Bega’s Anne Moore has been recognised for her 45 years of leadership and participation in the Girl Guides movement.
“I started as a leader when I was 17, so you do the maths,” laughs Anne.
Anne’s participation goes back even further, with her mum starting a Brownie group in western Sydney that Anne joined when she was 7 years old.
From that tender age, Anne has moved through the ranks, a commitment that was celebrated at a recent NSW-ACT Girl Guides conference in Canberra.
“I even started a Brownie unit back in the seventies at Glenfield Park School in Sydney for children with intellectual disabilities,” Anne remembers.
“Most of them were boarders and had nothing to do on the weekend, so I started a Brownie group of a Saturday morning – I did that for 11 years.”
Her connection to Bega Girl Guides started in 1985 when her husband Brian took on a job with Bega Valley Shire Council in the town planning team.
At that stage, Bega supported four Girl Guide units starting with Brownies for younger girls through to Rangers for young women.
“I have had such a great time in Girl Guides, so I really try and put that back on to the girls,” Anne says.
“I believe it makes them stronger and builds character and gives them more community awareness.”
As a mother of two boys, Anne says she enjoys her ‘time with the girls’ working on different challenges and projects that are rewarded with badges that are sown to the blue and gold uniform.
“Food badges are very popular because everyone likes trying out the food that is made,” Anne laughs.
“I am finding that these days with both parents working and so busy we are teaching the girls a lot of basic skills like sewing, cooking, or craft.”
Those traditional skills are mixed with a modern agenda and program, of late the Bega Guides, have been discussing body image, gender roles, and the portrayal of women in the media.
And during the current school holidays, the Sydney Jamboree is underway with 1,500 girls and women from around Australian and around the globe camped out at Sydney Olympic Park.
“We play a lot of games each week, but the girls don’t realise that by playing the games they are actually learning things like working as a team, getting along with other people, and problem-solving,” Anne says.
“And each year we get the girls to recommit to the Girl Guides Promise and Law.”
The Girl Guides Promise:
“I promise that I will do my best To be true to myself and develop my beliefs To serve my community and Australia And live by the Guide Law.”
The Girl Guides Law:
Respect myself and others
Be considerate, honest and trustworthy
Be friendly to others
Make choices for a better world
Use my time and abilities wisely
Be thoughtful and optimistic
Live with courage and strength
“And sometimes it will be six to eight weeks down the track when the lesson really sinks in.”
The history of Girl Guides goes back to the early 1900’s.
At the first Boy Scout Rally held in London in 1909, it is said that Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, was surprised by a number of girls who insisted on being Girl Scouts. He agreed that something was needed for girls and in 1910 the Girl Guides Association was formed.
Not long after in Australia girls and women were forming groups and by 1920 Girl Guides Associations had been formed in six states. In 1926 the State Associations federated and formed a national organisation.
According to Girl Guides Australia, over a million Australian women have been or are still Girl Guides.
In Bega, the guide hall was opened in 1972, the building came from the Snowy Mountains Scheme and was placed on donated land on Spindler Street, the first Patron was Flora McKee, of the famous family of doctors.
Around a dozen girls make up the unit now, more are welcome, for information about joining contact Anne on [email protected] or 0411 281 434.
“A lot of very prominent women have come from Girl Guides, it’s really worthwhile and a good foundation,” Anne says.