Elizabeth Turnbull

Elizabeth Turnbull held 21 various positions in Guides Victoria from Company Leader to Assistant State Commissioner.

Honour Roll

Elizabeth Turnbull was born in 1920. She became a Girl Guide in 1932 and was active in guiding for over 70 years and in the Country Women's Association for over 50 years. She was one of seven Victorians selected as Australian Volunteers for the Guides International Service assisting displaced persons in Europe following World War II.

Elizabeth held 21 various positions in Guides Victoria from Company Leader to Assistant State Commissioner. She was leader in charge of the first Victoria State Camp in 1957 and helped run many local, state and international camps.

She was an active member of the Good Neighbour Council which lead to two years (1947-49) as a member of Guide International Service (GIS) carrying out relief and welfare work in Germany with displaced persons from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The GIS was registered with the British Government as a voluntary society, one of the first team-making societies to form the Council of British Societies for Relief Abroad. Board, lodging, transport, uniform and equipment were supplied from government sources, relief stores and amenities from military sources.

GIS volunteers were unpaid but received pocket money of ten shillings a week. They worked in displaced persons camps in Europe and Asia. Among other things they distributed food and acted as teachers to the children. The GIS supplied 13 teams. The first team left England in June 1944 and the last three volunteers withdrew from Germany in March 1952. Elizabeth, along with her peers, helped write Australia's Guide history through her work with the GIS.

On her return to Australia from Europe, she worked on the Good Neighbour Council helping migrants and new settlers in Australia. Elizabeth introduced a generation of young women to the benefits of outdoor camping. She was a woman of strong character who was as good as her word. She never asked of others what she was not prepared to do herself. She served as a positive role model to hundreds of girls and young women and has had a profound effect on many young lives.