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Honouring Australian Women’s History Month, Meet Caitlin Arcus!

In honour of Australian Women’s History Month, we want to introduce you to some of our own history-making women here in Scouts WA. To kick us off, we’d like you to meet Caitlin Arcus.

She’s the current Deputy Chief Commissioner and has held many roles during her Scouting journey, including Branch Commissioner Youth Empowerment, Section Leader and of course, youth member. Many of you might have met Caitlin already – she does a lot for Scouting! – but if you haven’t, we caught up with her and thought we’d share that conversation. 

Scouts WA: We’re going to start with a random one, which might give us a little clue into your personality! Would you say you were a Beach or Mountains person?  

Caitlin: As I just got back from skiing in Japan with my Rover Scout friends, I’ll have to say mountains. 

Scouts WA: You’ve done a lot already in your life. If someone were to write a biography about you, what would the title of that book be?  

Caitlin: Oh, a hard one. Something along the lines of Caitlin: The Do-er. 

Scouts WA: You’ve also been involved in Scouting since you were a child! What is your earliest memory of your time here?  

Caitlin: Being at the fire station on a Cub Scout visit as the only girl and the person leading the tour said, “Come on boys”, and I stood there, took my hat off and waited until they said, “and ladies / girls.” My mum’s proud of me for that. 

Scouts WA: That is an amazing thing for someone so young to do! Love that quiet confidence to stand up for yourself. Which leads to the next question, how has Scouting impacted your life?  

Caitlin: Built leadership and confidence. Fostered friendships during adventures which are now lifelong. Shown how empowering young people will create a better world (environmentally, peacefully). 

Scouts WA: What is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 

Caitlin: My favourite scouting quote is: “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it” (and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.) 

Scouts WA: Scouting has been open to girls in Australia since 1973, but a lot of people don’t even know that girls can participate! How do you think we could encourage more girls to participate?  

Caitlin: By providing a fun, supportive world where girls can speak up, be leaders and go on adventures. 

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

Caitlin: Malala – for the inspiration to keep going when the times are tough, and to fight for girls and education. Julia Gillard – for the public speaking skills and strength in a male dominated industry. And Jane Goodall – for the kindness and gentleness across a lifespan.

Scouts WA: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, Caitlin