News from Asia-Pacific

Jewish Scouting in Australia and New Zealand
australia_chaplian

scouts_autsralia_boutonIt is worth remembering that the seven states and territories of Australia cover the same land mass as 49 American states or over 24 European countries.

Australia and New Zealand are separate sovereign countries and therefore operate independent scouting associations.   In both countries scouts are mixed gender, whilst guiding continues to operate as a female only organization.

• In Australia the scout association is administered by State Branches that form a federation.  Australia has around 52,000 youth members in five sections: Joey’s (aged 6-7); Cubs (aged 8-10); Scouts (aged 11-14); Venturers (aged 15-17) and Rovers (aged 18-25).  Jewish scouts participate in Scouting across the country in their local scout groups or as lone scouts.  Mainland Australia is made up of seven states and territories plus Tasmania (the Island state)

The majority of the Jewish Community resides in Melbourne (the capital of Victoria) and Sydney (the capital of New South Wales).  There are significant Jewish populations in the other state capitals as well.  Melbourne and Sydney boast the only Jewish specific scout groups (as identified in the table below).

• New Zealand has around 15,000 youth members in the same five sections as Australia except the Australian Joey section (named after young kangaroos) are called Keas in New Zealand.  Keas are large indigenous parrots found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand.  There are no Jewish specific scout groups in New Zealand.

Historically Jewish scouting in Australia and New Zealand has seen more Jewish specific scout groups, with up to eight groups operating in Melbourne and several in both Sydney and New Zealand. The groups operated independently, although the Sydney and Melbourne Jewish groups ran some joint State based activities. 

More recently the three Melbourne groups have been conducting joint activities including activities for the recent Mitzvah day and their Joey mob, Venturer unit and Rover crew are currently combined.  The groups have always caught up at national events such as Jamborees where they have also linked with other Jewish scouts who are not members of a Jewish group.

Guiding in Australia has around 22,000 youth members ageing in range from 5-17 and in New Zealand the guides operate in traditional aged groups Pippins (aged 5-6), Brownies (aged 7-10), Guides (aged 10-13) and Rangers (aged 13-18).

australia_peter_mooreWith the relatively recent appointment of Rabbi Peter Moore as Jewish Chaplain in Victoria (the first such appointee in 30 years and the only one in Australia), there is some development occurring to link up Jewish scouts and guides across Australia and New Zealand.

Group

Location

Started

Brief information

3rd St. Kilda (Danglow’s own)

Melbourne, Victoria

 

1924

Sponsored by St. Kilda Hebrew congregation, 3rd St. Kilda is an orthodox scouting group serving the orthodox community of Melbourne.

15th Brighton

1958

15th Brighton has produced over 30 Queen Scouts. One of the Queen Scouts has been the local government mayor.

10th Caulfiled

1954

 

4th St. Kilda Guides

 

The only Jewish guide unit in Australia

3rd Rose Bay (Judean)

Sydney, New South Wales

1927

 

 

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