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Kiama’s Greg Crofts Receives OAM for dedicated scouting leadership

The Bugle App

Donna Portland

09 June 2024, 11:40 PM

Kiama’s Greg Crofts Receives OAM for dedicated scouting leadership

Gregory Leigh Crofts, a resident of Kiama, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) during the 2024 King's Birthday Honours for Australia. The announcement was made on 10 June, by Governor-General David Hurley.

The King's Birthday Honours celebrate the achievements and service of extraordinary individuals across the 15 Commonwealth realms of King Charles III, recognising their significant contributions to society.

Greg, as he prefers to be known, was honoured for his remarkable service to scouting. His involvement with the Kiama Scout Group spans 16 years, reflecting a long-standing commitment to the scouting community. In that time, he has accumulated 14 scout awards.

Known by his scouting name, “Wonga”, Greg began his scouting journey in 1976. He started as the '1st Peakhurst Cub Leader' and progressed to '1st Peakhurst Scout Leader' in 1980, and to '1st Sylvania Heights Cub Leader' in 1987.

In 1996, Greg moved to Nowra and joined the '1st Illaroo Cub Pack.' Two years later, he became the Regional Leader of Cub Scouts for the South Coast and Tablelands Region. His leadership skills were further recognised when he was appointed District Cub Leader for Shoalhaven in 2003 and District Commissioner a year later.

Greg's leadership prowess continued to be acknowledged, leading to his promotion as Assistant District Commissioner in the Illawarra South District in 2006. 

In 2009, he took on the role of '1st Kiama Scout Group Leader,' a position he held for 11 years before becoming the Group Advisor in 2020. When Greg assumed leadership of Kiama Scouts, the group was nearly bankrupt. Through his tireless efforts in fundraising, including organising sausage sizzles, he revitalised the group, making it financially robust and vibrant.

A hands-on leader, Greg is actively involved in maintaining the Scout Hall, managing cleaning, maintenance, and liaising with service personnel and contractors. He continues to attend weekly scout meetings and is an integral part of the committee.

Greg has secured grants for solar electricity, air conditioning, and plumbing improvements for the hall, benefitting not only Kiama Scouts but also other scouting groups, who use the hall for camps and activities, utilising the scenic Kiama harbour as a backdrop.

He has been a staunch advocate for keeping the Kiama Scout Hall under the ownership of Scouting Australia. Amid pressure from developers and the Kiama Council, who have shown interest in redeveloping the harbour area, Greg has tirelessly worked to ensure the hall remains a community asset. 

Greg has meticulously documented that the land is Crown land with a 100-year perpetual lease, underscoring his commitment to preserving the hall for future generations of local children and families.