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Chief Commissioner of Australia Invested at Government House


Mr. Chris Bates, Chief Commissioner Scouts Australia, began his term on February 1, 2015.

Chris started his Scouting experience as a Cub Scout in rural South Australia. Chris explained, “This was one of the best experiences - living on a farm then and participating with Cub Scouts. It was a lot of fun.“

When his children became of age, they also joined Scouts and he became a leader. This began an illustrious Scouting career, which included attending numerous Jamborees, both Australian and International, and taking on a variety of Scouting roles. Chris has also held the positions of Branch Commissioner International and Manager of Course 2 of the South Australia Young Leader Development Program. In 2012 Chris was appointed as Chief Commissioner for the South Australia Branch of Scouts Australia where he brought a vision of resilience and a flourishing Scouting community.

Chris Bates' vision continues for Scouts Australia in his new role. He added, "Across Australia we need to enable our members to become more aware of the individual and organisational benefits of having young people actively involved at all levels within the Movement."  

Chris Bates believes that Scouts as a youth organisation should be youth led, and hopes to achieve this through his appointment.  

"I am eager to use my current role as an opportunity to follow through on formulating a method whereby Scouts Australia becomes a Youth Organisation led by young people. There have been many examples shared at the International events I have attended which demonstrate how this change can operate.

We need to engage all our members and encourage them to be innovative in supporting youth to build their knowledge and create a structure where we can all be working together. I believe the current Youth Program Review will ultimately present a way that will enable us to deliver on this issue."

"My passion is to show our communities we can offer a system where a person can learn to be ‘resilient’, develop a sense of ‘wellbeing’, have adventurous experiences and take a risk in a controlled environment."

When Chris isn't out and about inspiring people through Scouting, his hobby is breeding Red Canaries; however he also breeds, shows and judges many other types of canaries at competitions and was the President of his local club for many years.

Chris and his wife Janis also enjoy travelling, which often takes them on adventures 'off the beaten track'. Some of these trips have included cycling in China and Bali and walking part of the 'St James Way' Camino in Spain. 

Chris Bates hopes to meet more members of Scouting. He said, "If you should have the opportunity to see me out scouting please come and say Hi, as 'Chiefy' is keen to meet as many people as possible from across Australia."  

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