October 2010

International News

I am delighted to have been appointed as the new International Commissioner for Scouts Australia. At the outset, I would like to thank my predecessor, Emma Barker, for leading this important area of activity for the past 6 years.

Already, I am struck by the extremely hardworking and dedicated members of the International Team, including the Branch International Commissioners, my National Co-ordinators, and Contingent Leaders.

I also welcome to the International Team, Jason Thomson, Assistant International Commissioner, and Wendy Freeman, Executive Assistant (part time).

The International Team met on 31 July and 1 August to discuss our goals in international Scouting, and our priorities for the next 12 months. Inter alia, we developed a new vision, which is to assist every youth member of Scouts Australia to have an international Scouting experience. This could be without leaving our shores (e.g. section program activity on international Scouting, or JOTA/JOTI), or as part of an overseas contingent. We will be working hard over the coming years to fulfil that vision.

In response to feedback from NYC, Yakkery and other stakeholders, the International website has been re-vamped. I hope you now find it more user friendly and easy to navigate. To continue to improve it, we would welcome your feedback.

Supporting overseas contingents to attend major events is an integral part of international Scouting. We have had some very successful contingents in recent months, including to the World Rover Moot in Kenya, and to the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree. Planning is now well underway for the 19th New Zealand Jamboree (January 2011), as well as the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Sweden in July/August 2011.

Significant upcoming events for Scouts Australia include the 39th World Scout Conference and the 11th World Scout Youth Forum, both to be held in Brazil. In due course, I look forward to reporting back to you on the outcomes.

In the meantime, do continue to access our website (http://www.international.scouts.com.au/) for any information you might like on international activities, or email me at int.comm@scouts.com.au.

Neville Tomkins
International Commissioner

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