The Chief Scout of NSW, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales, has launched an ambitious four-year strategy for Scouts NSW, heralding a new, modern approach to Scouting across the State.
“More young people have been joining Scouting over the past year, as parents and children want to be part of a well-organised, adventurous and community-minded organisation, run by local volunteers in every part of our State,” explained Neville Tomkins OAM JP, Chief Commissioner of Scouts NSW.
“We’ve been delivering an essential service to young people for one hundred and eleven years in Australia. We offer everyone the opportunity to learn skills for life through our unique, active, fun, outdoors experiences.”
Scouting has been changing rapidly since its centenary in 2007. Its doors are open to families from all cultures, backgrounds, abilities and identities.
Research by Macquarie University estimated the annual 1.5 million hours of service from Scouting volunteers funds the equivalent of $66 million into youth development across the State.
With more parents seeking opportunities for their children to experience outdoor adventures, far away from their devices, in a safe but challenging environment, Scouts NSW has devised a four-year strategic plan that ensures it stays relevant to each new generation of young people and their families.
“As a not-for-profit organisation, we rely on external funding to continue delivering our outstanding program to meet the rising interest from young people in our communities,” said Kerry McGoldrick, who chairs the Board of Directors for Scouts NSW.
“Our strategy has three objectives: firstly we will create memorable experiences and skills for life for our youth members; secondly we’ll foster a positive culture for our volunteers; and thirdly we’ll make the business of Scouting smarter through greater accountability, compliance and trustworthiness.”
The Board of Directors approved funding for the first year of the Strategic Plan, and is actively seeking financial support to enable the longer-term initiatives to be completed. These include enhanced training for adult leaders that recognises their outdoor qualifications, investment in operational efficiencies, a refreshed property portfolio strategy and new Groups for the growth corridors of NSW.
21-year old Meg Cummins, the NSW Scouts State Leader for Youth Empowerment and a finalist in the NSW Young Achiever Award for 2018, attended the official launch alongside Mr Tomkins and Mr McGoldrick, and reinforced the value Scouting brings to local communities.
“Ever since I was little I’ve tried to find ways to have a positive impact. I joined Scouts at age seven and soon began to realise the incredible value of the essential skills I was learning.”
With 416 Scout Groups and close to 20,000 youth and adult Members in New South Wales, Scouts remains one of the largest, and longest running youth organisations in the State.