Veteran Scout Julie leads by example to gain top honour

A lifelong involvement with both scouts and guides has led to Warrnambool’s Julia McKenzie, 50, being awarded the prestigious Silver Wattle Award for her services. 140802LP80 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

A lifelong involvement with both scouts and guides has led to Warrnambool’s Julia McKenzie, 50, being awarded the prestigious Silver Wattle Award for her services. 140802LP80 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

ONE of the things that Julie McKenzie likes about the Scouting movement is the flexibility in the challenges it offers Scouts.

Mrs McKenzie said Scouting accommodated a wide range of interests among members from online gaming to outdoors pursuits.

“With gamers, we look at how we can apply that to our Scouting awards scheme,” she said.

Scouting’s ability to help young people reach their potential is the reason why she has been involved for more than 20 years.

Her extensive contribution was recognised on Friday, which was World Scout Day, when Scouting Australia announced she will receive the Silver Wattle for outstanding service.

Mrs McKenzie was an inaugural Joey leader in the south-west in the early 1990s, taking on the role so her six-year-old son could enjoy Scouting.

She has since also served as a Cub and Scout leader at the Warrnambool Norfolk group, based next to St Joseph’s Church, a district leader, assistant regional commissioner and part of the the western region water activities team.

She is presently the group’s Venturer leader, working with 14 to18-year-olds, as well as helping out with all the group’s other Scout divisions, apart from Rovers.

Her big contribution to the Scouting movement is part of an extensive involvement by her extended family.

Mrs McKenzie, 50, was a Girl Guide from the age of eight and progressed through Guiding’s levels with her mother, Anne Fraser as her Guide leader at Terang. She was a junior Guide leader at 16 and later continued her involvement in Melbourne and Koroit.

Both of her sons and her daughter have been Scout members, while her husband Keith is a Scout leader at the Warrnambool Norfolk group and part of Scouting Australia’s national training team.

Mrs McKenzie said she wants to stay involved in Scouting because it allowed her to make a positive contribution to young people’s lives.

As Venturer leader, she was able to give many young people studying their VCE opportunities to develop skills other than their academic abilities.

VCE studies could be very intense for some young people, but Venturer Scouts allowed them to be more well-rounded in the skills they learnt, she said.

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