Reception to Celebrate 100 Years of Girl Guides Queensland
Chief Commissioner, Girl Guides Australia, Mrs Rosemary Derwin; Chair of the Australian Board, Mrs Janet Torney; our State Commissioner in Queensland, Mrs Velia Nicholls, and CEO, Mrs Kim Harrington; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; Guides, past and present; what a delight it is, as your proud Patron, to be here tonight, with Paul, to celebrate the centenary of Girl Guides Queensland.
The remarkable story of the growth of Guiding in Queensland has personal importance to me – and not just because I was a Guide myself!
Some of you may already know it was at Fernberg, the official residence of Queensland Governors where Paul and I temporarily live, that Lady Elsie Goold-Adams, the wife of the then Governor, convened the meeting to establish Girl Guides in this State.
That was 100 years ago, on the 15th of November 1919.
I am so proud to be a part of this very worthwhile tradition and to honour the legacy of my predecessor.
The world has changed a great deal for girls over this past century.
We are fortunate that, here in Australia, young girls and women now have the kind of opportunities our forebears could only dream of.
The mission of Girl Guides is to enable and empower girls and young women to grow into confident, self-respecting, responsible members of the community.
And it is this idea of community that I wish to touch on this evening.
There is a sense in modern society that our close-knit communities are changing – that, despite our 24-hour connectivity, many of us feel more isolated than ever before.
For girls and young women particularly, social media can often ‘put down’ rather than lift up.
Rather ironically, technology sometimes leaves us insulated from one another, unaccustomed to the benefits of genuine community engagement.
To that end, I believe the sense of community and outreach at the heart of the Girl Guides is more important now than ever before.
Helping our girls and young women develop an interest in the wellbeing of others is vital, if our society wants future leaders who are both strong and compassionate… leaders like Detective Inspector Melissa Anderson, tonight’s guest speaker and one of Paul’s Honorary Aides-de-Camp.
I am clearly not alone in recognising the relevance of the Guides in our 21st century lives.
The Girl Guides is now the largest youth organisation for girls and young women in Queensland, with over 4,400 youth members, nearly 1,300 adult members and, vitally, just over 1,500 volunteers.
As its Patron, I could not be prouder of the association, its members and their achievements.
To all in this room and the thousands of others that make up the Guiding family in Queensland, I say ‘Bravo’.
I hope you will enjoy this special celebration – 100 years strong! May the spirit of Guiding live on for at least a century more. Thank you.