2. Becoming a Girl Guide

Policy

Girl Guiding in Australia (GGiA) welcomes girls and women as members to Guiding in accordance with the GGA Diversity and Inclusion Policy, the GGA Child Safe Child Friendly Policy and any other relevant policy.

Fundamental to being a member is acceptance of the Girl Guide Promise and the Guide Law. All Youth Members and Adult Members will make their Promise in a way that is comfortable for them, and will be supported by GGiA to ensure that their day to day behaviour as a Girl Guide is reflective of this intention and purpose.

All Adult Members are required to commit to acting in accordance with the GGA Code of Conduct and renew this commitment annually. The Code of Conduct requires adherence to Girl Guide policies and procedures. Youth Members are required to comply with Girl Guide policies and procedures as far as it is appropriate for their age and developmental stage.

All Adult Members must satisfy the requirements of Element 3 – Recruitment and Screening of Volunteers.

The procedures to support this policy are included below.

1. Becoming a Girl Guide

Girl Guides can be either Youth Members (between 5 and 18 years) or Adult Members (18 years and over).

When applying to become a Girl Guide (regardless of age) applicants are required to complete a Girl Guide Membership Application Form, available from their Girl Guide State Office or website.

Information collected assists GGiA to develop a greater understanding of the diversity and lived experiences of the girls and women who are Girl Guides, and support GGiA to optimise meeting the widest range of diversity of needs of Girl Guides possible.

The procedure and timing for payment of membership fees varies between SGGOs; however, if someone is experiencing financial hardship GGiA will respond and assist where possible to make Guiding accessible. Contact details for all SGGOs can be found here.

Girl Guides are required to renew their membership and pay their membership renewal fee in accordance with SGGO requirements.

2. Who can be a Girl Guide?

GGiA welcomes all girls and women to Guiding.

3. The Girl Guide Promise and the Guide Law

It is a requirement of membership that all Girl Guides accept and follow the:

Girl Guides must explore their understanding of the Girl Guide Promise and Guide Law, and, when they are ready, make their Promise in a way that is comfortable for them. All Adult Members, who take on a leadership role,  must make their Promise before completing their qualifications.

Girl Guides are supported to explore the intention and purpose of the Girl Guide Promise and Guide Law, and consider how their day to day behaviour reflects the respective values.

Youth Members are supported through this process by their Guide Leaders and may work together to design Unit Rules.

Adult Members are supported to explore the Promise and Law through the Australian Leadership and Qualification Program (ALQP).

All Youth Members, Leaders and Managers must make the Guide Promise as a part of becoming a Girl Guide.

4. The GGA Code of Conduct

The GGA Code of Conduct sets the standards and behaviours expected and required by all adults who are involved in any way with GGiA.

When renewing membership, Adult Members are required to confirm that they have adhered to and intend to adhere to the Code of Conduct. SGGOs may advise of other requirements at the time of membership renewal. These may include completion of a training modules to remain updated on Guiding policies and procedures.

Please note: Membership renewal forms will be updated to include these questions on membership renewal from 1 January 2022.

5. Adult Members

All potential Adult Members must meet the requirements for Ongoing Volunteers as detailed in Element 3 – Recruiting and Screening Volunteers.

Adult Members are required to familiarise themselves with the GGA Code of Conduct and must ask for clarification if there is anything that they do not understand.

By applying for membership or renewing membership Adult Members are confirming their agreement to be bound and continue to be bound by the GGA Code of Conduct.

Adult members include Trefoil Guild members and Olave Program participants.

6. Obligations of Adult Members

All new Adult Members must receive information on how to access copies of:

  • the GGA Code of Conduct; and
  • the policies and procedures of Girl Guides Australia and the respective State Girl Guide organisation.

7. Youth Members

Youth Members and their parents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the GGA Code of Conduct for guidance on the standards of behaviour expected of all Adults in Guiding.

Districts are encouraged to have printed copies of the GGA Code of Conduct in Girl Guide meeting places.

8. The GGA Child Safe Child Friendly Framework

The GGA Child Safe Child Friendly Framework outlines GGA’s commitment to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people, including, in particular all Youth Members.

Adult Members are required to always act in accordance with the Child Safe Child Friendly Policy.

Adult Members are required to familiarise themselves with the Child Safe Child Friendly Policy, and to ask for clarification if there is anything that they do not understand.

9. Privacy Principles

All personal information about Members must be managed in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles, which outline how Australian agencies must handle, use, and manage personal information.

The GGA Information Sheet – Privacy in Girl Guiding summarises how the Principles are followed in Girl Guiding.

All Adults in Guiding must be familiar with, and follow, the Principles. Each SGGO may also have legislative requirements for their state or territory.

10. Induction of Adult Members

Most Adult Members will have a specific role within GGiA.

Accordingly, all new Adult Members are supported by their supervisor to understand their formal roles and responsibilities. For Unit Leaders, the supervisor is the District Manager and for the District Manager the supervisor is the Region Manager. New Adult Members must undertake the training appropriate to their roles and responsibilities in accordance with the Australian Leadership and Qualification Program (ALQP).

Adult Members must also familiarise themselves with the Australian Guide Program.

Within six weeks of membership*, all new Adult Members are required to complete the CSCF training module ‘CSCF for Adults in Guiding’. This training module is found on the eGuiding learning platform. Modified delivery of this training can be approved by a SGGO on an individual basis.

*Please note: It may not be possible to complete ‘CSCF  for Adults in Guiding’ in the time period recommended. For example screening processes and access to the eGuiding may delay the onboarding process.  In these situations,  the module should be completed as soon as practicable.

 

11. Leadership Training

Many Adult Members will be joining GGiA to take on a leadership role.

All of these Adult Members will be supported by their supervisor through the Australian Leadership & Qualification Program (ALQP).  Their supervisor will most likely be their District or Region Manager or another Leader.

Leaders and Managers are also required to undertake a further CSCF training module – CSCF for Leaders and Managers. This training module is found on the eGuiding learning platform. It is included as a requirement in the training for Leader or Manager qualification. Modified delivery of this training can be approved by a SGGO on an individual basis.

12. The Olave Program

Young women aged between 18 and 30 may choose to participate in the Olave Program. The Olave Program focuses on the three aspects of community, adventure and self-development. Olave Program participants are Adult Members and must meet the obligations of Adult Members outlined above.

Olave Program participants take opportunities to:

  • Make a positive difference in their communities through volunteering, service and advocacy
  • Challenge themselves through new experiences especially in the outdoors and internationally
  • Develop skills and knowledge to enable them to grow as individuals.

The Olave Program is underpinned by the Girl Guide Promise and the Guide Law.

Please note: Those joining the Olave Program after 1 January 2022 will be required to meet the screening requirements for all new Adult Members.

13. Trefoil Guild

The Trefoil Guild links Adult Members, former Adult Members, female members of Scouts Australia, and women who have not been Adult Members but who are prepared to make the Girl Guide Promise.

The purpose of Trefoil Guild is to:

  • Keep alive the spirit of the Girl Guide Promise and the Guide Law
  • Carry this spirit into the community
  • Give support to GGiA.

Women living in Australia who were members of Guiding or Scouting in other countries can also join Trefoil Guild.

Please note: All new Trefoil Guild members from 1 January 2023 will be required to meet the screening requirements for all new Adult Members.

14. Disciplinary Proceedings - Investigations

If anyone involved with GGiA thinks that any Adult in Guiding has not followed any aspect of the GGA Code of Conduct, (this includes the Girl Guide Promise, the Guide Law or any Girl Guide policies), they must raise their concerns as soon as possible with their supervisor.

If the breach of the GGA Code of Conduct relates in any way to a matter involving harm, risk of harm and/or child abuse and neglect, a mandatory notification must be made immediately in line with the legislative requirements in the respective state or territory.  Procedures for this reporting are included in Element 8 – Responding to Abuse and Neglect.

Any reference to ‘harm’ refers to the kind of harm against which a child or young person is ordinarily protected.

If the concern is in relation to the supervisor, support should be sought from someone else in a senior leadership role. This could be someone senior within the State office or the GGA office if it relates to a person working within GGA.

If a Youth Member has concerns, they must raise their concerns with their Unit Leader or with their relevant SGGO office directly.

The process for Investigations into any alleged breaches of the GGA Code of Conduct, must follow the GGA Complaint Resolution and Investigation Process included in the Members’ section on SGGO websites.

Please note: The Complaints Resolution and Investigations process is being finalised and will be available by 1 January 2022.

15. Declined or Cancelled Membership

GGiA has the right, within appropriate legislative and policy constraints, to decline or cancel the membership of any Member in any one or more of the following circumstances:

  • The applicant does not identify as, and live as a female.
  • GGiA cannot, after taking all reasonable steps, provide the adequate supervision or support required to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the applicant, and/or other Members, Volunteers, or Employees. Refer to Additional Needs (Clause 12 of Procedures for Element 10 – Girl Guiding in Practise) and the GGA Diversity & Inclusion Policy.
  • A current Working with Children Check cannot be provided (Adult Members only). Please note: In some states and territories, a WWCC is required for anyone 14 years or over who volunteers.
  • The results of the applicant’s National Police Check records a disclosable outcome that in the opinion of the relevant Commissioner (or her delegate) is not consistent with the Mission, GGA Code of Conduct and/or policies and procedures of WAGGGS, GGA and GGiA.
  • The applicant or member does not agree to act in accordance with the GGA Code of Conduct.
  • The references provided by one or both of the independent referees supporting the application indicate conduct or risk of conduct that is not consistent with the Mission, GGA Code of Conduct and policies and procedures of GGiA.
  • There is other conduct that is not consistent with membership of GGiA such as previously having membership of another Girl Guiding or similar organisation declined, or a criminal conviction of a relevant nature, or having acted in a manner that would bring Girl Guiding into disrepute.

If a membership application is declined, and the applicant does not agree with the decision, they have the right to appeal the decision by writing directly to the relevant Commissioner. State Commissioners can be contacted through the relevant State office.

The relevant Commissioner (or her delegate) must review the matter and respond with at least an acknowledgment within 14 days of receiving the written appeal.

If the membership of a Member is cancelled, that information must be recorded in the member database of the relevant entity in GGiA and details forwarded to GGA for inclusion in the Declined or Cancelled Member Register.

Last Modified: 18/01/22 at 11:47 AM