Olave Program

The Olave Program is a personal development program for members of Girl Guiding in Australia aged 18-29.  It focuses on the three aspects of community, adventure and self-development. 

An Olave is a member of a State Girl Guide Organisation who has had her 18th birthday but has not yet had her 30th birthday, and who elects to participate in the Olave Program. 

The Olave Program empowers young women to discover their potential as leaders of their world. It also provides a voice for the young women of Guiding. Participating in the Olave Program provides great opportunities for challenge and adventure, getting involved in the community, meeting new people and developing new skills and abilities. 

Peer Groups consist of Olaves who meet together on a regular (or semi-regular) basis. Peer Groups may be set up according to geographical areas (ie Regions or Districts), or to meet the needs of those with similar interests (for example, canoeing or advocacy). 

The Olave Program Handbook provides more information on the Olave Program and includes ideas for activities for Peer Groups and details of useful resources. 

Overview of the Olave Program Framework

The Olave Program focuses on the three aspects of community, adventure and self-development.

Olaves 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 and
    • develop skills and knowledge to enable them to grow as individuals.

The Olave Program is underpinned by the Guide Promise and Law and the innovations and traditions of Australian Guiding.

Olaves and Peer Groups should structure their programs around the Olave Program Framework, to ensure that opportunities are available to participate in a wide variety of activities and to support the growth of individuals.

Girl Guide Promise & Law

Olave Program members are Adult Members of Girl Guiding in Australia. It is a requirement of membership that all Girl Guides accept and follow the:

Olave Program members 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. Olave Program members are encouraged to consider how their day-to-day behaviour reflects the respective values.

All Olave members must comply with all GGA policies and procedures and those of their State Girl Guide Organisation (SGGO). Some of these are included below:

GGA Code of Conduct

Olaves must adhere to the GGA Code of Conduct which sets the standards and behaviours expected and required by all adults who are involved in any way with Girl Guiding in Australia.

Read the GGA Code of Conduct.

When renewing membership, Olave Program members like all 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.

Child Safe Child Friendly

Girl Guides Australia has as a strategic foundation to be a Child Safe Child Friendly Community. All Olaves must adhere to the Girl Guides Australia Child Safe Child Friendly Policy and Procedures and comply with, the relevant state legislation and SGGO policies.


Olaves wear the adult uniform, with an optional Olave Program bar on the badge tab.

Badge placement information can be found in the Uniform Information booklet Uniform – Girl Guides Australia.

Girl Guides Australia Structure and Governance

There are many opportunities for Olaves to take on roles at a state and national level within Guiding, and an understanding of the structure and procedures of the national organisation is very useful for all Olaves.

Girl Guides Australia (GGA)

GGA is a company limited by guarantee, whose members are the six State Girl Guide Organisations. Each SGGO is an individual legal entity. Olaves are members of a SGGO.

The governance of GGA is in the hands of the GGA Board. Members of the Board are the Chair, the Chief Commissioner, a director nominated by each State and three appointed directors.

There is a GGA Governance Framework which consists of two tiers (Governing and Operating). The Framework features three key forums; Chairs, Commissioners and Young Women’s Forum. These forums provide consultation, recommendation and support the decision making of the GGA board.

In the operating tier there is a team of four National Coordinators (Olave Program, Adult, Youth and International) who work with State liaisons to coordinate key aspects of Girl Guiding in Australia.

The Olave Program

Each SGGO has a State Olave Program Manager (or equivalent) who is responsible for the Olave Program in that State.

Some SGGOs have State Olave Program Committees, but the structure and procedures of these committees vary between SGGOs.

The State Olave Program Managers come together to meet with the National Coordinator – Olave Program on a regular basis. In this way, States are able to share experiences and information to improve the Olave Program in a consistent way and to enable the voices of young women from across Australia are represented at the national level.


Olaves take opportunities to make a positive difference in their communities through volunteering, service and advocacy.

This could involve:

  • Taking action to improve your community
  • Developing an understanding of global issues and sharing your knowledge with others
  • Volunteering at events and activities or coordinating their organisation
  • Connecting with a range of diverse groups within your community
  • Developing and implementing a project of your own or with likeminded people
  • Supporting Guiding at a local, state, national and international level
  • Speaking out on issues you are passionate about
  • Working in partnerships with other organisations to implement positive change.


Olaves take opportunities to challenge themselves through new experiences especially in the outdoors and internationally.

This could involve:

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone and developing self-confidence
  • Experiencing Guiding on an international level through overseas trips and experiences
  • Exploring natural and urban environments
  • Making global connections through the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) or other international organisations
  • Expanding your horizons by taking part in a range of different activities
  • Attending camps and events at a local, state, national and international level
  • Developing skills in planning, risk management and problem solving and sharing this expertise with others · Participating in opportunities and programs offered by WAGGGS such as the five World Centres, Juliette Low or Helen Storrow Leadership Seminar.

Camping & Adventure-based Activities

The requirements that apply to Olave Program camps and adventure-based activities are as follows.

For camps involving only Olaves and/or Adult Members:

  • There is no requirement for a person to hold a camping qualification
  • There must be at least one person who holds a current First Aid Certificate (or equivalent)
  • A Camp/Adventure-based Event Application Form (OUT.01) must be completed (only relevant sections)
  • A Risk Assessment Plan (ADM.56b) must be sent to the State Outdoors Manager (or equivalent) and copied to the State Olave Program Manager (or equivalent)
  • Participants must complete and provide an Adult Information Form for Activities (ADM.28)
  • A Camp/Adventure-based Event Report (OUT.03) must be completed

For adventure-based activities involving only Olaves and/or Adult Members:

  • An Adventure Activity Form (OUT.01) must be completed
  • A Risk Assessment Plan (ADM.56b) must be sent to the State Outdoors Manager (or equivalent) and copied to the State Olave Program Manager (or equivalent)
  • There must be at least one person who holds a current qualification for the adventure-based activity
  • There must be at least one person who holds a current First Aid Certificate (or equivalent)
  • Participants must complete and provide an Adult Information Form for Activities (ADM.28)
  • The qualifications of leaders or instructors carrying out all adventure-based activities must be confirmed by the State Outdoors Manager (or equivalent)
  • A Camp/Adventure-based Event Report (OUT.03) must be completed

Forms listed are available on the Guide Lines Forms page.

Qualifications for conducting Adventure-based activities require a minimum qualification of Provide First Aid certificate or equivalent. Olave Program Members may complete qualifications to conduct adventure-based activities without a Leader/Manager qualification provided only adult members are taking part in the Adventure-based activity. Risk management must be an integral part of planning for all Olave Program activities, even if they are not camps or adventure-based activities.

For any activities which involve Youth Members, the relevant requirements regarding approvals, qualifications and ratios (as per Guide Lines) must be fulfilled.

A Girl Guide Incident Report must be completed for any accidents or incidents that occur during Olave Program events.


Olaves take opportunities to develop skills and knowledge to enable them to grow as individuals.

This could involve:

  • Developing practical skills to assist in all areas of life
  • Volunteering for leadership or management positions and/or working to develop the relevant skills
  • Developing and expanding supportive social networks
  • Setting goals and achieving them through Olave Program Awards or personal projects
  • Upskilling in the areas of project management, event management and governance within Guiding
  • Actively participating in a Peer Group to enhance your development and the development of others
  • Exploring new interests, skills and opportunities, including gaining external qualifications
  • Undertaking learning and development opportunities through Guiding on a variety of topics.

Self-development for each person is different. It might be governance, car maintenance, self-defence, IT skills, time management, performing arts, meditation or something else completely. Peer Groups provide opportunities to learn skills as a group, and to try new activities!

The Olave Program Awards structure provides opportunities for individuals to set up personal projects for developing skills or gaining qualifications. For more information on how to incorporate community, adventure and self-development into Olave Program activities, please refer to the Olave Program Handbook.

Peer Groups

A Peer Group consists of a number of Olaves who meet together on a regular basis.

Peer Groups may be set up according to geographical areas (ie Regions or Districts), to meet the needs of those with similar interests (for example, canoeing or advocacy), or Olaves may be independent Olaves.

Olaves who are seeking a Peer Group (or a new Peer Group) should contact their State Olave Program Manager for information about other Peer Groups in their area, or any online Peer Groups. Finding a Peer Group that is a good fit is important to foster positive dynamics. Olaves should feel free to take time to explore different options and find a Peer Group that works for them.

Peer Groups are not necessarily the same as Award Support Groups (See the Olave Program Awards section).

For more information on Peer Groups refer to the Olave Program Handbook.

Awards & Badges

The Olave Program Awards structure recognises that all Olaves are different and as such offers a range of challenges to cater for everyone. With the flexibility to be viewed as both a whole system or as many individual awards, the Olave Program Awards structure allows participants to set their own path. Choosing their own Award Support Groups, and mentors to guide them on their way, Olaves are continually supported and encouraged to grow in knowledge and reach their goals. Many of the Awards require an Award Support Group to be nominated.

An Award Support Group is a group of at least four other adult members of Guiding in Australia. At least two of the members must be between 18 and 29, and where possible the majority of the Award Support Group is to be in this age group. The members of an Award Support Group should know the Olave who is undertaking the Award well enough to be able to assess what will be a challenge for her. The Award Support Group should be in regular contact, whether online or face-to-face.

For information on assessment of Olave Program Awards please refer to the Olave Program Handbook.

Olave Baden-Powell Award

The Olave Baden-Powell Award is the peak achievement award for Olaves and requires a strong commitment to self-development and service. The syllabus focuses on the three aspects of the Framework with the addition of a further development component. Using the syllabus, a Plan of Action is developed which is put to a chosen Award Support Group and approved prior to commencing the Award. The Award can be started after turning 18 years and must be completed prior to turning 30, in a minimum of two years and maximum of six years.

Olave Challenge

The Olave Challenge provides the opportunity to discover more about parts of the Olave Program. Olaves challenge themselves by providing service to the community, as well as undertaking two additional challenges in other areas of the original Olave Program Framework. Each activity should be developed in consultation with the chosen Award Support Group. The Olave Challenge can be started any time after turning 18 years but must be completed before turning 30 and undertaken in a maximum of two years.

Commonwealth Award

The Commonwealth Award is open to any Guide or Olave in a WAGGGS Commonwealth country. In Girl Guides Australia, the Commonwealth Award can be completed by any member aged 14-30 years. It includes a variety of different areas to challenge Guides to be their best, and for Olaves this is assessed by an Award Support Group. 

Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an international award for young people aged 14-25 years. The award encourages young people to challenge themselves by experiencing the world around them and developing their full potential through a range of personal and physical activities. There are three different levels: bronze, silver and gold. 

The award can be cross credited with Guide awards such as the Olave Baden-Powell Award. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is coordinated in each state by a volunteer Award Coordinator who is appointed by the SGGO. 

Duke of Edinburgh Award website. 

AGP-OP Link Badge

The AGP-OP Link Badge is a great place to start having a better look at what the Olave Program is all about. Specifically designed for youth members moving from being a youth member into the Olave Program, this badge gives participants an experience of each of the Olave Program’s aspects. It explores the Framework fully, but only gives a small taste to begin the Olave Program experience.

The syllabus is split into two parts with Part A requiring completion prior to turning 18 and Part B after turning 18 but before turning 19. Completing Part A earns a certificate and completing Part B earns the metal AGP-OP Link Badge which can be worn on the badge tab of the Adult uniform.

Inspire Badge

INSPIRE is a one-hour program to be run by Olaves in a Guide Unit during a regular weekly meeting. It provides an introduction to the Olave Program for Guides of any age and facilitates connections between Olaves, Guides and Unit Leaders. There are four versions of the INSPIRE program – one for 5–6-year-olds, one for 7–9-year-olds, one for 10–13-year-olds and one for 14–17-year-olds. Very few resources are required.

Guides will earn an “I’m Inspired to Become an Olave” badge for their camp blanket or Guide bag. There is a comprehensive package of resources including step by step instructions for each program.

Guide Your Money

The Guide Your Money Independence Program aims to build financial literacy and wellbeing. The program uses a proven learning approach and includes links to reliable resources and information.

The program is designed for flexible shared learning in peer groups and incorporates group-based activities and discussions. For those Olaves who do not meet regularly with a peer group there are many learning activities that can be completed individually.

There are 9 topics in the program. Each one contains subtopics with a range of activities and discussion points to support learning and peer group engagement and provides links to more information.

Most topics can stand-alone so and completed as just one topic. Some topics will build on what you have learned in other topics. To earn a badge, you must complete a minimum of 4 topics and also submit short pre and post program surveys to review the program.

Last Modified: 28/02/23 at 5:19 PM