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Girls to lead the way at GirlGuiding New Zealand

3 August 2015

Girls to lead the way at GirlGuiding New Zealand

GirlGuiding New Zealand has launched an unprecedented shake-up to transform the organisation into one led by its girl members.

National President Sonia Faulkner told the organisation’s annual National Conference in Auckland at the weekend that the Board would work with members to transform GirlGuiding into a “girl-led” movement relevant in the lives of modern Kiwi girls.

“It’s time we allowed the girls to lead the way. We will move from being a girl-focused organisation to one which is girl-led, where girls confidently and knowledgeably speak out on issues important and relevant to them.”

Mrs Faulkner said GirlGuiding New Zealand’s girl members had expressed a strong desire to take a more leading role in their communities and the country.

“GirlGuiding builds self-esteem, confidence and leadership. Today’s girls expect to be making decisions about how to change lives and by reflecting our interests in advocacy we will ensure girls can express their opinions on matters that affect a broad spectrum of girls in New Zealand.”

Mrs Faulkner said the organisation had to make changes because society had changed so much over the years.

As is the case with similar movements worldwide, numbers of girls have been on the decline. GirlGuiding New Zealand currently has a national girl membership of approximately 9,000, down from 12,000 in 2008. The ambition is to push membership back up to 15,000 or more by 2020.

“This move will reflect our origins, where girls spoke out to start their own organisation, the Girl Peace Scouts, in 1910 because they were excluded from Baden-Powell’s boys’ only movement,” said Mrs Faulkner.

“GirlGuiding is only one of many choices for today’s girls but our values are just as relevant as ever. It’s how those values are expressed and demonstrated that need to adapt. This change means our way of enabling them to learn confidence and leadership will be more relevant and modern as well.

“Volunteers and management will be there to support and facilitate the things the girls want to do, rather than setting out how everything should be done. This will let the girls get on with experiencing all the great things that GirlGuiding offers – learning, adventures, camaraderie and community spirit.”


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