• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE0762

Girl Guides Australia

(From 1926 – )


The first meeting of the Girl Guides Association of Australia Incorporated was held in Melbourne in 1926. The formation of this national body came over a decade after the first guides group was formed in Tasmania, the Girl Peace Scouts. Other states quickly followed and by the time a national body was established, all states in Australia had guides groups.

The Association celebrated their seventy-fifth birthday in 1985 and at that time had approximately 100,000 members.


In Tasmania Girl Peace Scouts, corresponding with the organisation of the same name in New Zealand, were formed as early as 1909-10, while in New South Wales the Australian League of Girl Aids, recognised in affiliation with the Boy Scouts Association, was formed at the same time. In Victoria, the Florence Nightingale Girl Aids were established in 1909, and recognised as Baden-Powell Girl Guides in 1911. Guiding in Western Australia began in 1915 at a public meeting in Perth Town Hall under the sponsorship of the Women’s Service Guild.

Some of these groups were later disbanded with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, but many reformed and were then officially registered as branches of the British association. In the early days these separate groups did not know of each other’s existence, because of our great distances and the scarcity of detailed records. Few of these were kept because the pioneers of Guiding did not realise the significance of what they were establishing, nor what a vast movement it would become.

Eventually each state became organised, setting up a headquarters, forming a state executive and appointing a state commissioner. Tasmania was first in 1911 followed by South Australia in 1913, Western Australia in 1915, Queensland in 1919, New South Wales in 1920 and Victoria in 1921.

In 2004, Guides Australia described its mission as: ‘Helping girls and young women grow into confident, self-respecting, responsible community member.’

All Australian Guides, youth and adults, make the same Promise, use the same Laws, and wear the same badge. (The words on the badge say Guides Australia)

Guide Promise
I promise that I will do my best,
to do my duty to God,
to serve the Queen and my Country,
to help other people and to keep the Guide Law.
The Guide Laws

A Guide is loyal and can be trusted

A Guide is helpful

A Guide is polite and considerate

A Guide is friendly and a sister to all Guides

A Guide is kind to animals and respects all living things

A Guide is obedient

A Guides has courage and is cheerful in all difficulties

A Guide makes good use of her time

A Guide takes care of her own possessions and those of other people

A Guide is self-controlled in all she thinks says and does


Published resources

  • Newsletter
    • Communicating, Guides Victoria, 1996
    • Guiding in Australia/Gia: Guiding in Australia, 1980-1994
    • The Scout & Guide Courier, 1931-1938
    • Guide lines / Girl Guide Association, Western Australia, Sylvia Perry Division, 1983-
    • Focus on Guiding / Girl Guides, 1991-
    • Matilda: An official treasure bag of guiders' information for Guiders of Victoria, Australia, 1923-
  • Book
    • Among the first people, 1908-1936: The Baden-Powell Girl Guide Movement in Australia, Swinburne, G.H., 1978
    • Guiding in Nowra, the First 60 Years, Clark, Helen and Alan Clark, 1985
    • Blue and gold, the story told: A brief history of the Girl Guides Association in Australia, Coleman, Margaret and Honor Darling, 1986
    • Guiding in W.A., Wilson, Winifred, [1963?]
    • Goldfields Girl Guides: A history of the movement in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder district, Quartermaine, Mavis, 1989
    • Mrs Sylvia Ringrose, O.B.E., State Commissioner, 1955-1960: A movement with a purpose, Bagster, Mary, 1992
    • Mrs Janette Gibson, A.M., State Commissioner, 1981-1986 :building for the future /researched by Jean Percy ; compiled by Nola Warneke., Warneke, Nola, 1992
    • Mrs Joan Guthrie, State Commissioner, 1965-1970 :the challenging sixties /researched by Margaret Sycamore ; compiled by Nola Warneke., Warneke, Nola, 1992
    • Mrs Honour Burcher, M.B.E., State Commissioner, 1960-1965 :the challenging sixties /researched by Margaret Sycamore ; compiled by Mavis Holland., Holland, Mavis, 1992
    • Mrs Joie Dwyer, State Commissioner, 1986-1991 :challenge and achievement /researched by Meta Williams ; compiled by Meta Williams., Williams, Meta, 1992
    • Mrs Mary Moore, M.B.E., State Commissioner, 1971-1976 :the progressive seventies /researched by Margaret Sycamore ; compiled by Wilma Torney. Publication Details [Herston, Qld.] :Girl Guides Association (Queensland, Australia),1992., Torney, Wilma, 1992
    • Mrs Lilian Gresham, M.B.E., State Commissioner, 1945-1954 :the post-war reconstruction era /researched by Meta Williams ; compiled by Meta Williams., Williams, Meta, 1992
    • Promises Made & Promises Kept: A History of Guiding in Western Australia, Miller, Joy, 2000
    • Guiding on the Goldfields: A history of the movement in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder district, Quartermaine, Mavis, 1997
    • Index [to] Guiding in W.A., Milesi, A. J., 1963?
    • Memories of guiding and scouting days: Northampton & elsewhere, Lowrie, Jessie, 1995
    • Mrs Meta Williams, OBE, State Commissioner, 1976-1981: the progressive seventies, Williams, Meta (researched and compiled by), 1992
    • From a flicker to a flame : the story of the Girl Guides in Australia, Coleman, Margaret and Darling Honor, 1989
  • Report
    • Annual Report, Girl Guides Association of Western Australia/Guides Western Australia Inc., 1936-
    • Annual Report, Girl Guides Association of Australia, 1965-
    • Annual Report, The Girl Guides Association South Australia/Guides South Australia., 1923-
    • Annual report and balance sheet / Girl Guides Thrift Campaign, Girl Guides Association of South Australia. Thrift Campaign., 1939-1945
  • Magazine
    • Adventuring: Official organ of the Girl Guides Association of South Australia, 1939-1979
    • The South Australian Girl Guide Magazine, 1926-?
    • The State magazine for Girl Guides of South Australia, 1924
    • The Waratah: The official magazine of the Girl Guides Association (New South Wales), 1926?-1980
  • Newspaper
    • The Woozle: The South Australian Girl Guides' own newspaper, 1929-1932
  • Edited Book
    • A story of scouting in Western Australia, 1908-1930: With a short account of guiding in the same period, Gough, K.R. and G. Beal, 1931
  • Booklet
    • A history of guiding in the Geraldton area, 1917-1986, Leach, Sheila A., 1986
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Nancy Lutton, 1918-2007 (bulk 1960-2007) [manuscript]
  • State Library of New South Wales
    • You can't help liking them [motion picture]
    • Cutler family - papers, 1909-1995
  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Margaret Curtis-Otter interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording]
  • State Library of Western Australia
    • [Interview with Marjorie Blythe] [sound recording] / [interviewed by W. Kay]
    • [Interview with Rev. Lee Edwards] [sound recording] / [interview conducted by 1st Huntingdale Guides]
    • [Interview with Kathleen Baird] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Wyn Kay]
    • [Interview with Daphne Foulkes-Taylor] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Gwen Mellowship]
    • [Interview with Alison Cairns] [sound recording] / [interviewed by W. Kay]
    • [Interview with Lorna Cooper] [sound recording] / [interviewed by G. Loughton]
    • [Recording of an interview with the Kendenup LV Oborne Guides and Brownies] [sound recording] / [interviewed by F. Beech]
    • [Interview with Ethel Moore] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Margaret Luckett]
    • [Interview with Gwen Mellowship] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Wyn Kay]
    • [Interview with Joan McLean] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Win Kay]
    • [Interview with Pamela McGregor] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Wyn Kay]
    • Girl Guides Association of Western Australia : collection of ephemera material
    • [Interview with Kathleen Brockway] [sound recording] / [interviewed by W. Kay]
    • Records, 1960-1991 [manuscript]
  • Archives Office of Tasmania
    • Girl Guides Association of Tasmania
  • Geelong Heritage Centre
    • Geelong Kindergarten Girl Guides Company
    • Girl Guides Association of Victoria. Aberdeen Street, Geelong, Vic. Branch
    • Girl Guides Association of Victoria. St John's Branch
  • Australian Historic Records Register
    • Girl Guides Association, WA (Inc.)
    • Ajana Girl Guides and Brownies: community organisation records
    • Girl Guides Association, Gympie District: community organisation records
    • Girl Guides Association (NSW) ACT: community organisation records
    • Girl Guides Association of Australia Incorporated: community organisation records
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Eleanor Manning, former Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
  • Australian War Memorial, Research Centre
    • Members of the Girl Guides Association (South Australia) working in the depot during their thrift campaign to raise funds for organisations such as the Red Cross
  • State Library of South Australia
    • Grace Margaret Lewis : SUMMARY RECORD
    • Guides SA Oral History Project: SUMMARY RECORD [sound recording] Interviewers: Sally Hopton, June Rees, Jeff Medwell, Peggy Buttfield and Joyce Raggatt
    • Interview with Lorna Adams [sound recording] Interviewer: Neil Baron
    • Recording of the Forty-fifth Anniversary Meeting of the Adelaide Trefoil Guild [sound recording]
    • Marion Sinclair : SUMMARY RECORD
    • Interview with Elsie Haselgrove [sound recording] Interviewer: Yvonne Abbott
    • Interview with Aileen Bond [sound recording] Interviewer: Yvonne Abbott
    • Papers relating to Girl Guides
    • George Woodroffe Goyder : SUMMARY RECORD
    • Girl Guides South Australia : SUMMARY RECORD
    • Wemyss family : SUMMARY RECORD
    • Interview with Elma Sandford-Morgan [sound recording] Interviewer: Aileen Bond

Related entries

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    • Darling, Honor Brinsley (1918 - 2000)
    • Buscombe, Nina Dorothea Kestell (1919 - 2003)
    • Adams, Lorna Esme (1920 - 2003)
    • Haselgrove, Elsie (1903 - 1997)
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    • Bolte, Edith Lilian (Jill) (1906 - 1986)
    • Brookes, Mabel Balcombe (1890 - 1975)
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  • Commissioner
    • Curtis-Otter, Margaret Catherine (1910 - 1992)
    • Douglas, Mary Stewart (May) (1904 - 1999)
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    • Hawthorn, Dorothy (1901 - 1983)
    • Somers, Lady Finola (1896 - 1981)
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  • Vice President
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  • Related Women
    • Marfell, Helena Catherine (1898 - 1981)
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  • Staff Member
    • Parker, Marjorie Alice Collett
  • President
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  • Secretary
    • Bush, Muriel Evelyn (Merle E) (1897 - 1981)
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  • Membership
    • Miethke, Adelaide Laetitia (1881 - 1962)
  • Board of Directors
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