For International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the stories of women in Scouting and the contribution they make to our movement. Eleanor Hewitt is one.
ACT Branch Rover Council Chair.
Contingent Leader for the first Scouts Australia Expedition to Baden-Powell Scout Peak in Nepal.
My parents got me into Scouting at quite a young age, probably because they realised that I much preferred (and was a lot better at!) climbing trees, going camping and being in the outdoors over playing netball…
There are far too many to list! But, if I was to narrow it down to a few they would be the friendships, the adventures and the learning opportunities.
When I was a Venturer Scout, I went camping in the snow for the first time. This one camping trip opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I leant new skills, and spent more time skiing outside of ski resorts. Combining these new alpine skills and rock climbing, I was able to discover mountaineering – the activity I love more than anything else. That love of mountaineering has not only taken me to some amazing places, but it also equipped me to lead the first Scouts Australia Expedition to Baden-Powell Scout Peak (a 5.800m tall mountain!) in Nepal.
Scouting provides a fantastic atmosphere for young women to develop resilience and leadership skills.
Strong and empathetic leadership.
In my life outside of Scouting, I’m in my final year of studying International Security Studies at the Australian National University and I work for Mont Adventure Equipment. In my ‘spare time’ I love to be in the outdoors – rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, hiking and just about every other outdoors activity (except for fishing).
My female hero is Freda Du Faur. Freda was an Australian mountaineer who made the first female ascent of Aoraki/ Mt Cook (the tallest mountain in New Zealand) in 1910. Freda had the courage to stand up to those who said that women shouldn’t climb, and have the determinisation to push the absolute limits of mountaineering and exploration for all climbers.
My other heroes are all the other women holding leadership positions, not just in Scouting, who support each other. Afterall, we all move forward when we realise how resilient and incredible the women around us are.
From the summits of the tallest mountains, to the Office of Prime Minister, women belong wherever they choose. Afterall, if men can do it, I can do it too.