Tuesday 09 March 2021

Queen’s Scout Award

Year 12 student, Tom has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Scout Award, the highest youth award in Scouts across the world. This is the peak award that can be achieved within the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.

Although Tom qualified for his award in November last year, he was recently presented with his uniform badge at 1st Balwyn Scout Hall in the presence of his Venturer unit, friends, family and dignitaries.

The formal ceremony to present the certificates at Government House by the Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC (as the Queen’s representative in Victoria) was cancelled due to the recent changes to COVID restrictions and will be postponed to later in the year.

How long have you been in Scouts?
Since 2007, I started in the UK as a Beaver (in Australia they are called Joeys), then moved to Hong Kong and joined cubs.  Before moving again to Melbourne where I joined 1st Balwyn Cub Pack, then Scouts and eventually Venturers.

What is involved in attaining a Queen’s Scout Award?
The Queen’s Scout Award means over 300 hours of work and effort across almost three years.  For me, I took part in a range of different activities.  For instance, I organised and undertook a hiking expedition (I walked 60kms of the Great Ocean Walk).  Voluntary service in my local community working in a Vinnies Op shop.  For leadership, I attended a three-day Leadership training course and then I led my Venturer Unit as Chair of the unit council for over three years. Finally, I was part of the production team at Camberwell Showtime, this involved assisting the cast to rehearse and stage the show.

These four different but unique challenges are completed along with a range of other activities including First Aid training, Environment, Initiative and Pursuits.  Aligned with activities I’ve also enjoyed through school; I’ve improved my running (I run with Ivanhoe Harriers along with others from Ivanhoe Grammar School) and my guitar skills (I was previously a member of the school Guitar Ensemble).

What do you like most about Scouts?
My mates and the ability to unwind after school, I’ve expanded my circle of friends which means I can go almost anywhere and be with people I know.  I also enjoy the challenging activities including long distance hiking and rock climbing for example.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining Scouts?
Try it, there is something for everyone.  Join your local group but you don’t have to feel restricted as you often undertake activities with others at different groups from Victoria and around Australia.

Who is your inspiration?
Neil Bailey, my cub leader from Hong Kong.  He’s over 70 and still leading in Hong Kong, I’m still in touch with him and he continues to inspire me and offer support.

What are you favourite subjects at school?
At school, now in Year 12, my favourite subjects would be History (Revolutions) and Geography.  I tend to enjoy Humanities subjects and gravitated towards Global Politics and others.

How do you juggle your academic work and extracurricular activities?
I try to allocate one day to my extra-curricular activity as it helps me de-stress.  Otherwise, my academic work must take priority.  I try to maintain and enjoy a healthy balance between the two.

What would you like to do when you graduate from Ivanhoe?
At the moment I aim to head off to University, I’m interested in Security Studies or maybe an Arts degree, then secondary teaching in History.