Australian Boy Scout Uniforms: 1990s

Figure 1.--These Scouts wear the current 1990s uniform with the destinctive Australian hats. Notice the patrol leader badge worn by one boy on his hat.

The uniforms for various sections of the Australian Scout organisation have been under occasional review for many years. The most recognisable change is the replacement of the traditional indented scout hat, affectionately called the "lemon squeezer" in Australia, with a more Aussie looking style of hat. Older sections wear berets, and Joey Scouts have a peaked hat with back flap. Other uniform modifications are not so easy to spot.

Joey Scouts

A joey is a baby kangaroo which still lives mostly in the mother's pouch. Joey Scouts are the youngest of the Australian sections. Joeys are boys or girls from 6 years to 8 years old. The uniform is very simple, a hat, a scarf and a tee shirt. The hat is a brown legionnaire's hat, common among Australian primary schools (children up to 12). Hat and scarf have the Joey Scout badge, featuring a picture of a kangaroo with the words "Australian Joey Scouts". Across the front of the tee shirt are the words "Help Other People", the Joey motto. The first letters spell HOP, which is what real joeys do, of course. Over the motto is the trail of a joey

Figure 2.--This Cub is being invested by a Group Leader. You can see the Australian style hat, the group scarf, and the "it'll fit for a few years yet" shirt. There are no badges yet on his shirt.
hopping across the shirt. The scarf is the normal troop scarf. A joey would normally be wearing a woggle on their scarfs, but some get lost--perhaps while hopping around somewhere.

Cub Scouts

: Cub Scouts in Australia are boys or girls between 8 and 11 years. This Cub Scout is being invested by a Group Leader. They wear the Australian style hat rather than the traditional cub peaked cap. Like all the members of the group, they wear the group scarf and the same colored shirt won by the Scouts. The same hat is worn by Cubs as well as all older sections and leaders. Sometimes the previous Cub Scout hat can still be seen. It is a slightly different broad brimmed style made of green felt instead of the darker khaki colour seen here. The Australian Scouts have decided against distinctive Cub uniforms in contrast to the practice in most other countries. Thus the basic uniform does not set the Cubs apart. The badges do of course identify the different levels of Scouting.


Scouts in Australia are boys or girls from 11 years to 15 years. Australian Scouts wear a badge above the left shirt pocket with the Australian flag and the words "Australian Scouts" underneath.

Figure 3.--This Scout is being presented with some badges. The badge above the left shirt pocket is the Australian flag with the words "Australian Scouts" underneath.
At one stage it was decided that all new groups wear the state badge on the scarf, then the decision was reversed. Only one group was registered and the badge was approved. 1997 saw the restructuring of scouting management and area level was removed. This means that there were no more area badges, which were the most collectable badges in the country. They were woven picture badges, not strip name tapes, and some were very attractive in colour and design. Scouts wear a variety of badges. On the left pocket is the World Scout badge and the Australian Scouting badge. Patrol leader have two stripes on the pocket. On the right pocket is the area badge. There are no longer areas in Australian scouting, and so a new state badge replaces this. Above the right pocket is a Scout Job Weeks badge for raising a certain amount of money doing odd jobs around his neighbourhood. Above that is the Scoutcraft badge, the first test-work badge a new scout earns to be invested. Many Scouts wear the yellow link badge which he gained for completing the link program from Cubs into Scouts. On the left epaulette patrol leaders wear a green and yellow patrol leaders training badge. On the left sleeve from the top is the patrol badge. A large red badge worn by Scouts is the Pioneer badge. This is the first of three levels of achievement for Scouts. The red Pioneer cord is an extension of the Pioneer badge. Smaller badges are Target or Challenge badges. The three levels of the award badge system are Pioneer (red), Explorer (blue), and Adventurer (green). There are Target Badges and Challenge Badges for each level. Target badges are scouting related, such as campcraft, citizenship, environment, emergencies. Challenge badges are hobby related such as arts, crafts, music, sports, technology, animals. The three levels mean that a Scout can work through the award system at an appropriate

Figure 4.--This Scouts in the 1990s is participating in a Scout car competition, similar to American soap box derbies.
pace, perhaps taking a year on each colour. Each large badge requires that three target badges be completed at that level. Each cord requires the badge and 1, 3, or 5 challenge badges be completed, plus a new patrol activity for each level. The green Adventurer Cord is the highest level of attainment for a Scout.


Venturers are boys or girls from 14 to 18. Venture Scouts have the usual scouting badges on their shirts. Venture Scouts wear distinctibe maroon epaulettes and have the maroon Venturer badge above his right shirt pocket. The area badge is on his right pocket. Venturer Scouts that have learned foreign languafes have thev Linguist badge (Parle Francais) on the flap of their right pocket. A dark strip badge above the pocket is a Job Weeks badge. A red and yellow badge worn above that is the link badge for completing the link program from Scouts into Venturers. Venturers can wear the normal scout hat or the maroon beret. Venturers wear award badges on the right sleeve. The highest award for a Venturer is the Queen's Scout Award. The Queen's Scout award is granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and presented at a state ceremony by either a State Governor in the state capital or by the Governor General in Canberra. The Queen's Scout Badge shows the crown.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: November 15, 1998
Last updated: January 15, 2000