- Honour Roll
Mary Lambe served 76 years as a Guide and was involved in Guiding in six countries (Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Australia).
In 1965, Mary led the first contingent of disabled Guides to travel overseas. Twenty-two handicapped girls, eighteen helpers from Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, plus medical and general staff went on a three week tour of New Zealand. Many of the contingent had never flown in a plane, stayed in a hotel, chosen meals from a menu, handled money nor done their own shopping. It took three years to prepare, raise money, find and train staff.
Mary was also a trained social worker. Her employment included Assistant Almoner at the Children's Hospital, social worker for wartime day nurseries and the Victorian Society for Crippled Children.
She gained a Guide Training Diploma in 1943 and represented Guides Australia at several international conferences. Mary addressed meetings in England, Scotland, Denmark, Singapore, the United States and Canada on the work of the Disabled Section in Guides Australia. She was also the first Guides Victoria State Archivist
Mary's citation from the Guide movement reads: 'Her influence with and understanding of the handicapped girl has been felt not only in Victoria but in Australia through the International Conference/training for leaders of the Extension (Disabled) Section.'
A young guide who had suffered from polio said, "Miss Lambe quietly and unobtrusively showed girls and young women how to cope with what life had thrown up for them".
Mary's influence on girls and young women was widespread. She was a woman to whom you could not say no. She got things done. Her primary concern was always for the girls in her care. She had an extraordinary affinity with disabled people. She helped those in her care to be more self-confident and self-assured by not giving them an easy way out.
Mary, or Cap as she was known in the Guiding world, is included in the Honour Roll for the positive contribution she made to the hundreds of lives she touched.
Reviewed 27 May 2022