Scouting and Guiding in New South Wales

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Scouting in New South Wales is predominantly represented by the branch of Scouts Australia in the State of New South Wales (NSW), Australia and Girl Guides NSW & ACT, a member organisation of Girl Guides Australia.

Scouts Australia in New South Wales

New South Wales
New South Wales
Owner Scouts Australia
Country Australia

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Scouting started in New South Wales in 1908, shortly after its founding in the United Kingdom. The 2007 Scout Census indicated that there were 16,888 uniformed members of Scouts Australia in NSW, 13,160 of whom were youth members.[1] There is also representation by the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association. There are ethnic Scouting organisations including the Polish Scouting Association.[2]

There are 10 main Scouts Australia regions in New South Wales. These are North West, Golden West, Greater Western Sydney, Hume, Riverina, South Coast and Tablelands, North Coast, Sydney North, South Metropolitan and Hunter and Coastal. The "country" regions have a larger area in general. New South Wales has all Australian youth Scouting sections, from Joeys to Rovers.

The Sydney Scout Park (formerly Cataract Scout Park) in Appin has hosted three Jamborees, including the 16th World Scout Jamboree in 1987. There is an Air Activities Centre at Camden, an Alpine Activities Centre in Jindabyne, a Water Activities Centre in Woolwich, the Camp Ku-Ring-Gai Activity Centre at Wilberforce and many other campsites and activity centres. The Scout Memorabilia Centre is in Belfield.

The Chief Commissioner of Scouts Australia in NSW in 2004, Graeme Fordham, discussed the future for Australian Scouting on radio.[3]

Girl Guides NSW & ACT

Girl Guides NSW & ACT.png

In 1920 Dame Margaret Davidson, wife of the Governor of NSW, called a special meeting of prominent women in Sydney, to try to interest them in starting Guiding in the State. It was decided that Guides was not for them as girls already had sufficient opportunities to be outdoors. Nella Levy read about this meeting in a newspaper and wrote to the newspaper contradicting this feeling. Levy was subsequently was invited to tea at Government House by Davidson. Davidson told her "Queen Mary would like to see Girl Guides in New South Wales, and I want you to start it."[4] Levy took the challenge. She travelled widely, recruiting volunteers, forming Companies and enrolling Guides.



Aruluen is located near Jindabyne. The site is popular for winter sports activities.


Glengarry is situated on the edge of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It comprises 34 hectares of bushland with established gardens and cleared areas.

RTS Tingira

RTS Tingira is located in Carabita. It is a watersports centre and offers activities such as canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rowing and sailing.


It was announced in March 2009 that Tara, the Guides' campside in Silverdale will be sold to the Roads and Traffic Authority to be 'compensatory habitat' managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Olave Centre is the largest in house accommodation area at Tara. The house sleeps 27 in dormitory style bedrooms. The Olave Centre also has a large commercial kitchen, a common dining and lounge area, and a large bathroom, including one for disabled use. The internal courtyard is used for inside activities and outside dining.

The Brownie Cottage sleeps 25 in bunk bed dormitory style accommodation. There is a bathroom, fully equipped kitchen and a large dining/lounge area. There is also an open fire-place. The back veranda is an excellent spot for looking at the stars. The Northern Room adjoins Brownie Cottage. It is a fully self-contained studio which sleeps 4. The Northern Room can be accessed through Brownie Cottage as additional accommodation or rented separately for smaller groups. The Northern Room was originally a garage. Tolhurst Cottage is quaint cottage style building with terracotta roofing and an open fire place.

Girl Guides NSW & ACT acquired the property in 1971. Prior to this, Tara was originally a cattle property of over 101 acres, with a fairly large house, a small caretaker's cottage (which started its life as a workman's cottage at Warragamba Dam), a new set of cattle yards and holding yards, and a large equipment shed, with various fowl yards. The property was fenced into four paddocks - complete with a dam and a semi-dry creek - which bordered a permanent creek that flowed into the Nepean River at Bent's Basin. Tara was the name of the original owner's daughter and it seemed fitting to keep some history in the name of the property.

After the site was acquired by the Guides, the stock holding paddock was turned into a sportsfield and carpark, and the equipment shed was fitted out with shelves for camping equipment. Paddocks were divided into camping areas, enclosed fireplaces were built and water was piped to all sites. In October 1971 "Tara" was opened officially by the State President Lady Cutler, in the presence of the State Commissioner, Lady Wyndham. Shortly afterwards, 2000 trees were planted on a tree planting day.[5]

In 1972, the Nella Levy Chapel was built, to commemorate Girl Guides NSW first Guider.

See also


External links