Awards recognise Great Girl Guides of Traralgon

Alyssa Fritzlaff

TWO Traralgon Girl Guides have been recognised for their achievements in 2021.

Bridie Byrne and Kate Hibbins, both 17-years-old, have been members of the Traralgon Girl Guides for some time, and received important awards earlier this month.

Bridie was awarded the Girl Guide Of The Year Award for the Gippsland region, and Kate achieved her BP Award.

Region Manager for Gippsland, and District Manager for Traralgon Girl Guides Amanda Clark said she was incredibly proud of both girls achievements.

“Kate and Bridie have both been Guides for about nine years… the two of them are very diligent and responsible young women,” she said.

“They’re just lovely girls and epitomise the qualities that we instilled in our members.”

Ms Clark said that Girl Guides is a fantastic confidence builder, and provides girls with many skills they will need in adulthood.

“We instill a lot of confidence in our girls to try new things and push themselves out of their comfort zones in a safe manner,” she said.

“Girl Guides gives them opportunities to take on leadership that is developmentally appropriate for their age group… we instill leadership qualities right from the beginning.”

Bridie has taken on many of these opportunities, and despite having had a very challenging personal life over the last 12 months, her dedication to the Girl Guides has never waivered.

This is the first year the award to which Bridie won has been given and was created to recognise girls like Bridie who have demonstrated high levels of resilience and commitment to the Girl Guides throughout the year.

It will continue to be given to girls who have displayed similar commitment in the face of adversity, and sponsors recipients for a one term period through the Gippsland Region Leadership team.

For Bridie, participating in a group like Girl Guides runs in the family.

“My mum was a part of Brownies in the 80s… she got me to start, and I’ve just come back term after term, year after year,” she said.

One of Bridie’s favourite things about the Guides is the opportunity to develop new skills and create long lasting friendships.

“As we get older we get to take on more responsibilities and take on different challenges,” she said.

“For most of my guiding years I have always been one of the older girls… it’s really cool to be a role model and inspire others.

“Girl Guide’s progresses you as a person and you learn so much along the way… you can meet so many good friends and do so many things that you wouldn’t do otherwise.”

Another high achiever, Kate Hibbins, was awarded her BP Award this year, an award which see’s girls undertake 18 challenges for each area of the Girl Guide program.

As part of Kate’s BP journey, she kicked many goals.

To earn their BP, girl’s are tasked with completing various challenges in a number of areas.

She raised money for the Ronald McDonald House by staying on a six metre by six metre platform for a full 24 hours, she sent sewing supplies to African countries, attended climate
change summits and learnt first aid and CPR.

“I did a lot of challenges that I really, really enjoyed… as a part of my outdoors section I got to do some abseiling and rock climbing – it was a bunch of fun, I definitely want to get back into it,” she said.

One of the best things about Girl Guides is the opportunity to make good friends, Kate said.

She explained that herself and Bridie have been best friends for many years, and originally
met through the Girl Guides.

“We are quite close friends, despite not going to the same school,” she said.

“Through Girl Guides we have been able to make a connection and form an absolutely incredible friendship.”

Kate will be taking time off next year to focus on her final year of schooling, however she is very proud of what she has achieved in her nine years at the Guides.