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A Letter from the Chief Commissioner - Finalisation of (Uniformed) Organisational Structure Print E-mail


Finalisation of (Uniformed) Organisational Structure

Dear Scouting Community,

I am writing to advise of the finalisation of our (uniformed) organisational structure.

You will recall I released a draft proposal at the end of December for consultation. In response, I received 58 submissions (written and verbal). The quality of the submissions was impressive. I thank all who provided responses.

I apologise for the delay in finalising the structure. It has taken time to carefully consider each of the 58 submissions and, in some instances, feedback has conflicted with comments from others. On occasions, I have needed to go back to individuals to better understand the issues they have raised.

I have endeavoured to develop a new structure that will enable us to deliver against our Strategic Plan 2016-18 and my 7 strategic priorities as Chief Commissioner. It is a structure that addresses our current issues, capitalises on our opportunities, and positions us well for the future. The structure is built on the foundations of empowerment, responsibility, accountability and teamwork.

1. Culture

Many took the opportunity during consultation to raise issues other than those relating to structure. The most common issue discussed was culture. From those comments, and my 5 months listening to leaders, youth and supporters from every Region and different formations, it is clear we have as much, possibly more, work to do on our culture than on structure. In this context, you will recall that my 3rd Strategic Priority, as the Chief Commissioner, is “a positive and enabling culture – with a united team” and that this is also one of the goals of our Strategic Plan 2016-2018. I refer later to the establishment of a Working Group to help us work together to shape a new culture.
Our new structure is not to be seen as the solution to all our problems. It is only one aspect of how we do Scouting business. Our new organisational structure has to be complemented by a range of other interventions for Scouts NSW to arrest our membership decline, and to grow as an organisation. The key is clarity of direction, alignment and a united team.

2. Our New Organisational Structure

Note there was almost unanimous agreement that “staying the course” is not an option, and that transformational, not transactional, change is required for success. Our membership is seeking a fresh approach to the way we do Scouting across NSW.

Key changes from the proposed structure, based on consultation, are:

a) Youth Program

The vast majority of respondents believe we are not ready to move to Option B as outlined in the draft structure. I agree. Many believe we need much more detail, and understanding, of the New Youth Program before we can develop an enabling structure; others believe that to move to Option B now will represent too big a change for us at this stage, especially for the Regions.

In adopting the thrust of Option A, many believe we must have a new structure ready to implement when the New Youth Program is known. I commit to this outcome.
In proceeding with Option A for our Youth Sections for the foreseeable future, I expect our 6 Sections to work together much more closely, most particularly on youth retention. The “silo” approach, which many believe has characterised the past, has meant we have not realised our potential. This must change for us to grow membership – our number one priority.

b) Adventurous Activities and Adult Training

There was much comment on these two areas, with many conflicting views. The proposed prominent role for Activities to help us grow as an organisation attracted considerable positive comment. Others saw the need for even more rationalisation between Adventurous Activities and Adult Training. Some sought little change and were concerned that the proposed structure will dilute the importance of Gilwell training. A number expressed strong feelings that the proposal was “top heavy”, with too many DCCs.
On balance, I have decided to have a more streamlined arrangement, by combining the proposed DCC Adventurous Activities with the DCC Adult Training and Support Formations. I acknowledge this is a substantial change, and will not please everyone. The extent of challenges we have demand a different approach. We will review the effectiveness of this approach within 12 months. With a dedicated State Commissioner, Adult Training and Development, there will be no diminution to the importance of Gilwell training.

c) The Number of Positions

While some believed there were too many positions overall in the proposed structure (and with some positions appearing to be “light on”), others commented there needs to be an additional position dedicated to administrative support (for the Chief Commissioner to be relieved of an onerous workload, and to focus more on strategic issues). There were particular concerns that the number of State positions will divert critical resources from the Regions, Districts and Groups, and be very costly. Yet others believed there was a need for additional State support.

I acknowledge the “top heavy” structure. This is because of the extraordinary number of challenges we are facing, and the need to “turn around” our performance as an organisation. Importantly the structure is designed to support our Regions, Districts and Groups, not be in competition with them. Specific roles (eg ACC Group Support Strategies including Leader Recruitment and Retention Strategies) exist for the sole purpose of supporting Groups, Districts and Regions.

As one respondent said “If we are going to turn around Scouting in NSW we have to do it in the heartland of Scouting – the Groups”. This year is after all, the Year of the Group and the Group Leader!
Having said that, I have significantly reduced the total number of positions in the structure without, hopefully, reducing support for Groups. For administrative support, I will be relying more on our Honorary Commissioners, as well as our State Commissioners (Special Projects), and may need to appoint additional Special Projects Commissioners for particular projects, to manage our excessive workload. Already, a number of Honorary and Special Project Commissioners are stepping up and providing extraordinary assistance. Thank you! Each Special Projects Commissioner will have tasks to perform and a timeframe for completion. We have so much talent amongst our Commissioners and I seek their ongoing assistance. But a co-ordinator role is required.

At the appropriate time in the future, we will need to review the number of Regions. Now is not the right time, with the extent of change we need to manage. The focus at the moment must be on support for them, especially the country regions which have very real challenges.
If any State position in the new arrangement is not value adding, especially for our Regions, Districts and Groups, the structure will be further rationalised.

d) Air Activities

I have now had the benefit of a detailed briefing on our Air Activities Centre, including the very difficult challenges they are confronting, and the unique regulatory regime with which we must comply. In light of the expectations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), and until such time that the current challenges are addressed, I will have the State Commissioner (Air Activities) report direct to the Chief Commissioner.

e) Titles

In the draft proposal, I suggested we adopt the term “Branch Commissioners”, consistent with our Constitution. In light of comments, I acknowledge the term “State Commissioner” has far more meaning for our external stakeholders than “Branch Commissioner”, and is more contemporary. I have therefore reverted to the use of the word “State” for all relevant positions.

The same argument applies to the term “General Manager” versus “Chief Executive Officer”. I appreciate the “One Chief” decision and the argument for changing the title CEO to GM. However, this has had the unintended consequence of diminishing the status of the Head of our State Office, with very significant responsibilities, in the eyes of our external stakeholders. (I know this from personal experiences in the past few months.) This is at a time when our new Strategic Plan, and my own strategic priorities, highlight the need for stronger engagement with our stakeholders. I am liaising with the Board, and will canvass the proposition with our Branch Council, that we revert the “GM” title to “CEO”. In so doing we note it is very clear in our organisational structure that the GM/CEO reports to the Chief Commissioner of the day.

f) Risk Management

Informed comments were received about the best location for the Risk Management position – whether it be placed in the compliance or the activities stream. It could sit in either. However, my preference is for it to have an “enterprise-wide” focus, and help us focus on risks additional to those in the activities stream.

g) Matrix Management

I appreciate the incisive observations some made about matrix versus hierarchical management. Success requires both.
As well as managing within the respective streams (hierarchical), we must do more to cultivate, nurture and maintain relationships across our streams (matrix management). The arrows across streams on the organisational chart depict some of those relationships.
In particular, I will be seeking a much more effective working relationship between our Region Commissioners and the DCC’s (and their respective teams) – One State, One Team – a United Team! While I have overall accountability to the Board and to the Branch Council for the performance of the organisation, I will be holding Region Commissioners accountable for membership numbers, and the DCCs accountable for outcomes within their streams. Importantly, this includes support to the Regions, Districts and Groups.

h) Uniform/State Office Alignment

This issue was raised by various people during consultation. Alignment across various elements of our organisation is critical for success. Our General Manager and staff are very much in tune with our new strategic directions, and I am talking further with Andrew Smith to ensure good alignment with our uniform organisational structures. I know Andrew and his Team will want to do whatever is required to support our new direction.

i) Project Groups

Some were concerned that specific project groups (eg Mawson Fellowship, Scouts Australia Leadership Project) and particular Committees (eg Branch Trust Management Committee) are not shown in the organisational chart. It would be unusual to show this level of detail in an organisational chart, which focuses on senior positions. Those project groups and committees remain, of course, important functions within the new arrangements.

j) Working Groups

To help us advance our work across a number of critical areas, I am establishing various working groups and which will include a number of non uniformed personnel (in some cases they might be experts external to our organisation). Proposed working groups include:

  • Inclusive Scouting (with a particular focus on gender diversity - LGBTQI)
  • The terms of reference have been drafted, and membership proposed
  • “We should not forget to promote diversity as an opportunity to increase the relevance of Scouting” World Scout Bureau: 1st World Education Congress.
  • Diversity and inclusion, access, equality and equity are the cornerstones of Scouting.
  • Support for Country Regions
  • The draft terms of reference are currently being developed, and suggestions made by various people regarding membership. Importantly, non-uniformed personnel will be invited to join the group to ensure we are capturing the best ideas that are available.
  • Shaping an Enabling Culture
  • The draft terms of reference are currently being developed. I would welcome suggestions of people who have particular skills, or insights, into this critically important topic.
  • I will also be providing to the group de-identified comments that various people have provided during the consultation on the structure.
  • Again, to ensure we are capturing the best ideas that are available, we need to invite non uniformed people, both internal and external to Scouts NSW, to join the group. We can also learn a lot from other Branches, especially Scouts Vic.

 k) An Accountable and Agile Structure

The structure is based on the tenet of each position being both responsible and accountable for outcomes. Each position will be empowered to “get on” with the job of growing Scouting, primarily through well placed and timely support for our Regions, Districts and Groups. Each appointee will have a performance agreement with key performance indicators, with annual reviews.
Our new structure will be agile. As one astute respondent said during our consultation phase : “Scouting, in general, needs to be more nimble and flexible to be able to adapt and modify itself to emerging needs than it has been in the past”.

3. The Process from Here

I commend the new structure to you. We will now proceed with implementation.
As advised in the September and November meetings, and my December letter, all positions in the current structure will be “spilled” (with the exception of Section Commissioners, as discussed below). I will commence advertising with the Deputy Chief Commissioner (DCC) positions, with Position Descriptions now being drafted. The DCC positions for: Program Transformation and Membership Growth; Activities, Training and Support Formations; Youth Program; and Child Protection, Support and Compliance, will be first, followed by Youth Commissioner, and Development and Future Scouting.
Position Descriptions will be developed for every new position, and will be available at the time of advertising. Positions will be advertised state-wide, through our website. Individuals will have 2 weeks to submit their applications, from the date of advertising.
I reiterate that selection will be merit based. Every applicant will be expected to present their claims against the selection criteria for the position, and those claims will be assessed by a panel. The panel will include:

  • A mix of males and females
  • A young person (under the age of 30)
  • A Region Commissioner (where appropriate).

I intend chairing all DCC selection processes, with the successful DCC to then chair the selection process for the ACC and SC positions within their team.
It has been commented that some individuals have been “promised” positions. This is not the case. All positions are open, and decisions will be made on the basis of merit against the advertised selection criteria. Occupants of positions in the current structure are free to apply.
Consistent with earlier advice, and as we proceed with Option A for the Youth Program stream, those people currently holding the current Branch Commissioner positions (Joey Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Venturers) will automatically transfer to the respective

State Commissioner positions. When we have the proposed structure for the New Youth Program, I will again consult, and the new positions will be advertised.
More generally, occupants of positions in the current structure will stay in their positions up to the point that successful applicants for the equivalent positions in the new structure are announced.
I acknowledge there will be many issues as we transition from the old to the new structure. Those issues will be dealt with the best way we can. I ask for your patience and understanding as we work through the transition.

Conclusion

I sincerely thank all those who provided comments. I have carefully considered all 58 submissions and spent additional time working through conflicting advice. As a result of that consultation, many changes have been made. I now ask everyone, whether or not you agree with the new structure, to support the direction we are taking and which our membership has sought.

I am realistic enough to know we will not get right every aspect of the new structure from the start. Where something is not working optimally to meet our strategic goals, especially to grow membership, it will be changed.

You are most welcome to forward this letter and the new organisational chart to your team members and others who you feel need to aware of the new arrangements.

Whilst we have enormous challenges as an organisation, we also have considerable opportunities. I am confident that, with a strategic approach, the right people, an agile and aligned structure, and a united team, we will be able to capitalise on those opportunities, and grow as a Movement.

I very much look forward to working with you as we take our next step in revitalising Scouts NSW, so that it can have a vital and exciting new role within all NSW communities. I thank each of you for your dedication to our wonderful Movement.

Yours in Scouting,

Neville Tomkins

Neville Tomkins OAM, JP
Chief Commissioner
Scouts Australia (NSW Branch)
12 February 2017

 

Supporting Documents

Final Organisational Structure 12 February 2017  Letter Final Organisational Structure 12 February 2017
Consultation Structure 30 December 2016  Consultation Letter 30 December 2016

 

Positions Descriptions and application details are available

on the Scouts NSW Positions Vacant page.

 

 
Australia Day Honours 2017 Print E-mail

Scouts Australia NSW congratulates those who have received Australia honours for Service to their community and the Scouting Movement.

Each awardee has received a personalised letter signed by Neville Tomkins, Chief Commissioner of Scouts Australia NSW, Kerry McGoldrick, Chair, Scouts Australia NSW and Andrew Smith, General Manager Scouts Australia NSW.

 

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)

Peter Nickl OAM

Peter Nickl - For service to youth through Scouting

Keith Parry - For service to the community, and to youth through Scouting

 

Young Citizen of the Year

Shae Panormo Young Citizen of the Year

Shae Panormo - 1st Kurri Kurri Venturer Unit - Young Citizen of the Year Cessnock Shire

Drew Walsh Young Citizen of the year

Drew Walsh - 1st Kempsey Scout Group - Young Citizen of the Year Kempsey Shire

 

Citizen of the Year

Jillian Oliver Citizen of the year

Jillian Oliver - Wingham Scout Group - Citizen of the Year Wingham

 
Rovers at RYLA 2017 Print E-mail

This January, seven NSW Rovers participated in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program.

RYLA 2017

RYLA is an intensive, seven day camp designed to grow and promote leadership skills amongst young leaders. The program is run by previous participants in combination with the local Rotary International District and the cost is completely subsidized by local Rotary Clubs who sponsor individual participants upon successful application. The week is made up of a mix of activities including a variety of seminars hosted by some of Australia’s top leaders, an array of challenging activities, a community service project, and a formal dinner. Much of the details of the program are kept secret and the only real way to find out what it’s like to go to RYLA is to sign up. The program is an invaluable opportunity for any Rover and feedback from participating Rovers is always positive.

Here is a what some of this year’s participants have to say about the experience:

“It’s not about changing who you are, but becoming more of who you really are.” - Virginia Giglio

“A BPS on steroids” - Tiarn Farrell

"I can do anything I set my mind to with enough dedication, enthusiasm, determination, self-belief and passion. The only thing stopping me are my own limiting beliefs." – Luke Saunders

"RYLA was such an amazing experience, I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It was one of the best things I've ever done." – Elyse Leneham

 
Baden Powell Scout Centre Activity Sessions Print E-mail

Are you looking for an activity day in which you learn interpersonal skills and develop positive peer relationships that you will find useful for your Groups?

Then look no further!

The Baden-Powell Scout Centre can offer a tailored activity day to suit your required outcomes. Qualified Activity Instructors will ensure that the program is offered in a supportive and challenging way that will really test personal skills as well as fostering positive Team partnerships— in a challenge by choice setting.

The Centre itself is located in Pennant Hills which is conveniently located by road or public transport.

We would love to see you onsite soon!

CrateStackingBPSC    HighRopesBPSC

Night Activity Session

How does climbing through the trees via torch light sound or flying down the 100m fox with a glowstick lighting your way?

Sounds pretty exciting!

Why not consider booking in for a session of a night time activity which can be run during the same hours as your normal meeting time! Sound good? All you have to bring is your head torch and yourselves!
Night time activities include

  • High Ropes
  • Crate Stacking
  • Leap of Faith
  • Flying Fox
  • Rogaining

Example night time program:

  • 6.45pm: Arrive, Welcome and Site Orientation
  • 7-8.45pm: Adventurous activity
  • 9pm: Debrief and depart

*program can be tailored to your needs

For more information and to book your activity session contact:

Baden-Powell Scout Centre
Ph: 02 9484 2278
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Address: Pomona St, Pennant Hills. NSW
Website: www.nsw.scouts.com.au/bpsc

 
Air Activity Update Print E-mail

Air Venture January 2017

Vent 1

The first Air Venture Flying Camp for 2017 took place from Sunday 22nd to Saturday 28th January with 8 budding pilots (6 boys and 2 girls) and 9 instructors participated. Unfortunately due to weather conditions not all allocated hours could be flown but in addition to theory studies students were kept occupied with a number of activities. Owing to their dedication and effort made to study, all students passed their theory test for their first solo and can use the balance of their remaining hours at their leisure to achieve that exhilarating and unforgettable feeling of achievement. A very special thanks to a dedicated group of volunteer flight instructors and Air Activity Centre members who tirelessly made it all happen.

The camp is growing in popularity with places being booked well in advance. Keep an eye out here for future dates.

Activity Flying Days

The first half of the year is well under way with bookings having been received from a number of Groups. At the time of writing (15th January), the following days are still available:

  • February: 11, 12, 26
  • March: 5, 11, 18, 19, 25, 26
  • April: 1, 2, 29, 30
  • May: 6, 7, 21, 27, 28
  • June: Fully booked

Get in early before these days are booked out! Bookings are also open for semester 2 2017.

And, just when you thought the year couldn’t get any more exciting ... we have two Country trips scheduled!

  • 10-11 June in Young with approximately 200 to fly
  • 24-25 June in Casino with approximately 80-120 to fly

Remember ... if you are in an area that cannot get to us - we will come to you.
Interested in looking for something different? Why not get involved with the Air Activity Centre. 

Assistance would be most welcome from the wider Scouting community especially on air activity camps.

For more information please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
1st Cromehurst Special Needs Group award first Pioneer Cord Print E-mail

1st Cromehurst Special Needs Scout Group awarded its very first Pioneer Cord to Anton Terzarghi at its Christmas Party in December 2016.

Founded in February 1974, 1st Cromehurst has waited over 40 years to achieve this milestone. As part of his Pioneer Cord Anton ran a scout disco for the local scouts and raised money for the Troop. He was one of the four Cromehurst youth members who attended the Australian Jamboree in 2016, and was an integral part of planning the troop camp at Camp Kariong last August. Since joing Scouts in 2013 Anton has acheived great things and developed leadership skills. Anton will be one of our first Venturers when the Unit becomes operational.

The Pioneer Cord was given at 1st Lindfield Scout Hall, where 1st Cromehust meets, in the presence of State Commissioner for Special Needs, Mark Burfield, Regional Commissioner for Special Needs, Beth Mitchell, Ku-Ring-Gai District Commissioner, Allen Hyde and the past and present Leaders of 1st Cromehurst Scout Group.

Anton Terzaghi receives his Pioneer Cord Dec 2016

 
Chief Commissioner's Certificate Awarded to Kevin "Stack" Haycock OAM Print E-mail

On Friday 20 January NSW Chief Commissioner, Neville Tomkins OAM, travelled to Dubbo to meet with Kevin "Stack" Haycock OAM who is in ill health and unable to return to his home in Tamworth.

Stack has been a continuous Member of the Scouting Movement for 76 years, 66 as a leader. He has been a member of the Training Team for 53 years and a Leader Trainer for 51 years. His leadership roles included RC (ATD) Country Area, AC Northland, RC North West, State Commissioner Special Projects (National Indigenous Scout Program) and numerous other Commissioner responsibilities. He is now an Honourary Commissioner and a Branch Life Councillor.

In recognition of Stack's outstanding contribution to Scouting, the Chief Commissioner presented him with a framed Certificate of Appreciation which now adorns the wall of Stack's Dubbo residence.

Bruce Stewart, North West Region Chairman, Graeme Fordham AM, former North West Area Commissioner and Chief Commissioner and Roger Butler OAM, a former Region Commissioner of North West, travelled from Tamworth, Armidale and Moree respectively for the occasion. Stack's youngest son, Andy, was also preseent.

Stack felt both humbled and honoured to receive the award, but also for the effort of his Scouting colleagues to travel to Dubbo to make it.

Stack Haycock presentation

 

 
Myths and Legends Cuboree Newsletter Print E-mail

The Official Cuboree Newsletter, The Legend, provides fun updates for all of the Packs and the Leaders.  You can download your copy here.

The Legend Issue 1

The Legend Issue 2

The Legend Issue 3

 
2016 Community Building Partnership Grants Print E-mail

Congratulations to the Scout Groups who have recieved funds in the 2016 Community Building Partnership Grants. Successful Groups are listed below.

1st Albion Park Scout Group
1st Austinmer Scout Group
1st Ballina Scout Group
1st Beresfield Scout Group
1st Blackheath Scout Group
1st Brush Park Scout Group
1st Budgewoi Scout Group
1st Bungendore Scout Group
1st Cherrybrook Scout Group
1st Collaroy Plateau Scout Group
1st Ermington Scout Group
1st Garden Suburb Scout Group
1st Green Valley Scout Group
1st Grose Vale Scout Group
1st Kellyville Scout Group
1st Leichhardt Scout Group
1st Little Bay Scout Group
1st Mt Colah/Mt Kuring-gai Scout Group
1st Mullumbimby Scout Group
1st Murrumbateman Scout Group
1st Picnic Point Scout Group
1st Putney Scout Group
1st Riverstone Scout Group
1st Teralba Scout Group
1st Wattle Grove Scout Group
1st Winston Hills Scout Group
1st Woolgoolga Scout Group
1st Yaralla Scout Group
1st Yaralla Scout Group
2nd Mortdale Scout Group
2nd/3rd Lindfield Scout Group
Air Activity Centre
Alexandria Scout Group
Bexley North Scout Group
Bundilla Scout Camp
Cardiff Scout Group
Glenrock Scout Camp
Glenfield Scout Camp
Murwillumbah Scout Group
Petersham Scout Group
Ryde Scout Group
South Coast and Tablelands Region - Lake Heights
Tamworth Oxley Scout Group
The Golden West Region - Camp Canobolas

 
From Our Chief Commissioner Print E-mail

There are many, many reasons as to why I am proud to be your Chief Commissioner.
Since my appointment, I have been privileged to meet over 1,000 leaders, some 2,500 youth and many hundreds of parents. I continue to be struck by the extraordinary dedication of our leaders the enthusiasm of our youth, and the hard work of our parents and supporters. Thank you to each of you!

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

In response to our submissions and our 6 December 2016 appearance, the Royal Commission noted the progress made by Scouts NSW to enhance our child protection arrangements and observed that we still have significant work to do. As your Chief Commissioner, the safety of our children, and youth, is my number one priority.

To further improve child protection, we have introduced a new framework, including an enhanced Child Protection Policy and Procedure. For full details, see below in this Bulletin.

For me, the best way to protect our youth is to empower them to protect themselves. Our youth have the right to feel safe. They also have the right to report. As well as embedding our new Child Protection framework, we will be working hard in the new Scout year to raise awareness amongst all our youth of their right to feel safe, and to report.

Our Board of Directors is providing strong leadership in Child Protection by adopting the Royal Commission’s 10 elements of “Creating a Child Safe Institution.”

Chief Commissioner’s Council Meeting

We had a highly successful meeting at the BP Scout Centre, Pennant Hills, 26-27 November, coinciding with the meetings of the State Youth Council and the Branch Rover Council.

One of the weekend’s many highlights was the Celebration Dinner on Saturday night, run by our youth, and with Michael Baden-Powell (our Founder’s grandson) as our guest speaker. I was especially impressed by the presentations by our State Youth Council, and representatives of our State Scout Youth Council, on how to further improve Scouting in NSW.

“Big Day Scout”

To further raise the profile of Scouting across NSW, and to recruit more youth and leaders, we will be writing to you shortly about a major event – Big Day Scout – in late 2017. You will have months of advance notice to plan your participation for this event, with lots of pleasant surprises in store.

Improved Governance

Your Board of Directors, under the leadership of our Chair, Kerry McGoldrick is to be congratulated for the enormous amount of work it is doing to improve Scouting through enhanced governance. Like us, all Directors are volunteers. The minutes of our meetings are provided to Branch Council for information, with all Directors endeavouring to get to as many State and Region events as possible to further improve communication and awareness.

NSW Cuboree

I congratulate all those who have worked hard to prepare for our 3-7 January NSW Cuboree. With over 3,500 youth and leaders in attendance, it promises to be a memorable event. I will be attending the whole event. If you are there, please introduce yourself. I would love to hear of your ideas as to how my leadership team and I can help to bring Scouting to more young people across our State.

Memorable Moments

Attending the 5th Bankstown (Muslim) Scout Group activities at their Multicultural Concert, and the 1st Canley Heights (Vietnamese) Scout Group camp (including to celebrate 85 years of Vietnamese Scouting in Australia), reminded me of the richness, and diversity, of our Scouting program. It was my privilege to attend their events, and I am proud of what our universal Scout program can do to develop the skills of youth from different backgrounds. Their activities also reminded me of the importance of families being involved in, and supporting, Scouting.

We have every right to be proud of our youth members, especially those achieving their Section’s top awards. What a memorable occasion it was for me to attend the Queen’s Scout presentation of 2nd Baulkham Hills. Five Queen’s Scouts from the one Group at the same time was impressive! These are the future leaders of Scouting NSW, and our local community. 

It is always a privilege to have inspirational youth part of Scouting. One such person is Jaycob Andrews, a PL from 1st Batemans Bay Scout Group. Already facing many health and physical challenges, and reliant on a wheelchair, Jaycob was recently airlifted to the Westmead Children’s Hospital for emergency treatment. During my visit, Jaycob shared with me how important Scouting was for him, and how grateful he was for his outstanding Leaders. With 9 Scouts (both boys and girls) under his leadership, I am delighted to see what Scouting can do for Jaycob.

1st Cherrybrook Scout Group, with 130 youth, 22 leaders, and a strong Group Committee, reminded me of what is possible, through strong leader recruitment and a supportive parent committee. What can we do to help your GL and DC to grow leader numbers and create strong Group committees?

NSW Chief Commissioners Special Award s Canley s Scout Westmead 1stBatemansBay s

Country Regions

Our country regions need all the support we can give them. To this end, we will be establishing a Working Group in the new year to look at how we can best assist them.

I very much look forward to my visit to The Golden West (late January), the Riverina and to the North West Region again in the new year. I also hope to meet many youth and Leaders at the Hunter and Coastal Region Corroboree.

Adult Recognition

Everywhere I visit Groups and activities across our State, I meet Leaders and Supporters who have dedicated substantial amounts of time, and really made a difference to our youth through their contributions.

No doubt you know many such volunteers. But have they been recognised recently through our Scouts Australia Adult Recognition Awards (ARA) scheme?If not, I urge you to consider nominating them for an award. If they have already been recognised, I urge you to consider nominating them for the next level of award (if eligible).

Nominations for the 2017 Adult Recognition Awards are now open. To nominate, please contact your Region Office for more information.

Thank you

Scouts NSW would not have the membership, and the quality Scout program, were it not for you – our volunteers. Thank you! I am deeply, and personally, indebted to each one of you. We are also indebted to our professional staff – in State Office, Regional Offices, our Activity Centres and our campsites, for your continued commitment and passion for Scouting.

I also thank my Chief Commissioner’s Council members, each of the Region Commissioners, our Board of Directors, Board Committees and Branch Council for their tremendous commitment to Scouting.

My wife, Jenny, and I wish each of you and your families, the very best for the festive season.

Neville Tomkins OAM, JP
Chief Commissioner
Scouts Australia (NSW Branch)

 

 

 

 
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