Each State structures its Regions in the way which makes sense for its geography and population density.
Roles in the Region Team
As Region Manager you lead the Region team. Membership of this team may include District Managers, Assistant District Managers, Assistant Region Manager, Treasurer and Region team members with specific portfolios e.g. Outdoor Activities.
Should I have an Assistant?
Having an Assistant Region Manager is one way to share the workload. You might divide up responsibilities on a geographic basis or you might split up the functional roles, e.g. your Assistant might be responsible for all matters to do with risk or have a special focus on membership areas or take responsibility for financial and audit matters. However you divide up the role, it is important to record the division and if you are the Region Manager, be clear that the ultimate authority and accountability rests with you. Your Assistant Region Manager should have completed or be working towards the Region Management Qualification.
How do I put my Specialist Team together?
When you take on the role of Region Manager you may inherit some of your team members as their terms are not up, but you will have the opportunity over time to appoint your own team of experts. Forming the new team is a very important task, so take time to reflect on this and speak to your Assistant State Commissioner or State Commissioner about your ideas. Whilst it is comforting to feel that your Region team members are personally loyal to you, guard against only appointing those you know well. As most Regions cover large and diverse geographic areas, it is useful to have representation from all of these. The best team is likely to be one which has a diversity of experience in Guiding, some new and some long-serving, and with experience of different age groups.
In the larger States region appointments as Consultants or Coordinators are made against position descriptions with prescribed terms and accountabilities and often for specified terms. The most common Region appointments are for Program, Learning & Development, International, Outdoors and Olave Program, thereby matching the national structure. Other appointments may also be made to meet particular needs, e.g. Duke of Edinburgh Consultant, Queen’s Guide Award / BP Award Coordinator, Trefoil Guild or Guides with Special Needs. In the smaller States, the process tends to be more informal and there are often fewer regional appointments. Adjoining Regions may share personnel for these positions and a person on the Region team may hold more than one of these supplementary appointments.
It is also possible to have either Resource Leaders or Outdoors Leaders appointed at Region level. The time commitment for these roles is personal and flexible and should be agreed at appointment. As Resource Leaders and Outdoors Leaders do not have a regular Guiding commitment, it is important they are included as part of the team of the person who appointed them. This not only ensures they receive relevant information but provides them with support, friendship and a network. If distance is a problem they should be ‘attached’ to a team in their local area.
What are the roles of the Region Treasurer and Region Secretary?
A Region Secretary may be appointed by the Region Manager to take minutes and to handle correspondence. A Region Treasurer could be appointed by the Region Manager to look after the region accounts and also to advise on financial matters such as budgets and setting fees for events. Neither the Region Secretary nor Region Treasurer need to be adult members, but the secretary should be highly literate and organised and the treasurer numerate, detail-conscious and understand business decisions. The appointments of Region Secretary and Region Treasurer normally cease on the Region Manager’s resignation or retirement, but may be continued by the incoming Region Manager.
Do I need Region committees?
There may be a need to establish Region committees for specific purposes such as establishing and maintaining a campsite or operating an equipment centre or shop or for ad hoc purposes such as a Region camp or membership drive. Any committee should have a clear purpose, membership and finite period of operation. Region committees should keep minutes and may have budgets. The Region Leader is an ex-officio member of all Region committees but may choose a nominee to represent her at meetings.
What is the Olave Program?
The Region or District may also have one or many Olave Program Peer Groups that are active. The Olave Program is for young women aged 18 to 30 years, usually operating in an autonomous peer group but individuals can participate as well. The Olave Program provides an opportunity for young women to experience a wide range of activities – such as lightweight camping, adventure activities, personal development weekends, service projects, national and international camps – while encouraging personal growth and social networks.
The Olave Program is a personal development program for members of Guiding in Australia aged 18-30. It 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.
At Region you may have an Olave Program Mentor to support Olave Program peer groups by providing knowledge, skills, and advice. Olave Program members are a potential resource of future Leaders for your District / Region. The Olave Program is a great way to retain talent in the organisation, and it is important for District Managers and Region Managers to take an active interest in them.
What’s the relationship with the Trefoil Guild?
A Trefoil Guild may operate in the Region or District. A Trefoil Guild is self-governing, although it abides by the relevant State policy. It is self-sufficient financially, being responsible for financing all its own activities and administration. Its members are women (over 18 years) who have made, or are willing to make, the Guide Promise or Scout Promise. The members may have been Leaders, Managers, Advisers or Commissioners in the past. If you have a Guild in your area you should stay in contact with them and invite them to special events. The members will have a wealth knowledge which will be useful for you and developing a relationship with them will also help them to see where they can be of assistance to the Region.
Restructuring Regions: Opening and Closing Districts
New Districts or proposed alterations to internal boundaries must be thoroughly considered by the Region Manager and discussed with the affected District Managers. The relevant information must be communicated to the State Commissioner who will discuss the proposals with other Region Managers who may be affected. The final decision is made at State level, except in NSW & ACT where it is made by the Region Manager who will be responsible for the new District. When a new District is formed its name should have some kind of local geographical/suburb significance for easy identification. In Victoria District boundaries align with local government boundaries and therefore only change when the LGA boundaries change.
Very occasionally it may not be possible to sustain Guiding in a District and you may need to close the District. However, if the District is likely to be re-established within a reasonable time it should be placed in recess. The Region should review the viability of a recessed District within a reasonable timeframe. District equipment normally reverts to the Region and the Region Manager decides if and how it should be distributed. When a Support Group goes into recess the funds of the group are disbursed according to State policy. The Closure or Recess of Unit or District form should be used to notify the State Office.
Last Modified: 28/02/23 at 5:22 PM