October 2011


'Scout Compass of Discovery' Unveiled as Scouts abseil AMP Tower

On the 19th of September, with Scouts abseiling down the AMP Tower, Scouts Australia and the City of Sydney unnveiled a new artwork at Scout Place in Circular Quay. Titled Windlines: The Scout Compass of Discovery, the sculpture features a five metre tall weather vane above a giant compass and map embedded in the ground at Scout Place, Circular Quay which celebrates the Centenary of Scouting and promotes adventure and encourages responsible risk taking.

                                                             Windlines: The Scout Compass of Discovery

The art work, created by Jennifer Turpin & Michaelie Crawford, contains riddles related to some of Sydney region’s most naturally beautiful areas embedded in the paving of the 16 points of the compass, each accompanied by their direction and distance from Scout Place. Commissioned by Scouts Australia and the City of Sydney and funded by entrepreneur Dick Smith and his wife Pip, this monumental masterpiece dedicated to Scouting was unveiled by Sydney City Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP, Scouts Australia National President Major-General Michael Jeffery and the artists.

Alongside the unveiling, Scouts kept with their motto of 'Be prepared...for new adventure' with 15 members of the Scout movement abseiling down the 115 m high AMP Tower. Scout Leader Peter Moore who led the adventurous descent said, "The young guys love this sort of stuff. It's a long way down for them and you get a spectacular view of the Harbour".  


The ground is a long way below abseiling

                                                                                                 Scouts Almost down from AMP Tower Abseil             


Entrepreneur Dick Smith said: "Scouts had the most incredible effect on my life, because they taught me responsible risk taking."

                                                       Dick Smith With Lord Mayor                           


Located at Scout Place, 33 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney, in front of the AMP Tower, the sculpture commemorates the 2008 Centenary of Scouts in Australia. In the spirit of Scouting adventure, Windlines: The Scout Compass of Discovery harnesses the ever-changing nature of the wind to inspire imaginative and actual journeys of discovery. Place names from the greater Sydney area, many of particular significance to Scouts, are contained in lines of text embedded in the ground. The lines accompany a distance and a direction for each of the 16 points of the compass. As the vane turns in the wind, we are asked to join the adventure and discover the places referred to in the riddles of the encircling ‘Windlines’. As well as Windlines: Scout Compass of Discovery, Dick and Pip Smith's 2008 donation of $1million has also been used to develop a variety of special projects in all States and Territories to promote responsible risk taking by Scouts.

       Dick Smith Speaks to the People


"I want Scouts to promote responsible risk-taking amongst young people because as a nation we are ensuring our kids grow up in strait-jackets, where they take no risks. As a boy, I enjoyed camping and climbing in Scouts. I accept there is going to be a risk involved but Scouts are best placed to help manage that risk and now, more than ever, we need to stop wrapping our kids in cotton wool and let them discover their true potential. It is hard as a parent and grandparent but we have to stop ‘helicoptering’ (hovering over) our children and grandchildren and allow them to have adventure in their lives, expanding their horizons by accepting an element of risk.”

Dick Smith, quoted in ‘No More “Cotton Wool Kids” Dick Smith promotes responsible risk taking’, Lord Baden-Powell Society Newsletter for Members, #31, May 2009, p.5
Young cub scouts relax in front of Windlines

 Watch live TV footage of the event on News.com.au and Channel 7 News. For more information on Windlines:  The Scout Compass of Discovery and to watch the video of how the sculpture was built please click here

Back to Scouts E-Newsletter - October 2011

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