DRASTIC changes introduced to the Girl Guides’ promise yesterday could lead to the end of guiding according to a retired leader Temple Cornish.
Since guiding began in Australia in 1910 all girls have taken a promise to do their duty to God and to serve the Queen, however these two significant figures have now been removed.
From today all new Girl Guides will promise to be true to themselves, to develop their beliefs and serve the community and Australia.
The decision to remove references to God and the Queen was made following a nation-wide survey of Girl Guides which favoured a change in the promise.
The move has been slammed by Central West Trefoil Guild advisor Mrs Cornish who was herself a Guide for many years and then a leader
A staunch monarchist Mrs Cornish she was shocked upon finding out the news yesterday morning and only received a letter from Girl Guides Australia yesterday afternoon to announce the changes.
“I couldn’t believe it, I was absolutely disgusted that they picked this year to do it because of the Queen’s jubilee,” she said.
“I’m really upset about it, it’s against everything BP [Girl Guides founder Robert Baden-Powell] set up.
“It could be the end of guiding and scouting, but I hope not.”
Girl Guides central west region leader and acting district leader for Orange Yvonne MacRae said the change was long overdue and reflects a more multicultural movement.
“A new chapter starts today for every leader and girl guide Australia-wide,” she said.
“We provide diversity and equality and Girl Guides now have so many different cultures and we need to relate to them all.”
Ms MacRae said the Queen will still be recognised through the Queen’s Award which is the highest achievement a girl guide can make in Australia.
She said she will be encouraging all Girl Guides in Orange to take the new promise at an upcoming ceremony late this month.
Mrs Cornish did say however that the guiding movement has become more multicultural in recent years and recognises the need for change.
“It has to be relevant to everyone, I agree but I’m very angry especially that the Queen has been taken out,” she said.
Scouting Australia members can choose to pledge to either God or Queen in their promise while the Australian citizenship pledge makes no mention of Queen or God.