It’s only taken 110 years, but Scouts Australia has finally appointed its first female boss, naming Cathy Morcom as National General Manager.
The move marks a major shift in the running of Scouts, and signals further change ahead — especially in welcoming more girls into the movement.
Cathy has a background in business and change management, and has worked at some of Australia’s largest employers including CBA, NAB, Westpac and KPMG. She started her career with the BBC in Ireland and has an MBA.
She told the ABC she hope to see more girls joining Scouts, who will be inspired to see that women are represented at a senior level. “We’ve had girls in our movement going back to the 1970s, so it’s not a new thing,” she said.
The organisations has around 70,000 members and is aiming to hit 100,000 by 2020. It reached an all-time high of 114,500 in 1979.
Cathy has been sworn into the movement, along with her eight-year-old son. Her two older children are already members. Cathy was a girl guide in Ireland, and her husband is a scout leader.
Scouts has a difficult history it needs to address, with the former NSW CEO Peter Olah declaring the organisation had failed children abused by its leaders. “We haven’t shied away from this issue and we never will,” Cathy told the ABC.
Cathy said in a press release announcing her appointment: “I am passionate about bringing to life all of our values, our purpose, our mission and our principles for all our youth members, in an environment that has the right balance of freedom within boundaries, challenge and safety, and empowerment versus accountability.”