Girl Guides Victoria

Ministers Statements

I rise to inform the house of the investment the Andrews Labor government is making in Girl Guides Victoria, enabling more girls to get involved in guiding activities. I am delighted to announce to the house that we are providing $1 million to Girl Guides Victoria through the last budget to provide even more opportunities for girls from regional areas and from culturally diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to participate. This funding will assist Girl Guides to establish eight new school-based programs for girls experiencing disadvantage and eight new programs for girls from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Girl Guides Victoria will also be able to provide targeted support and expert advice to 16 rural and regional guide groups, helping them to recruit and support over 80 girls. Up to 120 volunteers will also get training, with funding to provide further assistance for those who want to become guide leaders in the future. Current guide leaders will also benefit from leadership development workshops, while there will be new training programs to implement a range of camping and outdoor education experiences. With our previous investment of $457 000 from the 2015–16 budget, Girl Guides Victoria has been able to establish four programs based in areas identified as experiencing disadvantage, with more than 60 young girls participating in those programs. Last week I was lucky enough to visit one of these programs operating at Broadmeadows Valley Primary School with the member for Broadmeadows in the Assembly, Frank McGuire.

As today marks International Women’s Day, I believe it is important to recognise the strong history that guides have had in supporting young women and girls to become leaders in their communities. Girl Guides are more than 100 years old and clearly still going strong. The young girls participating in the guiding program at Broadmeadows Valley Primary School showed passion, resilience and that they are ready to take on any challenge no matter what obstacle lies ahead. I was especially honoured to be presented with a scarf depicting heritage guiding badges and a ‘friend of guiding’ pin. I am proudly wearing those today. I am looking forward to continuing to work in partnership with Girl Guides Victoria and to seeing the contributions that these young women, such as the inspirational young leaders from Broadmeadows Valley Primary School, will make in society in the future.