Monday, 6 June 2022

Rod, and I as your patron, welcome everyone to Government House for the presentation of the Girl Guides SA Awards.

I am always delighted to be able to meet young people who are seizing opportunities, making new connections and giving back to their community.

I also applaud the myriad volunteers who give the magic gift of their time to enable you to grow, gain confidence, learn new skills and in doing so, thrive and above all, have fun.

I know that some of you have been waiting for some time to receive your awards, with the pandemic intervening.

However, I am delighted that we can at last come together and celebrate your commitment, resilience and fortitude.

I was pleased to meet the Girl Guides at the Youth Anzac Vigil and was impressed with their commitment to the event and to honouring our veterans.

This past weekend we have been celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Her Majesty’s connection with Guides runs deep; becoming patron in the year she ascended the throne, 70 years ago.

Even before that, as an 11-year-old, she became a Girl Guide and her sister Princess Margaret enrolled as a Brownie, as I did myself at about the same age.

The 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed to allow the princess to be a Girl Guide, the 20 other guides were children within the Royal Household and the children of palace employees.

I am sure the skills Her Majesty learned and the friendships she made as a young princess have been invaluable throughout her life.

Her Majesty also has lent her name to the highest award for Guiding, the Queen’s Guide, and I congratulate those here who will be presented with their award today.

Rod and I had the privilege while I was acting as High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom in 2008 to attend a ceremony at Windsor Castle and a service in St George’s Chapel for Queen’s Guides and Queen’s Scouts from all around the Commonwealth, including Australia.  The Queen and Prince Philip’s high regard for the service of Queen’s  Guides and Queen’s Scouts was very evident.

I also congratulate those who will receive awards for exceptional service and commitment to guiding.

You are all the lifeblood of a 110-year tradition, and part of a community with more than 10 million members in 152 countries; all dedicated to developing the potential of young girls and women.

I congratulate the Girl Guides movement for being nimble and adaptable to ensure safe activities for girls and young women during the challenges of the South Australian bushfires and the world-wide pandemic.

Both would have affected some personally, but the community spirit of guiding came to the fore with fundraising efforts and supporting families.

By harnessing on‑line methods you could stay connected for those unable to attend meetings and provide well-being sessions to keep spirits up.

I am aware that some of your leaders had their own challenges with loss of jobs and time away from work, yet they still gave outstanding commitment to Girl Guides.

Through this time, the spirit of guiding came to the fore!

Again, congratulations to the recipients of awards.

I commend you all for being part of the Girl Guides family and discovering your potential to be leaders in your own unique pathway.