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Girl Guides Hawker 40th Birthday

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Ginninderra District Girl Guides operate from the Guide Hall located in Walhallow Street in Hawker, and the district serves guides from the suburbs of Aranda, Belconnen, Bruce, Cook, Hawker, Higgins, Holt, Macquarie, Page, Scullin and Weetangera – all located in my electorate of Ginninderra. This Guides Hall is a simple building that is in desperate needs of its own car park, but for the many young women in this area who have enjoyed their association with the Girl Guides movement over the years, it is a source of pride and the centre of many fond memories.

Two weeks ago, the Hawker Guide Hall reached its 40th birthday – a significant milestone that was enthusiastically celebrated by the Ginninderra District’s guides and leaders. I am grateful to have been invited to participate in this event, and I and my daughter who attended with me both enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

Activities included bedroll racing, a scavenger hunt, and a game of capture the flag (which is one of our family’s perennial favourites!). We also got to enjoy some delicious birthday cake and the singing of campfire songs around a figurative bonfire outside.

Madam Speaker, the Girl Guides is the single largest movement in the world for girls, with approximately 10 million guides scattered across the globe. The goal of the movement is to provide girls between the ages of 5 and 18 with opportunities to have fun, develop leadership qualities and learn skills that develop both their self-confidence and their sense of community responsibility. Women who participated with Girl Guides as children and youth often speak about how the movement helped to empower them and teach them self-respect and respect for others. By meeting weekly with their peers, guides frequently develop strong friendships with other girls – and with their leaders – that last a lifetime. They also learn teamwork.

Women aged 18 and over can be involved by volunteering as leaders in the Girl Guides, and they are of course always looking for more volunteers who are willing to give a few hours a week to help in developing strong, capable young women who have a sense of purpose and community responsibility.

Girl Guides carry out many service projects in order to make the world a better place. Recent service activities have included participating in Clean-Up Australia Day, making care bags to donate to post-operative breast cancer survivors, sewing trauma teddies for the ambulance service, baking treats for hungry fire fighters and collecting clothing to be donated to the Smith Family.

I wish to express my appreciation to the good women who serve the Ginninderra District Girl Guides. As I spent time with them and the girls whom they mentor, I realised, Madam Speaker, how much I personally would have benefitted from the Girl Guides program. I very much wish that when I was a young woman, I could have been a part of a unit where I would have enjoyed the friendship of other girls who were striving to conduct their lives according to the Guides Law – by being honest and trustworthy, by being friendly to others, by using their time and abilities wisely, by being thoughtful and optimistic, and by living with courage and strength.

I am glad that there are 14 Girl Guides districts in the Ginninderra Electorate, and I grateful, Madam Speaker, for all the good that they accomplish in the lives of so many girls. I am confident that our Canberra community is a better place as young women learn and embrace the values and principles taught to them in the Girl Guides program.

Thank you.

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