Today, we recognise worldwide the birthday of our Founder, Lord Baden Powell, who was born on this day on 1857. I am sure our Founder would be proud that his Movement now has some 40 million Members worldwide, with a presence in 216 countries. It is the largest and longest running youth development organisation in the world.
This is also an opportunity for your Board Chairman (Kerry McGoldrick), General Manager (Andrew Smith AM) and me, as Chief Commissioner, to thank you sincerely for your commitment to Scouting across NSW. As I travel the length and breadth of our State, listen to our members and participate in hundreds of Scouting activities, I am inspired by the dedication of our adult Leaders, our Supporters and our youth. I recognise the sacrifices you make, often with your own families, to devote to Scouting and to the young people of your community. Thank you! I never fail to be amazed by our youth! Last Sunday, whilst at our Australian Scout Museum at Newington Armory, Sydney, I talked with youth from the 1st Picnic Point Scout Group. We were talking about the importance of Founder’s Day, and I asked them who knew the year our Founder was born. A quiet young Cub from the back quickly raised his hand and proudly announced 1857! Of course he got the prize! Listening to our youth was not my only privilege at that event. I had the great privilege of investing a number of new members to our State Heritage Fellowship. They all do a great job, with our Deputy Chief Commissioner (Strategy), our Assistant State Commissioner, our Curator, and our volunteers at looking after our valued heritage items. It is an important part of Scouting, especially for our future generations. Thank you for your support of Scouting across NSW and for the important role you play in the development of our worldwide Movement!
With best wishes, Yours in Scouting, Neville Tomkins OAM JP Chief Commissioner Scouts Australia (NSW Branch)