I GREW up in Orange and many of my friends proudly served as Girl Guides.
I would like to defend the Girl Guides who have come under some unwarranted attack for vowing to serve their community and their country.
Our kids are our future and it is so important that we back them in developing the ethic of service to our community and love of our country.
While I respect that some people have an emotional commitment to other countries, and that is their right in a democracy, our first and foremost pledge should be to our own. We have built a unique society here in Australia based on values like the fair go.
We have also built a stronger democracy than those we borrowed from. We were first to introduce votes for women, elected upper houses and secret voting, just to name a few of our achievements as Australians. The UK is still debating introducing democracy to its upper house.
In earlier generations we might have considered that we were a colonial outpost but not any more. Australia is one of the world's great nations in so many ways, in our own right.
When we are born here we are not asked to pledge allegiance, but migrants are properly asked to pledge allegiance to Australia.
For the girls of the Girl Guides, and all young Australians, it is the right thing to vow to serve this community. We need our kids to learn to take control of their own destiny through community service and confidence in themselves.
All of the things that make this nation great are reflected in the contribution Girl Guides make to their community.
I salute them for their service to Australia.
David Morris, national director
Australian Republican Movement