who receive this award have a lasting impact on the way that Rovers operates on a wide base.[1]

In three states, the National Rover Service Award is named to recognise the unparalleled contribution to Rovering in that state by an early leader:

State Picture Award Name Contribution
Victoria W.F Waters on the Bogong High Plain W.F. Waters Rover Service Award Victorian Headquarters Commissioner for Rovers, 1930 — 1965
Victorian Commissioner for Rover Training, 1965 — 1968
Moot Chief, 7th World Moot in Melbourne (1961)
Founder of the Alpine Rover Crew and Bogong Rover Chalet
Encouraged Rovers to pursue bushwalking, ski touring, rock climbing and other outdoor activities
Developed the backbone of modern Rovering across Australia
New South Wales Stan Bales Rover Service Award NSW Branch Commissioner for Rovers, 1955 — 1978
A Deputy Moot Chief at the 7th World Moot in Melbourne
Moot Chief for the 6th Australian National Rover Moot held in Sydney in 1974/75[1]
South Australia Henry Rymill Award Past Chief Commissioner and Rover Commissioner in South Australia
A dominant force in establishing Rovers within South Australia.[1]

The Baden-Powell Scout Award is the highest badge able to be earnt by members Scouts Australia. Fully redesigned in 2014, the BP Award (as it is widely known) begins with the Squire Training badge, which aims to develop the basic scouting skills that a new Rover will need over the course of their time in Rovering. The Rover can then complete any of the three remaining St George Award badges (Rover Skills, Service, and Outdoors) or the two project badges, Personal Growth and Community Development in any order to complete the Baden-Powell Scout Award.[2] Recipients receive the award from the Governor of their State (Northern Territory Rovers receive theirs from the Administrator, and ACT Rovers from the Governor-General) as a part of their Branch's annual awards presentation. All awards are signed by the Chief Scout of Australia, who, by convention is the Governor-General.


Motorsport clubs exist in several states and are the bodies responsible for the safe operation of Rover car racing. They are Confederation of Australian Motorsport-affiliated racing clubs, with strict drink-driving, safety and racing policies.[3] They are operated by an elected and assigned team of Rovers and are under the control of that states Branch Rover Council. They oversee events like Mudbash (VIC),[4] Sandblast (SA),[5] Banana Bash (QLD),[6] and Bush Baja (WA).[7]

All Rover Motorsport activities were stopped in the early 2000s because of a loss of insurance, but a new affiliation with the Confederation of Australian Motorsport led to the resumption of Rover Motorsport. Victoria successfully ran its inaugural championship series in 2008/2009. South Australia will be running its own five round series in 2011.

The Bogong Rover Chalet on the Bogong High Plains is one example of property owned and managed by Rovers

Rover property[edit]

Only the Victorian Branch Rover Council Scouts owns properties built and funded by the Rovers (including two Victorian ski lodges and the largest freehold Scout park in the southern hemisphere, Mafeking Rover Park in Victoria). This is due to the states strong membership numbers that in total make up 40% of the national membership numbers. The Victorian Branch Rover Council also has considerable wealth in comparison to the other Branch Rover Council around Australia. Carr Villa is a ski lodge on Ben Lomond which is also owned, built and funded by a local Tasmanian Rover Crew.

Notable Australian Rovers[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "National Rover Service Awards". 
  2. ^ "Rover Scouts Strive for a New Award". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  3. ^ RSM in CAMS Magazine, 4138 Scouts get a taste of motor sport!, p38, Autumn 2007, Accessed 23/6/7
  4. ^ Mudbash
  5. ^ Sandblast
  6. ^ Banana Bash
  7. ^ Bush Baja
  8. ^ "Dick Smith: Adventurer, Businessman, Publisher and Former Scout". Scouts Australia. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. 

External links[edit]