Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

He’s Armidale’s current Young Citizen of the Year, a prolific musician and an LGBTQIA+ advocate, and Archie Todd has added a Queen’s Scout Award to his achievements.

Archie completed the requirements for his achievement with 2nd Armidale Venturer Scout Unit, and received his award from Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales and Chief Scout of NSW, at a ceremony at Government House in Sydney last weekend.

The Queen’s Scout Award aims to widen the interests and knowledge of Venturer Scouts (aged 14-17) by encouraging them to push their personal limits. It is the peak award for this age group and involves a broad range of activities requiring extensive pre-planning and determination.

Archie is a transgender young person with a strong social conscience. His advocacy for LGBTQIA+ issues includes working as a school leader and helping establish the Armidale Secondary College Rainbow Club, a group supporting LGBTQIA+ students. He has also represented Scouts at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

As a musician, Archie was a finalist in Triple J’s 2023 Unearthed competition and has performed live extensively in the New England region.

To qualify for his Queen’s Scout Award, Archie threw himself into mock trials, abseiling and serving on the Scouts NSW State Youth Council, where he championed diversity. His planning, execution and reviewing of a wide range of activities, included his Adventurous Journey hike and running a Harry Potter-themed camp for Cub Scouts.

“I’m so honoured to receive the Award. I’ve worked mostly in the background in the Inclusion and Diversity space and it’s nice to be appreciated, even now that my term on the State Youth Council has come to an end,” Archie said.

“The hike I led for the Award was quite revolutionary in terms of inclusivity. I had a few Venturer Scouts who never participated in any of the bigger hikes for health reasons that restricted the weight they could safely carry as well as how fast and far they could walk.

“To accommodate this, I planned the hike to explore areas surrounding a base camp, so that people could carry only what they needed that day in their packs while they hiked.

“I sincerely hope local Leaders tell tales of it to future Queen’s Scout Award hopefuls so that more people can experience the joys of hiking.”

Archie was one of 29 Venturer Scouts receiving their Queen’s Scout Award and three Rover Scouts receiving their Baden-Powell Scout Award (the peak award for 18-25-year-old Scouts) at the ceremony at Government House.

“Completion of a peak award at any age is a major milestone for a Scout. For recipients of the Queen’s Scout and Baden-Powell Scout Awards, this achievement is recognition of years of work put into not just Scouting activities, but in projects and involvement across the wider community,” Scouts NSW Chief Commissioner Lloyd Nurthen said.

The Queen’s Scout Award is a prestigious award, and a significant achievement for a young person within Scouting, often taking three to four years to complete. Designed to be challenging and encouraging, a Venturer Scout must complete achievements across a broad range of disciplines including Outdoor Adventure Skills (such as camping, hiking, paddling or abseiling), Special Interest Projects (such as environment, STEM, arts and literature, community), Leadership Courses, as well as plan a significant multi-day Adventurous Journey.

“For many Venturer Scouts, this significant body of work is balanced with competing priorities in their non-Scouting lives, including studies for their HSC, apprenticeships, or transitioning into the workforce,” Nurthen said.

“For our Rover Scouts, who are 18 and above and embedding themselves in their adult lives, the extremely challenging nature of the Baden-Powell Scout Award cannot be understated.”

“The incredible focus and passion these three recipients have demonstrated in achieving their goals and this award is to be commended,” he said.

Queen’s Scout Award recipients work independently and collectively to achieve great personal development and contribute positively to their communities. As such, the Queen’s Scout Award is highly regarded, with recipients qualifying for additional Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) adjustment factor points through some universities.

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