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Guides drop God

20 July 2012

GIRL Guides in Australia will no longer promise to do their duty to God or to serve the Queen.

After a lengthy consultation with Guides and their leaders, the promise "to do my duty to God, to serve the Queen and my country" has been changed. A Guide will now promise to do her best to be true to herself, develop her beliefs, and serve her community and Australia.

The Chief Commissioner, Helen Geard, said that the changes better reflected the "wider diversity" in Australia, and the desire of the organisation to "move with the times". Although some had been reluctant to see the reference to God removed, surveys of Guides had found that "doing duty to God is probably not language that is relevant to our young people", she said.

Monarchist groups have criticised the change, but supporters of Australia's becoming a republic have welcomed it.

There have been Guide groups in Australia since 1909; it is estimated that, since then, more than one million Australian women and girls have either been Guides or still are. The organisation in Australia does not have church connections.

 

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