Be Risk Aware, Be ScoutSafe

Back row: John Dwyer (Rover Adviser, South Met Region), Simone Haider (Sydney North Region), Liam Painter (State Adviser Digital Communications), Phil Crutchley (Region Commissioner South Coast & Tablelands Region), Tracey Hansford (District Commissioner Parramatta, Greater Western Sydney Region), Grant Whitehorn (State Commissioner Risk Management), Anthony Pritchard (Region Commissioner HR, Risk & Support South Coast & Tablelands Region).

Front row: Tracey Perrin (Head of Risk @ State Office), Marion Fisher (Assistant Chief Commissioner State Activities, Bases & Fellowships), Jill Pretty (State Commissioner Youth Safety & Member Support), Alex Van Roy (Senior Ranger, Cataract Scout Park), Roger Hyatt (Water Activities Centre Manager).


The ScoutSafe Team met last year in early December at Mount Keira Scout Camp. The agenda included a full day of induction, training, discussing a broad range of risk and safety issues, and planning for the year ahead.

Attendees included some of our new ScoutSafe Advisers, employees from State Office, along with representatives from the State Activities, Special Needs and Member Support teams.

The role of ScoutSafe Advisers is to work with local Committees, Commissioners, Leaders, Activity Centre Managers, Camp Wardens, Youth members and other volunteers to champion risk awareness, maintain safety standards and monitor compliance requirements.

Phil Critchley, Region Commissioner for South Coast & Tablelands, welcomed participants on behalf of the Chief Commissioner, who was unable to attend due to family commitments.

During the meeting a diverse range of topics were discussed, including the National Risk Management System, WHS Policy and Framework, WHS as a standing agenda item at all Scout meetings, Hierarchy of Controls, Risk Assessments, Incident Reporting and statistics, Notifiable Incidents, Insurance, Asbestos, WHS Training, Emergency Procedures, Evacuation Plans, storing hazardous chemicals and substances, CPR charts for pools and designated swimming areas, property safety inspection checklists, safety resources, and many others.

For some of the attendees, it was their first chance to meet the new Head of Risk, Tracey Perrin, who joined Scouts in October 2017.  A large part of Tracey’s portfolio is Work Health and Safety  which includes health and safety for workers as well as our core Scouting activities. 

Over the next few years, Tracey, along with Andrew Smith (Chief Executive Officer), Rob Rodgers (Deputy Chief Commissioner Youth Safety, Compliance & Support) and Grant Whitehorn (State Commissioner for Risk Management), will work with others, such as the ScoutSafe Team, to continually build a more robust and systematic approach to WHS.

In the near future, you will see increased sharing of health and safety information aimed at raising awareness to support all adults and youth to make sound decisions every day to 'Be Risk aware, be ScoutSafe'.  Similarly, increased reporting and review of statistics at a senior leadership level will help ensure that improvement initiatives are developed to support Scouting across the state.

Over the next few months the State Commissioner Risk Management will be running ScoutSafe Presentations at the February Chief Commissioners Council, the Hume Region Group Leaders Council and the South Metropolitan Region Group Leaders Forum. Please contact us if you would like something similar run in your Region.

A Health & Safety Committee (HSC) will also soon be established to provide a consultative mechanism between the various ‘workgroups’ across Scouting in NSW and ‘management’ on health and safety matters.  The HSC will comprise of both volunteers and professional staff, and take a collaborative approach to increase our level of WHS maturity.

The ScoutSafe Team looks forward to working together to find ways to continue to deliver a fun, challenging, adventurous and inclusive program for our youth members, whilst ensuring we comply with our legal obligations and provide a safe environment for everyone to participate in Scouting activities.

For further information about risk management and safety, please contact:

Grant Whitehorn, State Commissioner Risk Management, on 0401 168 123 or email

Tracey Perrin, Head of Risk, on (02) 9735 9025 or email


Leave a Reply