Urgent Scholarship Opportunity

Scouts Australia has just been invited to send 2 male Rovers (aged 18-23 years) to the 18th International Youth Gathering for Cultural Exchange, OMAN from 3-13th November 2015.

This has only just arrived, with applications closing soon for the scholarship on the 25th of September, so please see Information for instructions on how to apply.

Any questions, contact Neville Tomkins, International Commissioner, Scouts Australia.


New Appointments

Congratulations to the following individuals:

APR Outstanding Scout Award, Australian Nominee:

  • Angus Boxall

APR Youth Forum Observers:

  • Andre Selton
  • Caitlin Wood
  • Annie Asquith

WOSM: Communications and External Relations Strategy Unit:

  • Richard Miller

4 New International Opportunities

Are you the most Outstanding Scout in the Asia-Pacific Region – enter the competition, and travel to Korea if shortlisted. Information and Application.

Aged 18-25 and want to have your say on the future of Scouting in the Asia-Pacific Region? Apply to be an Observer to the Regional Youth Forum in Korea! Info and Application.

Ready to lead Scouts overseas?

Contingent Leader: New Zealand Rover Moot, 2016. Info and Applications

Contingent Leader: New Zealand Jamboree 2017. Info and Applications

All applications close 3 June 2015, get in quick! Any questions, contact Andrew Cooper, Assistant International Commissioner.

Scout Profile: Ali Firsuhan from Maldives

Each month International News profiles a Scout from overseas:

Ali Firsuhan, Maldives 

First Scout Promise: In 2004 at the age of 14.

Current Scouting role: I’m a Scout Leader at one of the local Scout Groups in Male’ (the capital city of Maldives) and also the Group Scribe at a community based Rover Crew.

In the real world: I work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives. It gives me nothing but happiness by working in the Government and well it provides the opportunity for me to live and work overseas.


Ali having some fun while working as a ‘Pinky’ at the Kandersteg Scout Centre

On Scouting crossing global borders: 

Scouting is an international movement that encourages meetings across cultural and geographical borders. It is about being with friends as part of a team, and participating fully in the adventure and other opportunities of life. An important part of Scouting is to meet and develop from the exchange with others from across the globe.

Scouting is my life compass; it has guided me to discover myself and try out many new activities un-common for the typical scholar. Scouting is inseparable; it will always be in my veins forever; the law, the motto, and the promise I vow to live up to for the rest of my life. Scouting truly is a movement with a mission for me. It is more than an organization; it is a way of life. It is what we say and do in the spirit of the scout oath and law. Scouting has always given me fantastic opportunities, that people who are not in scouts will never experience. It’s about having fun with good friends.


Best part of Scouting:

Scouting is one of the most rewarding and fun organizations that our children and youngsters can be part of. As I have to play different roles in Scouting, from which most responsible and challenging is being a Scout leader. I enjoy spending times with my Scouts. Sure, there are challenges being a scout leader. The weekly commitment to troop meetings, the one weekend a month and one week a year at camp, the challenge with helping reluctant or apathetic parents get involved. But the rewards are tremendous as well as I try in my small way to help build scouts into committed, responsible and successful men. Getting to see young people grow, learn and become responsible and active citizens is without doubt the coolest and most rewarding thing you can do.

On Maldivian Scouting:

We have lot of pancake islands which are extremely flat and floating on the blue ocean where we can go for outings, camping’s etc. Direct access to the vast oceans allows us to run varieties of water activities on natural waters like float camping; you can also take a hike on the turquoise lagoons going from one island to another enriched by white sandy beaches. It’s a haven for water-based activities; swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, canoeing, boating etc. Gorgeous white sand beaches lead out to turquoise waters where colored fish dart in and out of the coral gardens.

Biggest challenge for Scouting today:

We in the Maldives, for us one of the huge challenge is having insufficient youth program. Future youth programme should develop “21st century” skills – in other words, we should be prepared for the challenges awaiting us in the 21st century, trained adults and leaders should be trained with updated tools responding to the current needs. The Youth Programme should remain in tune with evolving global societal realities, trends and technologies.The programme offered to Scouts around the world needs to clearly focus on delivering life skills that are compatible with the requirements of a 21st century society. We must empower our Scouts to put their “dreams into action in partnership with adults.” Leadership skills learned and developed in Scouting are imperative.

Open Call: help the World Scout Committee

The 40th World Scout Conference in Slovenia set an ambitious level of work for the World Scout Committee to undertake. So, they need help.

In order to draw upon the full talent available in Scouting around the world, the World Scout Committee has issued an Open Call for volunteers to join working groups and taskforces to deliver specific projects, develop tools or review certain policies.

This is a very exciting opportunity for Scouts Australia members to use the skills they have professionally, or have developed through Scouting to contribute to our movement at the world level.

No promises of a grey uniform, but exciting work  awaits

No promises of a grey uniform, but exciting work awaits. Photo: Brendan Watson.

In order to prevent the World Scout Committee from being inundated with applications, Scouts Australia will be operating an initial screening process to assess suitability of applicants.

If you would like to nominate for the World Scout Committee Open Call, you will need to:

  1. Read the full WOSM Circular – available here
  2. Read the World Triennial Plan 2014-2017 – available here
  3. Submit an Expression of Interest to Scouts Australia through the online form by 12th October – available here

If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Cooper, Assistant International Commissioner via email: int.assistantcomm@scouts.com.au

Scouting Profile: Esben Holager from Denmark

Each month, International News profiles a Scout from overseas:

Esben Holager, Denmark

First Scout Promise: 1994, in a Scout cabin outside Copenhagen.

Current Scouting Role: Chief Commissioner, Danish Scout Council, and Youth Advisor to the World Scout Committee.

In the real world: I study a Masters Degree in Learning and Innovative Change.

Esben at the World Moot in Kenya, 2010, visiting Scouts from Saudi Arabia.

Esben at the World Moot in Kenya, 2010, visiting Scouts from Saudi Arabia.

Esben Holager is an accomplished Scout – one of the few young Chief Commissioners in world Scouting, and a vital voice for young people on the World Scout Committee.

On what Youth Advisers to the World Scout Committee do:

We do a lot of things. Most importantly we try be engaged in all the activities of The World Scout Committee. This generally means attending their meetings but also includes participation in the sub-committees or taskforces of the committee. We also have an important role in planning the next World Scout Youth Forum. Lastly we are responsible for reminding the committee to take the recommendations of the World Scout Youth Forum seriously and to include them in their work.

On the rewarding aspects of being a leader:

Even though I see myself mostly as a “Paper Scout” (one who rarely sleeps in a tent and makes fires, but mostly attends meetings and write papers), my hope is that my contribution to the more administrative part of Scouting enables National Scout Organizations and local Scout leaders to provide better Scouting to more young people. It’s our responsibility to improve the frames within which Scouting operates. Presently I am touched by the many local projects where Scouting is changing youth and Scouts and their communities through the Messengers of Peace initiative. It would not have been possible without the work of the committee, the World Scout Foundation, or the World Scout Bureau.

On a funny Scouting memory:

My Leader had a foldable tripod chair which he used for sitting on during meals. One day at breakfast me and a friend were making fun about what would happen if we pressed the button on the chair that would make it fold together while our Leader was sitting on it. During that same meal my leader sat in the chair and it collapsed even though we hadn’t touched anything and it resulted in an angry leader who drop baked beans and egg on himself and (a lot) on me and my friend (even though we hadn’t touched it). He was my best Scout Leader. It’s still a mystery why the chair collapsed.

On Danish Scouting:

We have safe wilderness. In Denmark it is no problem to send a group of scouts aged 10-12 on their own camping trip because we have no dangerous wildlife or nature here. This really enables patrols to take leadership and plan and execute their own activities outdoors with little support from leaders.

On the biggest challenges facing Scouting today:

I see two challenges. We need to be better at telling what we do and I don’t mean the activities such as pioneering etc. but that we do capacity and character building and leadership training for young people. What is the result of Scouting? Or even better we need to start by telling WHY we do what we do – not how. This will help us attract more resources and make Scouting better understood by the outside world.

The other challenge is that the world is a very diverse and fast changing place. This results in Scouting developing differently around the world. We need to be able to embrace this as a World Movement. At the same time we also need to be ready at local level to take in more diverse groups of children and youth due to migration and immigration. We have a responsibility to make sure that every youth in the world has a real opportunity to join the movement, make the promise, and become a Scout.

Know someone with a story to tell? Get in contact!

Youth Consultation: World Scout Youth Forum

How far has Scouts Australia come since 1993?

“Scouting is a Movement of young people, supported by adults; it is not a Movement for young people managed by adults only.”

Here at International News we’re big supporters of youth involvement in decision making – this blog is even written by young people! Last edition we were able to announce the Australian delegation to the World Scout Youth Forum, now it’s time for you to start having your input:

  • FROM TODAY: key forum documents and delegation positions, open for discussion and decision.
  • AT THE FORUM: the delegation will run a live blog, and crowd source decisions so you can have your input live.
  • INTO THE FUTURE: the recently unveiled WOSM Youth Wall will be essential for ongoing engagement, plus the National Youth Council is always keen to keep the international team up to speed.
Have your say in the lead up to the World Scout Youth Forum

Have your say in the lead up to the World Scout Youth Forum

From today, the delegation will be releasing – through this blog, and the Scouts Australia Facebook page – key documents that the Australian delegation needs to take a position on subsequently advocate for, at the World Scout Youth Forum.

Over the next month the delegation will be seeking input on the:

While you’re busy digesting those documents, there is an easier bit of consultation to undertake:

1. Scouts Australia has been allocated a Project Fair space at the Forum:

“it is a space to present young people’s projects and provide the opportunity for interaction and constructive discussion on issues related to these experiences. These projects could be Messengers of Peace projects, Scouts of the World Award projects, national projects or even local projects.”

What project should Scouts Australia display?


2. Scouts Australia needs to contribute a Scouting game that represents our country for a street festival in Slovenia. The game needs to be 5-15 minutes in duration.

Which Australian Scouting game should represent us in Slovenia?

Contribute your thoughts in the comments below, on Scouts Australia’s Facebook page, or email the delegation. Stay tuned for the next round of consultation!


Scouting Profile: Hong Leng Chay from Singapore

Each Month, International News profiles a Scout from overseas…..

Hong Leng Chay (Scout Name: Wind)

First Scout promise: 1978

Current Scouting role:  Deputy Chief Commissioner & International Commissioner

In the real world: Private Banking, Wealth Management


What does an International Commissioner do?

An International Friendster 🙂

The International Commissioner is a member of a worldwide team. The job is to promote activities that lead to a greater international understanding by the members of the movement. The International Commissioner is primarily responsible for building relations with other Scout associations, and maintaining frequent contact with the World and Regional Committees and the World Bureau.

The most rewarding part of your Scouting role:

Establishing international friendship. Helping to connect Scouts from around the world. Having friends everywhere in the world including those you haven’t met!

Your funny campfire story?

I was a Patrol Leader and was responsible for escorting an important guest to declare the campfire open. Walking up to the wood pile with the torch in hand and I forgot the lighter !

On Singaporean Scouting:

Pretty much similar with everyone else in the world. Well, we have most of our Scouts in school groups and we do a lot urban Scouting, being a City-State.

Biggest Challenge for Scouting today: 

I think sustaining membership growth, and recruiting volunteer adults.

Scouting Profile: Patrik Hedljung from Sweden

Each month, International News profiles a Scout from overseas…

Patrik Hedljung, Sweden

First Scout Promise: 1984, age 10

Current Scouting Role: Challenger (Venturer) Scout Leader, and Leader Trainer.

In the real world: Leadership development consultant



Patrik is well known for his role developing values-based leadership courses in the Nordic countries, and in his former role as Director of Global Projects for the World Scout Bureau, Central Office.

On values based leadership:

Is knowing what you want and living as you teach. It’s a process of learning about yourself as a leader, what your strengths and weaknesses are, your core values, and how you want to express those through behavior. As a leader you are the most important tool in exerting leadership over yourself and others. That tool needs constant fine tuning and the sooner you can start that process the better. Think of it as your inner compass. We want you to discover and develop your own values and we believe that if you get a chance to do that in a supportive and trusting environment, those values will be aligned with our Scout values.

On the most rewarding part of Scouting:

Getting to see young people grow, learn and become responsible and active citizens. Without doubt the coolest and most rewarding thing you can do.

On a funny Scouting memory:

When I was 12 we were at camp and I decided to sleep in a hammock. My leaders started swinging the hammock so that I would fall asleep like a baby. The whole thing ended when one of the ropes came loose and I flew into the water 3 meters away – still in my sleeping bag.

On Swedish Scouting:

Very, very lengthy discussions. We are a consensus driven country and so everyone has to agree with every decision – all the time. We also have a strong focus on gender awareness which I’m quite proud of.

On the biggest challenge facing Scouting today:

The biggest challenge is staying relevant in a way consistent with our ideology. It’s easy to offer fun activities for kids with an attitude of ”if it isn’t fun, it isn’t Scouting”. But it’s also true that if it’s only fun it isn’t Scouting.