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Meet our Volunteers: Janis

Janis has been volunteering with Girl Guides WA for more than 50 years, seeing first-hand how the Guiding program has changed to meet the evolving needs of girls and women.

Janis’ own Guiding journey began at the age of seven in Scotland, where a lifelong passion was born. And while she was appointed as WA State Commissioner in 1994, she remains humble about her incredible progression – laughing that “my son says I forgot to leave!”

In the years preceding her appointment to the highest state voluntary position in the organisation, Janis was heavily involved as a Brownie and Guide Leader in both metropolitan and regional areas. She was on several Committees, including that of Lone Advisor and Chair of the Development Committee, in addition to being on the Radio Lollipop Board for four years. She has also held the positions of District Commissioner, Region Commissioner, and Assistant State Commissioner at various times.

Like any adventurous Guide, Janis is a globe-trotter. She has represented Girl Guides Australia at several international events, including the Asia Pacific Conference of WAGGGS in Australia and Brunei. She has attended The World Conference in Ireland, Scotland, Jordan, and South Africa, in various capacities. She has visited Papua New Guinea on a Ranger Service Project, and was contingent leader to a camp in New Zealand. Janis also chaired the Pax Lodge Committee in London for six years, and was a member of the WAGGGs World Centre Committee during that time. 

For all these accomplishments and more, in 2000 Janis was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to youth, particularly Guides.

At the time of writing, Janis is a highly-valued member of both our Trefoil Guild and internationally, the Olave Baden-Powell Society. She also volunteers with the Archives Committee – on any given day, you can find her keeping the Archives Room at Guide House ship-shape.

Of her extraordinary years of service to Girl Guides, Janis says “you do it because you love it. You have to be passionate, because it takes over your life in a way…a very good way! You make some wonderful friends and enjoy amazing experiences.”

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"Here is Alison from the Northern Territory and myself learning how to tie the new OB-PS scarf. Lots of hilarity trying to listen to the instructions while tying the scarf! We were at the OB-PS conference in Malaysia last year."
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