Many communities in western Victoria, Australia were affected by the January 2011 floods and over 1,000 properties were flooded. Some of the severely affected communities included Charlton, Murrabit and Rochester, these towns were chosen to be the sites for what came to be known as…. The Hoadley Project.
The Hoadley Project was organised as a further output into the community by Scouting in Victoria as service/ helping others is a major charter of Scouting, after the initial relief work in January (which was done over 4 weeks by Scouting members in Charlton). The project was kicked off the ground by Greg Wiener (Assistant Venturer Leader, 1st Strathfieldsaye) when he went down to help one of his workers who lived in Charlton. Greg was asked if he knew any one who would be able to help out with the serious amount of work left. Who better to help than Scouts?
The idea was then approved by Branch Commissioner – Venturer Scouts, Cliff Dent, the Branch Venturer Council and the Hoadley Hide Committee. It was decided that the project would take place of Hoadley Hide – an annual hiking competition for Venturer Scouts held over Easter. After 3 months organization, over 170 Scouts linking to Venturers, Venturers, Rovers & Leaders arrived at three different subcamps (Charlton, Rochester and Murrabit) on the 21st of April and stayed on until the 25th of April 2011 for The Hoadley Project. The work that took place at each subcamp was run by Rovers. This was mainly because Rovers are the young adult members of Scouting in Australia, also the Rover motto is “Service”.
Charlton – Michael Smedley
Rochester – Quayle; and
Murrabit – Hayden.
Over the course of the project Venturers worked hard in different teams, each lead by a Venturer (this stressed the significance of Venturers), to de-mould houses, garden, moved furniture around, clean out sheds, paint rooms and create River Walks in each community. Each subcamp also ran a Easter egg hunt for children in their community to participate in. In Charlton we also marched in the local ANZAC (Australian & New Zealand Army Corp) Day service.
An incredible message of support & respect for the community was shown by all youth members who came from across the state to help out.
“They really did take the Scouting spirit and showed just what we are made of.”
– Michael Smedley, Venturer Leader 3rd Croydon, Coordinator of the Hoadley Project.
Quoted from the Australian Scout Magazine, May 2011.
• Freya Fogliani, Rover (Venturer in 2011), 1st Eaglehawk Scout Group, Victorian Branch, Scouts Association of Australia.