Scouting and Guiding Movement

30 Nov 2020 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby—Government Whip) (18:03): I want to thank the member for Longman for his motion, and I would also like to note my appreciation and support for Scouts and Girl Guides associations across Australia but particularly within my electorate of Boothby. These wonderful groups provide young girls and boys and young men and women with a range of life skills while they participate in supporting their local communities as active volunteers. We know the past year has had a big impact on Scouts and Girl Guides activities, as restrictions imposed on community groups have prevented many of the typical activities they would usually undertake— like fundraising, for example, and helping out in our local communities—but they have managed to continue a lot of the activities by getting creative through online meetings.

In Boothby our Scouts groups include: 2nd Adelaide Scout Group, based in Mitcham, Ascot Park Scout Group, Belair Scout Group, Black Forest Scout Group, Blackwood Scout Group, Darlington Scout Group, Eden Hills Scout Group, Hawthorn Scout Group and Somerton Park Sea Scout Group. Along with our Girl Guides groups, Belair Girl Guides, Colonel Light Gardens Girl Guides and Dover Girl Guides. I have had a wonderful relationship with my scouts and guides over the years, as their federal MP, visiting them during their meetings, attending significant anniversaries to help them celebrate and helping them to secure funding for important upgrades.

Last year, for example, I was very fortunate to attend the 110th birthday of the 2nd Adelaide Scout Group in Mitcham which I'm proud to note is the oldest continuously operating Scout group in South Australia. The celebrations were attended by the Chief Commissioner of Scouts SA, Harry Long; Scout group leader Natalie Steward, who celebrated 10 years in the role; committee chairman Andrew Hill; Scout leader David Lawlor; and the MC for the day and local scouting legend Alex Brown, who spoke beautifully about the confidence and skills scouting provides to young people. A large number of current and former Scouts and special guests also helped us to celebrate this wonderful milestone. The occasion was marked with a presentation of artefacts for storage in a brand-new time capsule as well as some wonderful singing led by the Joey Scouts.

Over my time in parliament I have also spent a lot of time with the Belair Girl Guides. Their leader, Jan Childs, is one of our most dedicated community volunteers and she has worked tirelessly to empower and teach young girls and young women a range of skills and what it is to be a true community volunteer. Jan had been working for many, many years to secure funding to upgrade their kitchen, which was originally built in the 1950s. I was delighted to help secure a grant for the Belair Girl Guides to finally upgrade the kitchen, and I was really excited to recently visit them to see their wonderful new facilities that supported a range of local tradies during this the most difficult of years.

I was also delighted to be able to secure a grant for the Eden Hills Scout Group at Karinya Reserve. In 2019 the federal government committed to helping to fund the Eden Hills Scout Group to construct a brand new hall—and I think the existing hall is probably about the same age as the Belair Girl Guides' kitchen was. Through the new development, group leader Jeff Wheaton, his leaders and their members will finally have a functional hall which is long overdue given its age and its range of challenges, which include the fact that the hall is springing leaks. It requires new flooring and wiring, and is worse for wear following years battling white ants. The new hall will have a range of features, including a new kitchen and sufficient storage for the group's outdoor equipment and camping gear, including undercover storage for their trailers on site.

This hall will provide the Eden Hills Scout Group with the ability for their members to prepack for camps onsite as part of their program. I know that this is a particular feature Jeff and his team are so excited about, because at the moment their trailers are stored outdoors around the community on the properties of some very generous parents. The new hall will also provide the group with increased flexibility with a range of new activity spaces and will mean that other community groups can use this fabulous new community asset.

The federal government has also assisted the Darlington Scout Group to secure a grant to assist with replacing and levelling their flooring to provide a much safer experience for the Scouts. They have also been able to line and insulate their roof, which will make all of their members comfortable no matter the weather—and we've just had a few days of 40 degrees already in Adelaide, so I'm sure they'll appreciate it this year. I wish I had time to mention every single Scout and Girl Guide group in my area, but in closing I want to thank them and congratulate them for all they do, especially in this most difficult of years.