A love of adventuring

    Mount Macedon's Alex Forrest has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to youth through scouts.

    The joy of seeing young people learning and adventuring is the reason Alex Forrest has dedicated decades to the scouting movement.

    The Mount Macedon resident’s passion began as a child spending several years as a scout himself, but it wasn’t until the early 1980s, when Alex’s sons joined cubs and his daughters joined guides, that he got involved as an adult in scouting.

    “In the 1990s I became an assistant district commissioner in the Kew district,” he told the Express.

    “I was in uniform for four or five years and then decided I’d be more use and have more fun out of uniform, and over the years I’ve been district chairman, district treasurer, region chairman.

    “Then when we moved up here I called the local region commissioner up here and asked if he could use an extra body.

    “From there I got involved in property management for scouts and became a member of the branch property committee and then I was elected to the branch executive committee (the board of Scouts Victoria) and spent nine years as chairman of the property committee.

    “Since then I’ve been involved with the local Macedon Ranges district having a lot of fun.”

    Alex said his involvement in scouts was fulfilling for two reasons.

    “When I was young I was brought up to believe that we had certain benefits and privileges because of what the people before us did, and therefore we had an obligation to build on that foundation and leave something better for the kids following us,” he said.

    “Scouting is very much oriented towards kids having fun and adventure but in a safe environment.

    “What we do is not just helping kids now, but building their abilities and their resilience so they can then live happy and effective lives down the track.

    “That, and just watching the kids have a ball!”

    In 2017, Alex was awarded the National Presidents Award for Eminent Achievement and Meritorious Service to Scouting Australia.

    He has now been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to youth through Scouts in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours.