Job Vacancy: Girl Guides WA are now recruiting for a new CEO

The position of Chief Executive Officer for the Girl Guides of WA is “under recruitment” today after recently appointed CEO Karyn Lisignoli’s details were removed from the organisation’s website.

Last week Lisignoli publicly criticised how the Girl Guides constitution described women, saying it “pandered to an ideology”. On Twitter she suggested the organisation’s rules might be rewritten to use the phrase “biological female”.

While Lisignoli made the comments on her personal Twitter account, they were publicly visible and she declared herself the organisation’s new CEO in the tweet.

On Friday Girl Guides WA publicly distanced themselves from the comments, and by Monday morning the CEO’s details had been removed from their website.

The position is now described as “under recruitment”. OUTinPerth understands the Lisignoli was in the role for a fortnight.

How the guides and scouts have changed over the decades

The Scouting movement started in 1907 in Britain under the guidance of Lord Robert Baden-Powell. Initially a scheme to build skills and resilience in young boys. It quickly spread around the world and Australia’s first scout troop was founded just a year later.

Almost immediately the need for a similar organisation for girls was recognised and the Girl Guides was founded. The first Girl Guide group in Western Australia was founded in 1915, with their first meeting taking place in the Perth Town Hall.

Over the decades the scouting movement has adapted to be more inclusive. The Scouts now accept members regardless of gender, and both organisations now consider spirituality to be a private matter for each member, rather than its previous structures that required people to make public declarations to Queen, Country and Christianity.

The Girl Guides also have constantly adapted through out their history to keep up with the changes in society, and they have often been at the forefront of embracing change. In 2018 they launched a new policy that supports the inclusion of transgender and non-binary people.

In the USA the Boy Scouts were criticised for publicly declaring that homosexual people were not welcome in the organisation. They removed their discriminatory policy in 2013.

Graeme Watson, Girl Guides WA were contacted for comment. 


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