Scouts Australia

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Scouts Australia
Scouts Australia 2019.png
HeadquartersChatswood, New South Wales
CountryAustralia
Founded1958
incorporated 1967
FounderThe Boy Scouts Association (United Kingdom)
Membership55,730 total youth members
16,005 total adults
(2018)
Chief CommissionerPhil Harrison
Chief Scout of AustraliaSir Peter Cosgrove AK MC
Website
http://www.scouts.com.au
WikiProject Scouting uniform template female background.svg
Cub Scout
WikiProject Scouting uniform template male background.svg
Scout
WikiProject Scouting uniform template female background.svg
Venturer Scout
 Scouting portal

Scouts Australia, officially The Scout Association of Australia, is the largest Scouting organisation in Australia. It is a member organisation of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. It operates personal development programs for children and young adults from 5 to 25 years of age in Australia and Australian territories. Scouts Australia was formed in 1958 and was incorporated in 1967.[1] Scouts Australia's programs were opened to girls after 1971.[citation needed]

The current stated purpose of Scouts Australia is to "contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities".[2]

Despite opening participation to girls and ever younger children and Australia having a high population growth rate, well above the world average, participation in the organisation's programs declined in the late 20th century and early 21st century. According to a 2014 media article: "Scouts Australia is hoping [to] arrest a steady decline in membership. In 1979 the organisation had 114,500 youth members, today there are 52,000."[3] According to its own Annual Reports [4] participation decreased from 84,502 in 2,126 Groups in 2001 to 63,200 in 1,836 Groups in 2005, and in 2012 there were 49,181 youth, 2,587 young adult Rovers and 14,113 adult leaders and support roles in 1,486 groups.[5] This means the organisation has an exceptionally high number of adults compared to its number of youth participants with a ratio of more than 1 adult for every 3 youths.

History[edit]

Boy Scouts being reviewed in Canberra in 1927

For the history of Boy Scouts and the Scout Movement in Australia generally, see Scouting and Guiding in Australia.

The organisation was formed in 1958 under the name Australian Boy Scouts Association, as a branch of The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom. Prior to its formation, branches of The Boy Scouts Association were formed in each of the Australian states. Initially each Australian state branch was directly responsible to Imperial Headquarters of The Boy Scouts Association in London. In 1922, The Boy Scouts Association formed its Australian Federal Council, consisting of nominees of its Australian state branches, to achieve co-operation and coordination at a national level. The Boy Scouts Association later appointed an Australian Commissioner. The Australian Federal Council functioned as a branch of The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom and the Australian Commissioner was appointed by the Imperial Headquarters in London. The Australian Federal Council of The Boy Scouts Association became a member of the World Scout Organisation of Scout Movements (WOSM) in 1953, rather than being represented through The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom. In 1958, when The Australian Boy Scouts Association was formed, it succeeded the Australian Federal Council of The Boy Scouts Association.

In 1967, the organisation was incorporated by royal charter as a branch of The Scout Association of the United Kingdom.[6] Each of the Australian state branches and the Papua New Guinea branch of The Scout Association became branches of The Australian Boy Scouts Association.[1]

In 1971, the organisation changed its name from The Australian Boy Scouts Association to The Scout Association of Australia. Until 1976, it admitted only British subjects to membership and programs and other nationalities only on special conditions and approval.[7] After 1976, British subjects continued to be automatically admitted to membership while foreign subjects, including residents were still subject to special conditions and approval.[8]

In 1997, the organisation adopted the trading name Scouts Australia.[9][10]

Program Reviews[edit]

The Scouts Australia emblem from 1997 to 2019 incorporated the national green-and-gold as well as the Southern Cross motif.

In 1969 the organization began a review of its youth programs under a Design for Tomorrow Committee and implemented its New Design from 1971. The New Design involved a new name, new brandings, new uniforms and new award schemes. The New Design failed to attract an increase in participants but led to considerable disaffection and loss of long-term leaders and supporters and the formation of Australian affiliates of the traditionalist Baden-Powell Scouts' Association while its decline in participation continued.

In 1997, the organisation adopted the new trading name Scouts Australia, new branding and new uniforms to be more appealing but participation rates and numbers continued to decline, as reference above.

In 2001, the organization formed a National Youth Council to engage some youths in its national operations and provide opportunities for youth leadership at a national level. It is composed of 25 Scouts, Venturers and Rovers. The National Youth Council meets face to face twice a year and online throughout the rest of the year.[11] Despite the "engagement", youth participation rates and numbers continued to decline, as referenced above.

A further program review commenced in 2013. In 2019, a new program - along with new branding - was launched, again, hoping to appeal to a larger audience. Elements of this program include the catchphrases "youth leading, adults supporting", "plan, do, review", another overhaul of its award scheme, and, yet again, a return to a focus on outdoor adventure.[12]

Youth sections[edit]

Youth development in the organization's programs is divided into several age group stages. The age groups encourage movement through the sections as the youth matures. The sections are:

  • Joey Scouts (5-7 years): helping to develop a child's sense of personal identity
  • Cub Scouts (8-10 years): aims to develop a sense of adventure and achievement and a chance to grow their character
  • Scouts (11-14 years): promotes leadership and teamwork, as well as an appreciation of the outdoors
  • Venturer Scouts (15-17 years): develops leadership and management skills, as well as an understanding of camping and the environment
  • Rover Scouts (18-25 years): continues to develop leadership skills, as well as placing a strong emphasis on service to the community and other parts of the organisation

Uniform[edit]

The core uniform is a navy blue shirt with the relevant youth section colour across the sleeves and collar, a scarf and woggle. The Leaders' shirt is only dark blue.

The section colours are:

  • Tan for Joeys
  • Yellow for Cubs
  • Green for Scouts
  • Maroon for Venturers
  • Red for Rovers

In January 2019, a new logo with new associated branding for Scouts Australia was launched at the AJ2019, the 25th Australian Jamboree in Adelaide, South Australia.

Lone Scouts[edit]

The Lone Scout Group is for the youth unable to attend or find a local Scout group. Lones include people with disabilities and are therefore unable to attend regular group meetings, people who are constant travellers or go to places at which they are unable to attend a group i.e. boarding school or isolated communities.[13] They hold annual week-long camps for members and their families.

Scouts Australia and international Scouting[edit]

The organization is a founder member of the Asia-Pacific Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. In the field of support and co-operation with other national member organisations of the Asia Pacific Region, the organisation has contributed to a number of international friendship and community development oriented projects. Over the years, Australian Scouts have supported emerging Scout organisations in the South Pacific. A twinning project with the Bangladesh Scouts, known as the "Bangladesh-Australia Child Health" (BACH) project made a dramatic impact on child health in project villages during its operation from 1986 to 1992.[14][15] The organisation has a twinning project with the Nepal Scouts known as NATURE Project and involves the reforestation of the Kristi Landslide.[16]

In 1988 the organization hosted the successful 16th World Scout Jamboree and the 31st World Scout Conference. Some 15,000 Scouts from 94 countries attended the Jamboree at Cataract Scout Park near Sydney. An Australian Scout Jamboree has been held every three years since 1934 except for the years of the Second World War. The Scout jamboree is the organisation's largest event but there is also an Australian Rover Moot and an Australian Venture are also held every three years.

Non-sovereign territories with Scouting run by the organisation include:

Two Scout Troops in Singapore are affiliated with the organisation.[17]

Structure[edit]

Scouts Australia is a council consisting of a majority of members elected by the council itself, office bearers appointed by the council or its executive committee, state and territory office bearers appointed by the National Executive Committee and a smaller number of representatives from state and territory branch councils which are similarly not elected by or representative of the Scouts, the adults in Scouting or Scout groups. The National Council usually meets just once a year. Its National Executive Committee seeks to achieve co-operation and coordination of the state and territory branches. The New South Wales, Victorian and Tasmanian state branches are incorporated under special Acts of the state parliaments.[18] while the Western Australian, South Australian, Queensland, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory branches are incorporated by registration under the ordinary Associations Incorporation Acts. Each state or territory branch maintains its own structure and operational methodologies and rules. However, all branches operate programs for children and young adults under a common uniform and common award scheme structure.

The organization's current Chief Scout is Sir Peter Cosgrove, the Governor-General of Australia.[19] The Chief Scout of each state branch had usually been the Governor of the state. In 2015, the actor Shane Jacobson was appointed as the Chief Scout of the Victorian branch. In 1942, Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, the Governor of Queensland, resigned as The Boy Scouts Association's Chief Scout of Queensland because of the failure of the Queensland Branch to respond to his call for reforms to its centralisation effort that led to the severance of the Mount Morgan Blue Boy Scouts.[20]

Institute of Training[edit]

In 1996 Scouts Australia became a Registered Training Organisation, trading as the Scouts Australia Institute of Training (SAIT). Scouts Australia's adult Leader Training program now leads adults and Rover Scouts to a Certificate III in Business and a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, as well as the Scouting Woodbadge qualification. Woodbadged Leaders and Rovers can then undertake the Diploma of Leadership and Management qualification through SAIT.[21]

In 2011, Scouts Australia Institute of Training added a number of the SIS10 Qualifications to its scope, and changes are occurring in the individual State branches to allow Adventurous Activity Leader training to also lead to the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation.[22] Adventurous Activities Leaders are Leaders who specialise in the running of advanced adventurous activities, such as Abseiling, Rock Climbing, Scuba Diving and Mountain Biking, as opposed to the everyday running of a Scout Group and more basic activities such as camping and hiking.[23]

Religion[edit]

Youth participants at a Scouts' Own, an informal act of worship, at a Scout campsite

To enrol with Scouts Australia you are required to make the Scout Promise. The unique wording in the Australian Scout Promise of “do my best to do my duty to my God" allows some flexibility and Scouts Australia is open to people of all religious faiths that can make this promise. In 2017, with the launch of "The Adventure Begins", a new promise option allows Scouts to "do my best to be true to my spiritual beliefs" [24], to further open the promise to all religious faiths.

Historically, Scouting in Australia was rooted in Christianity as that was the world view of Scouts founder, Lord Baden-Powell.[25] Although Britain is now a majority non-religious nation[26] Christianity was the dominant faith in both Britain and Australia in Scouting's early days.

More recently, participants have come from many faiths and although the majority of Scout Groups promote an interfaith approach to religion, many Scout Groups have been formed within existing communities and specific religions (Sponsored Groups),[27] such as Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Islamic, Jewish, etc.

Award scheme[edit]

The award scheme in Australian Scouting consists of awards for proficiency in an adventurous activity, participation in major events, recognition of service, gallantry and meritorious service, and for the practice of Scouting[28] (Queen's Scout, Baden-Powell Award, etc.).

The highest award for each section is Promise Challenge, Grey Wolf Award, Australian Scout Medallion, Queen's Scout Award, and Baden-Powell Award respectively.

Adult Recognition Awards

Adult Recognition Awards (formerly Good Service Awards) are presented each year by the Chief Scout of each Branch and are presented for service to Scouting over and above what is expected for someone who is simply carrying out the duties of their position. These awards can be nominated by anyone affiliated with Scouts Australia.

Adult Recognition Awards for adult leaders and supporters
Award Minimum Time in Service Description
Special Service Award 12 months Bronze Medallion depicting the logo of Scouts Australia on a white ribbon
Badge: White knot on blue background
Meritorious Service Award 6 years Silver Medallion depicting the logo of Scouts Australia on a yellow ribbon
Badge: Yellow knot on blue background
Silver Wattle 10 years Silver medallion depicting a wattle on a green ribbon
Badge: Green knot on blue background
Silver Koala 14 years Silver medallion depicting a koala on an orange ribbon
Badge: orange knot on blue background
Silver Emu 4-5 years since receiving Silver Koala Silver Medallion depicting an emu on a purple ribbon
Badge: Purple knot on blue background
Silver Kangaroo Not specified
Also presented to members of other WOSM organisations
Silver medallion depicting a kangaroo on a green and gold ribbon
Badge: Gold knot on blue background
Adult Recognition Awards for lay supporters
Award Minimum Time in Service Description
Special Service Award 12 months Bronze Medallion depicting the logo of Scouts Australia on a white ribbon
Badge: White knot on blue background
Meritorious Service Award 6 years Silver Medallion depicting the logo of Scouts Australia on a yellow ribbon
Badge: Yellow knot on blue background
Outstanding Service Award Not specified Silver medallion on a green ribbon
Distinguished Service Award Not specified Silver medallion on an orange ribbon
National President's Award Not specified
Also presented to members of other WOSM organisations
Silver medallion on a red ribbon
Adult Recognition Award for service to the Rover Scout Section
Award Minimum Time in Service Description
Rover Scout Service Award 5 years service to the Rover Section by a Rover
10 years service to the Rover Section by an Adult participant / leader / supporter
Silver and red medallion on a red and white ribbon
Badge: Red and White knot on blue background

[29][30]

Awards for Gallantry

Awards for Gallantry are made by the Chief Scout of Australia for actions involving risk, for example for saving someone from a burning building, to individual participants or groups.

Awards for Gallantry of Scouts Australia
Award For Description
Certificate of Gallantry Actions involving limited risk Certificate
Badge: Blue and White knot on blue background
Gilt Cross Gallantry involving limited risk A Gilt Cross on a Red and Blue ribbon
Badge: Blue and Red knot on blue background
Silver Cross Gallantry involving considerable risk A Silver Cross on a Blue ribbon
Badge: Blue knot on blue background
Bronze Cross Special heroism or extreme risk A Bronze Cross on Red ribbon
Badge: Red knot on blue background

Awards for Meritorious Service

Awards for meritorious conduct are awarded for actions that may not have involved risking of life but still display courage, endurance, initiative or devotion to duty, often under suffering. As with Awards for Gallantry, these awards are made by the Chief Scout of Australia to individuals or groups depending on the circumstances.

Awards for Meritorious Service of Scouts Australia
Award For Description
Certificate of Meritourious Conduct Actions involving limited risk Certificate
Badge: Green and Blue knot on blue background
Medal for Meritorious Conduct Gallantry involving limited risk A medallion on green ribbon with a vertical red stripe
Badge: Green and Red knot on blue background

Sexual abuse cases[edit]

Scouts Australia was called before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for its failures in handling complaints against its leaders.

In 2014, Darryl Rubiolo, a former Scout Association of Australia leader, publicity officer, leader trainer, St. George Area Commissioner and member of the New South Wales state branch council, was convicted of serial child sex offences against three boys aged 9, 13 and 14, between 1975 and 1987 while he was an official of the Scout Association of Australia. Rubiolo was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison with a non-parole period of one year.[31][32]

In 2012, Steven Larkins, a former leader in New South Wales was convicted and imprisoned for offences he had committed 15 years earlier.[33]

In February 2000, Roderick Albert Joseph CORRIE, a former NSW Branch Commissioner and scout leader of nearly thirty-two years was convicted of child sexual offences. "Corrie, one of the most senior and highly decorated Scouts in NSW, was jailed for seven years in February 2000 after pleading guilty in the District Court to eight most serious of 77 charges of sexually abusing children as young as 11, including rape and buggery, occurring 1969-1995. Two years earlier, Corrie had been convicted of eight charges of “aggravated indecent assault” and placed on a bond, given counseling and 70 hours of community service." The head of Scouts Australia, "Dr. Bruce Munro, apologized to the families of those abused after the Sydney Morning Herald obtained a copy of a 14-page report written by a senior Scout leader in 1981 that detailed serious allegations of Corrie abusing four boys, one aged 12 at the time. Munro admitted that those allegations were not properly investigated or referred to the police and that although Corrie was initially suspended, he was then simply allowed to transfer as a leader to a North Shore Scouting group. Even after police began investigating Corrie in 1994, he was allowed to continue having contact with, and sexually abusing, scouts until at least May 1995."[34]

Mark Geoffrey Fisher, scoutmaster at 1st Hunters Hill troop in New South Wales from 1969 to 1988, pleaded guilty to charges of 35 sex offenses involving eight boys aged between 11 and 15 between 1971-88.[35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Royal Charter of Incorporation of The Australian Boy Scouts Association, 1967, Australian Boy Scouts Association, 1969
  2. ^ "The Adventure Begins - Purpose, Principles and Mission". Scouts Australia. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  3. ^ Sinnerton, Jackie; Van den Broeke, Leigh (1 November 2014). "Be prepared for a Scout revolution to take the youth movement into the future". The Daily Telegraph.
  4. ^ "Scouts Australia Annual Reports". Scouts Australia.
  5. ^ "Scouts Australia: Annual Report to the Nation 2013" (PDF). Scouts Australia.
  6. ^ Scout Association Act - amendments to 2003 Accessed 14 December 2006
  7. ^ Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Boy Scouts Association, 1959 Rule 24; POR of The Australian Boy Scouts Association, 1969 Rules 2/3 & 2/4; POR of The Scout Association of Australia, 1976 Rules 2/3 & 2/4
  8. ^ Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Scout Association of Australia 1981 Rules 2/3 & 2/4; POR of The Scout Association of Australia 1993 (in effect until 1996), Rules 2/3/& 2/4
  9. ^ http://www.sa.scouts.com.au/aboutthelogo
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "National Youth Council | Scouts Australia". nyc.scouts.com.au. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Youth Program". Scouts Australia. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  13. ^ Lone Scouts South Australia Accessed 7 February 2007
  14. ^ Bangladesh Scouts Home page Accessed 14 December 2006
  15. ^ Paper on Project Accessed 14 December 2006
  16. ^ Submission to inquiry into Charitable and Related Organisations by Scouts Australia, 2003.
  17. ^ ANZA Scouts
  18. ^ New South Wales: Scout Association of Australia (New South Wales Branch) Incorporation Act 1928; Victoria: Scout Association Act 1932
  19. ^ Chief Scout Archived 12 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine Accessed, 14 December 2006
  20. ^ Young, Keith; Robert Campbell (1996). "Mt. Morgan Boy Scouts: Governor Resigns as Chief Scout". Scouts of Australia. The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  21. ^ Scouts Australia Institute of Training Accessed 14 December 2006
  22. ^ Training.gov.au - Scouts Australia Institute of Training
  23. ^ Scouts Australia NSW Branch
  24. ^ Scout Promise and Law
  25. ^ "Leader Support Guide Number 35" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  26. ^ The Guardian - Religion. Respecting the minority
  27. ^ Joining Scouts
  28. ^ Policy and Rules of the Scout Association of Australia 2008. (Rule 13)]
  29. ^ . Rovers Australia http://www.rovers.com.au/awards/rover-service-awards. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ Policy and Rules of the Scout Association of Australia 2012. (Rule 9.5 and 13.5)
  31. ^ https://aussiesexoffenders.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/darryl-rubiolo/
  32. ^ http://www.theleader.com.au/story/2099147/child-sex-assault-accused-appears-in-court/ 19 February 2014
  33. ^ "Report of Case Study No. 1" (PDF). Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. March 2014. pp. 1–57. ISBN 978-1-925118-12-4. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  34. ^ {{cite web|url=http://eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:Institutional_Pedophilia%7Caccessdate=19 July 2019
  35. ^ {{cite web|url=http://eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:Institutional_Pedophilia%7Caccessdate=19 July 2019

External links[edit]