Australian Women’s History Month, Meet Kalita Tomlinson! Previous item Australian Women's History... Next item Honouring Australian...

Australian Women’s History Month, Meet Kalita Tomlinson!

This week, we are catching up with Kalita Tomlinson. She is a WA Lone Rover Scout with so many experiences and a heart of adventure.  

Scouts WA: To start off with, what’s your preference: beach or mountains?  

Kalita: Mountains! 

Scouts WA: If someone were to write a book about you, what would the title of your biography be?  

Kalita: My older sibling is convinced I could have written an autobiography at 18, and that I would have to write another one at 36 titled “18, pt. 2”. So, I guess I would title it “18, pt. 4” given that I live to 72 years old. And if not, or if longer, then it’d be called “18, pt. [my age ÷ 18]”. 

Scouts WA: You’ve been in Scouting a long time! What is your earliest memory of your time here?  

Kalita: Father’s Day activities at Joeys. It was always so much fun including my dad in the games and having him involved in my hobby! 

Scouts WA: That’s a really special memory. Looking at the bigger picture of your life, how would you say Scouting has impacted you?  

Kalita: Oh man – so much! Between learning skills to keep me alive in emergency situations, to planning National Contingents to Kenya, I have learnt an awful lot of hard skills which I am so incredibly grateful for. But the best way Scouting has impacted my life is the friendships I have formed and the ability to talk to absolutely anyone and connect with them on a level so much more than just small talk with strangers. I have stayed with Scouts from all around the world who turned from complete strangers to close friends just between the time I walked in their front door to the minute I walked out of it.   

Scouts WA: That sounds amazing! In all those times meeting with people, what is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 

Kalita:  From someone very close to me in a Scouting context – “You will grow from this”. It is something I like to think about every so often, that even the daily routines in my life I will grow and learn from.  

Scouts WA: We understand the benefits to young people that Scouting provide, what are your thoughts on how we could encourage more girls to participate in Scouting?  

Kalita: Keep doing what we are doing and focus less on gender. We like to be Scouts because we like to be Scouts, not because we like to be girls who are Scouts.  

Scouts WA: Finaly, if you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?  

Kalita: My Mum, my Noni, and Pauline Grangette (from WOSM). Maybe not altogether, but three separate dinners. Of course, so that I have ample time to quiz each of them! My Mum because she is the most important woman in my world, and I never see her enough. My Noni, because she passed away when I was 15 and to be able to hear her stories of her travels and share mine with her would just be magic. And Pauline, because I met her at a WOSM event last year and she intrigued me so much and I learnt so much from her in the short space of a weekend that I feel like a dinner with her would be one of those nights of intense learning and growth.