SORRENTO Sea Scouts leader Lynette Hipwell awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in last week’s Queen’s Birthday Honours says she was “just having lots of fun”.
Sorrento Sea Scouts Group Leader David Burgess said the award paid tribute to Ms Hipwell’s “services to youth through scouts”.
“It is a fitting recognition of Lynette’s commitment to the youth of the Mornington Peninsula and the scouting movement throughout Victoria,” he said.
“She has been a leader at Sorrento Sea Scouts for over 35 years, a member of the Scout 4×4 team and the Scout sailing team.
“Her tireless commitment to the promotion of scouting and the benefits that it brings the youth is outstanding. She thoroughly deserves this award.”
Ms Hipwell, a teacher at Rosebud Secondary College, grew up in Sorrento into a scouting family. “It was a big thing when we were kids,” she recalled.
“The whole family was involved with dad [Reg Jones] group leader of the Sorrento group and mum [Elaine] on the committee.”
That family link continued with her own children: Duane, Nathan and Melanie – now all in their 20s – being cubs, scouts and venturers at Sorrento Sea Scouts.
The scouting life has given Ms Hipwell plenty of fond memories. “I love catching up with the children as they grow older and seeing what they have achieved,” she said.
“I’ve also loved the camping and the hiking and the 10-day Jamborees.”
Especially enjoyable are the Thompson River tyre-tube rafting trips in March.
Mr Burgess said there had been many kinds words said about Lynette on the group’s Facebook page, which received 111 likes.
“My favourite is: ‘I have seen you in action – particularly with young people when they are not at their ‘best’,” he said.
“This award is well and truly deserved. I have known Lynette for eight years while my own children have experienced scouting and this comment truly hit home for me.”
Other comments: “Congratulations Lynette, many lucky children have been guided through scouting with you.” June Robertson.
“Congrats Lynette. An amazing lifetime achievement … all the lives you’ve touched and inspired.” Angie Kennedy.
“Congratulations Lynette, truly a well-deserved award for you.” Gail Tucker.
Ms Hipwell said: “I feel there are many people more worthy than me of this award, but it was a lovely surprise. It doesn’t seem right to get a very prestigious award for just having lots of fun.
“I hope along the way I have assisted some young people to take up opportunities, enjoy life and have fun, and that I have encouraged them to reach their full potential, hopefully.”