Girl Guides Australia National Biscuit Day Q&A With CEO Karen Bevan

“When a community member buys our biscuits, they are buying into our future female leaders”— Girl Guides CEO, Karen Bevan

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Girls Guide Australia (source: Pinterest)

Among other things, this is one of the aims of Girl Guides Australia, an organization aimed at helping and shaping future female leaders of Australia, while helping the community in the process.

Girl Guides Australia’s CEO, Karen Bevan, sat down to answer a few questions about who the Girl Guides are and what they do.

Q1) For people who don’t know about the Girl Guides, explain who they are and it got started?

Girl Guides is a membership-based organisation that specifically cares for girls and young women. Our mission is to empower our members to grow into confident, self-respecting, responsible community members. We aim to be the peak organisation for girls and young women in Australia.

Girl Guides essentially founded themselves. From 1909, girls in Australia started forming their own guiding groups and by 1920 Girl Guide Associations had been formed in six states. In 1926, the State Associations federated and formed a national organisation.

Q2) How do the Girl Guides help the community in return for their support towards them?

Girl Guides are a powerhouse of community giving.

They participate in the annual ANZAC Day marches and Clean Up Australia Day, fundraise for local community projects, support local businesses, advocate on local issues, plant trees and volunteer with likeminded organisations including, but not limited to:

  • UN Women
  • Equality Rights Alliance
  • Breast Cancer Coalition
  • Australian Koala Foundation
  • Reach Out
  • CanTeen
  • The Salvation Army

Q3) How did you come up with 2017’s theme of “Give her change. She’ll make change”?

We believe girls and young women are the experts in their own needs, so we encourage our members to speak out on the issues important to them. When a community member buys our biscuits, they are buying into our future female leaders.

It is no surprise that many of Australia’s most respected female leaders – state Premiers, federal cabinet members, and media personalities – are former Girl Guides. The money raised from biscuit sales ensures we can continue to be a key development source of female leadership.

Q4) Where does the money raised from selling Girl Guide Biscuits go?

The money does two things.

Firstly, it remains with the local Girl Guide unit so the girls in your community can connect with others, discover their voice, have fun, experience new adventures, build resilience and integrity, develop their leadership skills and grow up understanding that they can achieve change.

Secondly, the money enables Girl Guides Australia to provide programs that respond to the issues that affect Australian girls and young women.

Q5) Aside from buying biscuits, how else can people support and get involved with the Girl Guides?

We are always on the lookout for volunteers. Individuals can volunteer either in a leadership role, such as a Unit Leader or Assistant Unit Leader, or if they don’t have the time to commit regularly as a Leader, there are ad-hoc opportunities available. These include volunteer support, fundraising, marketing and promotion, catering or just helping out at events.

If you’re interested, contact your local state office directly.