Embroided cloth badge from Woodhouse Troop 0915 Boy Scouts commemorating the Australian Jamboree held at Moocooboolah, South Australia, in 2004. As some other scout troops have done in the past, this troop continues to use a stereotypical image of an Aboriginal man as its mascot.
The Australian Scout Jamboree is a major triennial gathering of scouts from throughout Australia, with some international visitors, held every three years by Scouts Australia, and hosted by a different scouting region on each occasion, with locations rotating between the various Australian mainland states. The Jamboree is traditionally held in early January and runs for 12-13 days. The first Australian Scout Jamboree was was held in 1934 at Frankston, Victoria, and was the only Australian Jamboree attended by the founder of the Scouting movement Chief Scout, Robert Baden-Powell.
Multiple copies of badges like this are issued to each scout attending the Jamborees by their troop for the purpose of swapping with scouts from other troops each of which have their own distinctive badges for the occasion. The badge swapping can become quite competitive with rare or overseas badges being particularly sought after. The activity, however, also provides an important social function by acting as an encouragement for scouts to 'break the ice' and talk to as many scouts from other places as possible. The various badges obtained by each scout are often sewn on a camp blanket, shirt or coat as a form of memento of the event. They are not intended to be used as uniform badges.
Green badge with backing and piping around the edge. The text is in yellow and in the centre stands an aboriginal man about to throw a boomerang.
These badges are significant because they show the way that the Scout movement continued to use stereotypical images of indigenous people on their official insignia from the 1960s to the 2000s. This object forms part of a small collection of objects which demonstrate the various ways Indigenous imagery, designs and materials have been referenced, appropriated and even exploited to produce popular consumer products which at times are branded in inappropriate and even offensive ways.
Place & Date of Event
Machine embroided text: 'WOODHOUSE/TROOP 0915/AJ2004-SA/MOOCOOBOOLAH'
Type of item
80 mm (Width), 60 mm (Height)
[Link 1] accessed 20/04/2011.