Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:40): I rise today to speak about the importance of local scouting in our community, and in particular those active scout groups in my electorate: Blackwood, Eden Hills, Belair and Mitcham. Scouts SA encourages children and their families to head outdoors and try new activities. It gives young people a chance to make a contribution to society and adults can also play a part by taking the chance to become suitable role models.
In my electorate, I have several scout groups. Probably one of the biggest scouting groups throughout the entirety of South Australia, Belair Scout Group involves boys and girls aged six to 26. They engage in peer to peer mentoring and healthy, outdoor, adventurous activities. The young people gain confidence, learn problem solving and risk management, as well as life and leadership skills. They understand the importance of honesty, integrity and community service and, as a result, become healthy, active citizens, business leaders and role models in their local community.
Over at Blackwood, the Blackwood Scout Group runs a range of great programs packed with fun, action, adventure and challenge. By joining the Blackwood Scout Group, children are given the opportunity for an educational experience that forms a bridge between what they learn at home and at school. The group is well staffed with skilled and trained leaders who deliver great scouting
programs. This year, four Blackwood Scout Group volunteers were recognised in the Adult Recognition Awards for displaying the dedication and hard work of the volunteers who help run this valuable program.
The Eden Hills Scout Group enjoys membership of over 130 Joey, Cub, Scout and Venturer members, aged six to 18. The club offers children and young people a fun, active and rewarding scout experience. Due to the popularity of what is offered, various age groups meet each night of the week at the scout hall on Karinya Reserve.
I had the pleasure of being at the scout hall on Sunday as part of the Blackwood Rotary Christmas Fair, together with my federal colleague, Nicolle Flint, the member for Boothby. We were chatting to the group officers from Eden Hills Scout Group and they were telling us about where most of the kids were that weekend—over at mud activities—and also about the need for the upgrade of the hall facilities. The Eden Hills Scout Hall at Karinya is about 50 or 60 years old and in need of much love and attention. That is a project that I hope we can all partner with to deliver for the local community. Eden Hills Scout Group actively encourages current, past and prospective members, as well as parents, to join in the group and participate in activities.
Mitcham Scouts meet down in Mitcham near the Edinburgh Hotel and are also known as the 2nd Adelaide Scout Group. Mitcham Scouts teaches club members about independence and how to build great friendships. Members learn by using the Scouts method, including learning by doing and working in small groups. As part of a worldwide organisation, Mitcham Scouts engages and inspires young people to develop confidence, resilience and leadership.
I was recently invited to attend their annual Tom Gilchrist Awards Ceremony. It was a chance to acknowledge the youth members, leaders and parent helpers who have made an outstanding contribution over the past 12 months. I would like to thank their group leader, Natalie Steward, for her hard work and commitment to the Scouts in her care.
All these groups make a great contribution to the education of young people, who then play a constructive role in society. Scouting delivers real-life benefits to young people and this is enthusiastically recognised by South Australian parents and their children. Scouting is a growing organisation worldwide, with over 25 million members, of which 7,000 are in South Australia. Each group, both in my electorate and across all electorates, is doing wonderful work in its community and I am pleased to stand here today to recognise the work of the volunteers, leaders, parents who make themselves available for their children, and young Scout members.
I would also like to make special mention of the sad loss in my community of Mr Brian Langsford of Hawthorndene. Brian made an enormous contribution to the Scouts in the Mitcham Hills and was recognised over the years for his dedication, passion and vision for engaging young people. In 2013, he was presented with an Australia Day commendation for his contribution to the Scouts and the Red Cross Blood Service.
One event that he will always be remembered for and was integral to starting was the ANZAC Eve Youth Vigil at the Soldiers' Memorial Gardens at the Blackwood roundabout. The ANZAC Eve Youth Vigil stems from the military tradition of 'holding ground'. It was Brian who involved community groups, the Scouts, the CFS, St John cadets and Girl Guides in leading that service. Brian was a wonderful passionate community man and a truly dedicated leader.