From the Board

 

Girl Guides Australia Support of the Royal Commission: Clarification of Involvement with the Royal Commission

Date: 03 September,2013

 

This Media Statement should assist to clarify that Girl Guides is eager to co-operate with the Royal Commission that currently there are no known incidents of child sexual abuse within Girl Guides and that Girl Guides is a separate organisation from Scouts.

Girl Guides Australia and its member organisations across Australia strongly supports the current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and applauds the establishment and ongoing work of this Royal Commission.

Since the time of the announcement of the Royal Commission, all Australian Girl Guide organisations have worked co-operatively with the Commission. Girl Guides appointed a single representative to speak and act on behalf or all of Australian Girl Guides on matters relating to the Royal Commission and has established a committee dedicated to considering issues arising from the activities of the Royal Commission.

Using this single voice, Girl Guides Australia has provided feedback to the initial terms of reference and continued an open dialogue with representatives of the Royal Commission. On 8 March 2013 Girl Guides advised the Royal Commission that at that time there were no known cases of child sexual abuse within Girl Guides.

This remains the position at the time of this Media Statement.

On 4 April 2013, Girl Guides was mentioned, along with Scouts and Little Athletics, in the opening address of Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission. Subsequently, in media articles there was a reference to Girl Guides and a reader may have inferred from those media articles that there were incidences of child sexual abuse within Girl Guides.

Girl Guides reiterates that it informed the Commission that it was not aware of any incidents of child abuse and that position has not changed.

Girl Guides Australia is a member of a world-wide voluntary organisation – the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) - which promotes and encourages the development of girls and women. Our Mission is to enable girls and young women to grow into confident, self respecting, responsible community members. Girl Guides has always been an organisation concerned with the wellbeing of girls. By way of example in 2011 a WAGGGS and UNWOMEN collaboration resulted in Girl Guides across the world making a formal commitment to the project ‘Stop the violence. Speak out for girls' rights': http://www.wagggsworld.org/en/news/21277

As the name of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts suggests Girl Guides is an organisation that had similar origins to Boy Scouts. These two organisations were formed with inspiration from Lord Baden-Powell but have been separate organisations since their inception.

In keeping with our commitment to promote the safety of all children Girl Guides will follow the Royal Commission proceedings with interest.

 

For further information on Girl Guides Australia and this media release please call: Joanne Muller (02 9311 8000).

 

Media Release: 3 September 2013

 


Bulletin 2 Thursday 4th April 2013

Bulletin No. 2: Update from Girl Guides Australia on the Royal Commission

 

Yesterday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse opened in Melbourne. The purpose of this bulletin is to update you on the ongoing work of Girl Guides Australia and all State Girl Guiding Organisations in relation to the deliberations of the Royal Commission and keep you informed of activity.

Girl Guides Australia notes that, Girl Guides were specifically named in the opening address of the Royal commission. Girl Guides Australia and all State Girl Guiding Organisations want to reassure all parents and guardians that at this point in time we have no evidence that would indicate Girl Guides will be the subject of any investigation by the Royal Commission.

As you are aware from our previous bulletin Girl Guides across Australia are engaging in the process and assisting the Commission where possible and relevant. We have met with members of the Commission on the process to describe the work that has already underway.

Detailed information on the Royal Commission can be found by going to

http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx and if you have any queries about this bulletin please feel free to contact me at Girl Guides Australia on 02 9311 8000 or cc@girlguides.org.au

 

Thank you for your ongoing support of Girl Guides.

 

Yours in Guiding

Helen Geard

Chief Commissioner

Girl Guides Australia

 

Royal Commission: Bulletin 2

 


 

Royal Commission Bulletin 1: 8th February 2013

Bulletin No. 1: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse

 

As you know Girl Guides Australia is part of a world-wide voluntary organisation which promotes and encourages the development of girls and women.

Our Mission is to enable girls and young women to grow into confident, self respecting, responsible community members. This does not occur without careful planning and implementation of policies, procedures and programs covering a wide range of matters, including child safety issues.

Girl Guides has always been an organisation concerned with the wellbeing of girls. By way of example, our collaboration between the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and UNWOMEN, in 2011 Girl Guides across the world made a formal commitment to the project ‘Stop the violence. Speak out for girls' rights' Your girls may have already undertaken activities associated with this initiative and more information on this project can be found at: http://www.wagggsworld.org/en/news/21277

You may also know that earlier this year the Australian Government established a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. Detailed information on the Royal Commission can be found by going to http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

Girl Guides across Australia applauds the establishment of this Royal Commission. In keeping with our commitment to promoting the safety of all children, Girl Guides will engage in the process and assist the Commission in any possible manner. Our organisation has been working with the Commission since its inception and we are pleased to say that the feedback that we have provided, relating to terms of reference and process has been well received and taken on board.

We have policies relating to child safety already in place. These involve police checks and compliance with all relevant legislation as it relates to individual states and territories. It is anticipated that the Royal Commission will commence making initial recommendations over the next few months.

While we wait for these recommendations Girl Guides will continue to apply the policies currently in place. When the Reports are published by the Royal Commission, our organisation will welcome them and integrate and implement the recommendations as appropriate. We anticipate that our members, all parents and supporters of Girl Guides will fully embrace any changes and continue to display the same high level of dedication to the safety and well being of our girls.

As you would appreciate, on such crucial issues as that which the Royal Commission is directed to address, Girl Guides strongly recommends direct contact with your State and National Leadership on these matters rather than through other forms of communication such as social media. Therefore if you do have any questions, issues or concerns regarding the Royal Commission please contact me through Girl Guides Australia on 02 9311 8000 or by email cc@girlguides.org.au or your local State Commissioner.

Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.

Yours in Guiding

Helen Geard

Chief Commissioner

Girl Guides Australia

 

Royal Commission: Bulletin 1