ANZAC Parade – In for the Long Haul

Girl Guides Queensland volunteers prepare for one of the most important days on the calendar

It’s somewhere around 3.00am when Amanda Nicholls, Assistant State Commissioner of Girl Guides Queensland, switches off the alarm clock and prepares for Guides participation in the Brisbane ANZAC Parade. Amanda has been a volunteer member of Girl Guides Queensland for 20 years and this is her fifth consecutive year coordinating Girl Guides participation in the Brisbane City Parade.

Before Amanda coordinates the volunteer workforce for the day, her first formal duty is to lay a wreath at the Dawn Service, an honour which is not lost on this long - time committed Girl Guide.

‘It is about creating a tangible connection with this country’s past and commemorating those that have fought in wars to secure the future for our nation’, she reflects. 

‘I am so humbled and privileged to be asked to be a part of the Dawn Service and represent Girl Guides Queensland wide. Our organisation reflects many of the values the ANZACS are renowned for, especially endurance, ingenuity and mateship.  We spend a large portion of our time supporting communities, and the ANZAC community is certainly one that holds a special significance for me.  I love the thought and most importantly, the act, of giving back’, she said.   

After the ceremony concludes, the real work for the day commences.  The Guiding volunteers attend to the needs of the veteran marchers.  Whether this be a shoulder to lean on as the day progresses, a timely cold drink of water to quench a thirst or a smiling face of acknowledgement and respect for the people who fought and the families who support them – a Girl Guide will be on hand.   

After tending to these needs, the final duty is to lead the Youth Contingent, the last group of the Parade.  This honour is bestowed upon Guides Queensland in acknowledgement of their centenary year and as one of the ANZAC Parade’s longest serving volunteer organisations. This is an association that Girl Guides is immensely proud of and will continue to build upon in the years to come.

Last year 3400 Guides were mobilised for ANZAC Parades across the state, over 75 per cent of the membership base and this figure continues to grow year on year