We are pleased to share some more appointments to our State team. Congratulations to all of our new State Commissioners. Please join us in welcoming them to their new roles.
State Commissioner (Group Support Strategies) – Dean Bassett
How we support our Groups – especially in this the Year of the Group and the Group Leader – is so critical to our success in retaining and recruiting both youth and adult members in Scouts NSW. I am pleased to announce that our new State Commissioner (Group Support Strategies) comes to the position with deep experience in Scouting, starting from the age of 9. Please join me in congratulating Dean Bassett on his new position. In his own words, Dean is a “classic welded on member of Scouts” and has been an active part of Scouting for 46 years. Most recently as District Commissioner (Benowie), Dean has demonstrated outstanding skills in supporting the growth and recovery of Groups, and in mentoring and guiding Group Leaders.
State Commissioner (Communications and Marketing) – Anthea Cudworth
I’m delighted to announce Anthea Cudworth as our newly appointed State Commissioner (Communications and Marketing). Anthea has front line experience in Scouting and joins us from the very successful and active 1st Balmain Scout Group. Anthea is an accomplished professional with a deep background in communications, marketing and change management, and a long history with the Scouting (and Guiding) movement. Culturally, Anthea is a wonderful fit for our team – she is energetic, insightful, considered and incredibly positive. Her focus will be to work with you and alongside the State Office team to review how we communicate in an open and transparent way, supporting our new culture, and enhancing how we promote our Scouts NSW brand broadly and locally.
State Commissioner (Community Liaison, Diversity and Inclusion) – John Pestana
The importance of how Scouts NSW grows in the community and how we increase our membership to include youth and adults from the great diversity across NSW has resulted in us combining a focus on community liaison with an equal focus on diversity and inclusion. I’m pleased to publicly congratulate John Pestana on his new expanded position of State Commissioner (Community Liaison, Diversity and Inclusion). John has been a member of Scouting for more than 51 years – in Singapore and Australia – and has held positions at many levels in Scouting. In his previous role of Branch Commissioner (Community Liaison), John successfully developed some important relationships for Scouts NSW with different cultural communities and most recently facilitated the investment of new youth members from the Buddhist Light International Association. John’s focus will include the growth of our footprint in the many multicultural communities across NSW, and he will work with the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.
State Commissioner (Environment) – Mitchell Hodgson
Mitchell Hodgson joins our team with strong environmental credentials including a Bachelor of Environment Science majoring in Biology with 1st Class Honours and is pursuing his PhD working on lizard thermal biology and its role in global conversation. As a Youth Member in Scouting, Mitchell achieved his Grey Wolf, Australian Scout Medallion and Queens Scout Awards, was involved in YACS, Youth Environment Team, and a range of other Scouting councils and teams. There is plenty ahead in this role for Mitchell as he brings the Environment subject into focus to assist with Section Programming and furthering the awareness of the environment we live in.
State Commissioner (Special Needs) – Mark Burfield
Mark Burfield has been working in the area of Special Needs within Scouts NSW since 2008 and has led the State Team since 2011. Mark has previously been actively involved in the running of Special Needs Conferences, Agoonorees and supporting the State’s Special Needs Groups. Mark recently ran a very successful Special Needs Conference, which I was delighted to join and hear first-hand how many of our Groups are embracing opportunities to include young people with additional needs. Mark now has the challenge to bring supporting knowledge and know-how to Groups so they are equipped to support our Youth who have special needs, in all aspects of Scouting.
State Commissioner (Creative Arts) – Michael de Beer
Michael de Beer joined Scouts as a Cub with 1st Waitara in 1994 and followed all the Sections right through to Rovers. As a Rover, Michael was also a young Leader in the Scout Section during which time he attended three Jamborees and two Cuborees. Over recent years Michael has been the Producer of the Hornsby Gangshow. The Creative Arts arena is diverse and brings many opportunities to our Youth Members to gain skills, enhance personal confidence, develop careers, and generally experience life from a creative perspective, which Michael is ready to enable!
Assistant State Commissioner (Heritage) – Joe Attard
Joe Attard joined Scouts as an Assistant Venturer Leader with 2nd Canterbury in 1982, transferred to the Cub Section in 1991 before becoming a District Cub Leader in 2003. He was a Regional Commissioner (International) prior to his Assistant State Commissioner (Heritage) appointment in 2009. Joe was reappointed in this role in 2017. Joe brings enormous passion and a wealth of knowledge to enhance the display of materials from our Heritage for everyone across the movement to explore. We are very proud of our extraordinary history in NSW, and our legacy is a valued commodity. We’re delighted Joe can share stories and artefacts for both Scout members and the wider community, enhancing our reputation and our reinforcing the value Scouts has brought to Australians from all walks of life for so long.
State Commissioner, Vocational Education and training (VET) – Ryan Beeby
Ryan Beeby joins NSW from Scouts Victoria having started his Scouting journey as a youth member. He has extensive experience in Rovers, including roles with the National Rover Council. Ryan gained his Wood Badge in 2010, and has been heavily involved in training and development of Leaders in both States, including roles as a PLA, course presenter and course manager. Ryan’s adventurous activities interests include Air Activities, Water Activities, Bushwalking, Abseiling, caving and canyoning.
State Commissioner, Major Events – Michael Wright
Michael Wright started in Scouts in 1989 as a Leader with 1st East Hills Group. Since then, he has participated in, and held Leadership roles for a variety of major events including the 12th Australian Venture in 2003, Australian Jamborees in 2010 and 2016 at a Deputy Director and Director level, and most recently the 6th NSW Cuboree in 2017. Michael brings enthusiasm and passion for the new role, and will play a leading part in developing the Major Events capabilities and leadership in NSW over the coming years.