Becoming a Manager with Girl Guides

By becoming a Manager with Girl Guides you are joining Australia’s largest volunteer-based organisation for girls and young women. You are part of a family of 30,000 members in Australia with girls and young women participating in every State and Territory, in rural and urban settings, learning new skills, building friendships, and having fun and adventure along the way.

By being involved with Girl Guides, Adult Members are able to learn new skills, build their confidence, develop life-long friendships, and actively contribute to the local and global community.

Girl Guides deliver a service to the community in the form of non-formal learning to girls and young women through the “Girl Guide and Girl Scout Method”. It is a specific type of learning based on a set of principles and values that were first established in 1909.

Standing the test of time, the method is defined by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts as:

• Learning in small groups to support each other, negotiate, make democratic decisions, assert our needs, solve problems together, take the lead
• At the pace and through a pathway that is determined by the girl to respect individuals, make our own choices, learn in the best way for us, value our achievements, collaborate not compete, be confident
• Learning by doing to take on challenges, learn through experience, take risks, make mistakes, get involved, pay attention
• Connecting with others to value others, appreciate diversity, listen, connect, make a difference, develop empathy, communicate
• Connecting with the world to be active citizens, get our hands dirty, enjoy the outdoors, get involved in our community, speak out for change, pay attention to the wider world
• Learning is experiential and connected to others with the goal of making the world a better place.
(Verhoeven, 2014)

This core competency is typically implemented through an extensive network of trained volunteers via a program of activities in weekly meetings at “units”, and events such as camping, major “jamborees” as well as overseas trips.

As a Manager, your support for teams of adult volunteers ensures the girls and young women in your District or Region gain maximum benefit from the Australian Guide Program. Part of your role is making sure the tangible things are done, the policies and procedures implemented and Guiding runs smoothly. Equally as important is developing a positive culture that builds a sense of belonging, where all your Leaders and Guides feel valued and engaged. You will find that being a Manager with Girl Guides is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. The privilege of working with talented women and girls and knowing you are contributing to their growth is very special.

Management Qualification

The Australian Leadership and Qualification Program (ALQP) is a program of learning and qualifications especially designed for Adult Members. The program provides new Leaders and Managers with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need.  For experienced Leaders and Managers, it offers the opportunity to update skills, explore new areas of interest, and facilitate the transition into new roles. The structure of the District Management and Region Management qualifications are the same, although the content has some differences.  Both qualifications have the following elements.

  • A dedicated Mentor to provide support and structure the learning plan. A Mentor of their choice supports Region Managers.
  • A process to recognise previous Girl Guiding experience, relevant occupational experience, and qualifications. For every qualification except Region Manager, this process is completed by the Mentor.
  • The first stage of the qualification is a comprehensive Induction. Understanding commitment to the Girl Guide Promise and Law is an important part of Induction.
  • A “Passport” for each qualification sets out the required reading, activities, and reflection exercises for each of the qualification modules. The activities replicate the role’s main tasks, and the reflection exercises are designed to embed learning. It also acts as a record of your progress, with space for you, your Mentor, your Manager, or other Leaders and Managers to sign when you have completed activities.
  • The Manager’s Handbook and Guide Lines provide the primary knowledge content for the qualification.
  • Online training and eGuiding modules supplement Passport learning and it is essential to complete first aid training.
  • Each activity specifies by whom it can be signed off; the Manager herself, or other qualified Leaders and Managers. The Manager of the volunteer leads the induction phase, signs specific activities in the Passport, and completes the final sign-off.
  • Six months after qualification the individual has an interim review with their Manager.

Further advice on the ALQP is available on the GGA website.  Ask your direct manager for the passwords and user names should you require them.

Although the time taken to complete the qualification will vary depending on your previous experience, most new Managers will be able to complete it in a 6-9 month time frame.

Introducing Yourself

Once your appointment is confirmed it is important that members of the District or Region team are made aware of your appointment and that your contact details are communicated.  If you have a small team, make a phone call to introduce yourself, but if your team is larger, send a ‘hello’ email to them as soon as possible.  It is important to put an early emphasis on clear and comprehensive communication so the team isn’t tempted to make contact with the previous appointee to find out information or to guess what is going on.

As well as making contact with your direct team, find out who the ‘movers and shakers’ are in your District or Region.  They might not just be the women with current appointments. There may be extremely experienced women in the local Trefoil Guild, or you may have one or two outstanding parent volunteers.  Identify if there are any Junior Leaders and also if you have any youth members completing Queen’s Guide.  Also, contact the local Olave Program peer group to find out how they might like to be involved in the District or Region.

If you are starting a new District, your Region Manager and other District Managers in the Region will be able to help you set up lines of communication and to decide what records to set up.

Managing A Handover

If you have a handover meeting with your predecessor, there will be a range of topics to discuss.  You should review any current property, financial, insurance, or membership issues.  You’ll need to find out where previous and current files are kept together with District scrapbooks or photo albums and obtain the equipment inventory.  A handover of the District calendar and diary commitments will ensure nothing is missed during this transition stage.  The induction phase of the Manager’s Qualification sets out all the areas which need to be completed for a successful orientation into your new role.

Other District Managers, the Region Manager, and members of the Region team will be able to offer advice and also help locate previous and current records.  The State database provides membership information.  During the handover, it’s your chance to find out as much as you can and ask the “obvious” questions.  But during this phase avoid forming early judgements on team members which might not be substantiated when you get to know them better.

If your predecessor is taking up a leadership role in your District or a District Manager role elsewhere in your Region, you will benefit from having her experience and local knowledge.  If not, there may be other opportunities to use her experience, maybe in an Assistant District Manager role or perhaps as a Mentor, an Outdoors Skills Assessor, or an informal mentor for the Olave Program.

Last Modified: 27/06/23 at 6:51 PM