Scouts Australia

Website Redevelopment Project 2023Image by vectorjuice on Freepik

Last updated: 4 March 2024


In May 2023 the Scouts ACT IT Committee began a project to redevelop the Scouts ACT website.

The purpose of this page is to share information about the progress of the redevelopment project with everyone: Youth, Parents and Carers, Leaders, AA Teams, Committee members and all the other valuable people involved with Scouts in the ACT.

The project is being conducted by Andrew Newbery under the guidance of the IT and Digital Coordination Committee and the Communication, Marketing & Publicity Committee. Andrew (Darzee) is a Scout Leader from Lake Ginninderra Sea Scouts.

The consultation process began on 5 September 2023 at the  Group Leaders Meeting (Jumbanna).

Online website survey - closed

As one of the first stages of redevelopment, we are seeking feedback on the existing website, and any ideas you have on how we can improve it.  To achieve this consultation we have set up a quick online survey that we are hoping that everyone will complete for us by 29 February 2024.

You can complete this survey multiple times if you have different roles in Scouting if you want.

Click here to start the survey.  If you have another suggestion, please use the Feedback Form.

Want to have a look at some of the results so far? Have a sneak peek here at how people have responded so far.  The results are being finalised now and a report will be released soon...

Make a suggestion - yours ideas count!

Use this Feedback Form if you have any suggestions, ideas or comments on how to improve the Scouts Act website.

Suggestions so far

The 2 purple tables below list most of the  Content ideas and  Management ideas received so far. Not everything sent in should be published, but rest assured if you sent it in using the form and it's not here, it will be in the lists of feedback in the Final report to the IT Committee.

The plan is to update the tables at least weekly, but don't hold me to that: like everyone else, life happens!

Content ideas



Suggested by


1 Scout youth can't access the information in the Member's Area.

Branch Youth Council ideas pre-August 2023:

  1. Bring as much content as possible from out behind the login so youth can be empowered and informed to plan their own activities
  2. Create new pages for the Program Team and Program Support Team to share resources, information and opportunities
  3. Want to use Instagram to connect with people
Branch Youth Council

Ideas from Branch Scout Council - August 2023:

  • Show cool activities and adventures (not just hikes and trips but also normally night so people who want to join aren't surprised)
  • Videos of thing we do
  • make a video of on camp interviews with Scouts and ask what they love, what they are doing on the camp
  • Images and information about Scouting events
  • Images of Units

Types of content Scouts would like:

  • Appealing images/videos
  • Australian Scout Award?
  • Branch Scout Council
  • Awards
  • Pure Scout material

How to appeal to young people:

  • Good Looking “Aesthetics” (watermark captions editing)
  • Easy to understand - Short and Direct
  • Clear Content
  • Day in a life, get ready with us
  • Colourful and eye catching content (Scout colours)
  • Music on Stories or video posts
Branch Scout Council - August update

Include more information about Groups on the Scout Groups page.  Include: their website, external and internal pictures of halls...


Create a page to upload and share Youth Programs so that Leaders can re-use what others have done. 

Could be a table of the following: program name, summary of program, youth group aimed at (Joeys, Cubs, Scouts, Vennies, Rovers) document file that has all details in it, who posted it (not who made it), maybe a rating system for how good it was?. Uploaded documents would need approval before being published to avoid unpleasant postings.

For example, I could share my Scouts Chariot Night program or my Orienteering at Weston Park program.

6 Could be cool to have a forum (where posts need to be moderated probably) for things like finding verifiers for OAS/assessors for SIAs or general help running activities that aren't AA e.g. finding leaders/youth who are great at golf to help run a golf night on a program Madeleine W

These were the ideas from brainstorming at the Branch Scout Council(BSC) meeting on 13 Sep

  1. Photo slides on main page (not really old ones and are updated regularly)
  2. Something to help recruit new Scouts to the Groups that need them so that Group gets more Scouts.
  3. list of Groups and if they are full or want new members
  4. Move contacts for activities providers (AA) to public site so we can see them
  5. A new BSC page (done :-)) and menu option to get there!  This is to include the next meeting: where and when, plus notes (minutes) from the last meeting.
  6. A shared list of program activities that are run so Unti Councils can get inspiration and people can add to.
  7. set (or choose) your own colour theme for the website
  8. recipes that Scouts have tried
  9. be able to access their group's emails so we can contact them
  10. videos of interviews with Scouts about how a recent activity went
  11. fund raising ideas page (including events that need funds and how much?)
    1. GG's Camp
    2. Summer Camp?
    3. Scout Groups (some don't have much money due to the small No of Scout members)
  12. a Donations page!
    1. allow people to make tax-deductible donations to Scouts ACT and
    2. if they want to, identify a particular Group to help - might (not necessarily to get all the money donated, but a good slice)
    3. identify Groups or activities that are looking for funding and what the money is for
  13. Event Page with coming and maybe past events on it, must include a contact for coming events
  14. Make the website mobile compatible - BSC said it was hard to use on their mobile phones.
Branch Scout Council 13 Sep 23

Tell people how to subscribe (and unsubscribe yourself) to emails or alerts that certain pages have changed.  I suspect that the existing ScoutsIT list <> does this, but do people know they can subscribe to this? (I didn't)

  • I'm wondering if only Branch Office can subscribe people due to content of these emails having privacy issues (ie. only to go to Scouts ACT members?)
Andrew N

Have a SiteAdmin person (previously 'webmaster') whose job it would be to keep an eye on emails and other info sent out to Scouts ACT and make sure it gets onto the ScoutsACT website.  Maybe have an idea submission form linked to a new email address advertised on the website.  This would expand to a group of volunteers over time.

[Andrew N raised this with the Communication, Marketing & Publicity Committee on 21 Sep 23. The Committee agreed and Andrew Newbery was appointed for an initial 6 month trial term.]
Andrew N Approved

Scouts Australia useful links page?

I didn't know that Scouts Australia published their research and results of surveys!  You get to it at the bottom of the Resources pageand here is the link that takes you directly to the information.

I particularly liked the adult_experience_survey_-_noc_presentation_-_june2023.pdf adult_experience_survey_-_noc_presentation_-_june2023.pdf.

Andrew N
11 The Branch Venturer Council (BVC) long term plan is to migrate all the BVC content from over to the main ScoutsACT website and allow the BVC members to edit their pages directly. BVC
12 Could we set up something [on the public part of the website] like the Victorian adventurous activities page for the ACT AA teams, including when you click all the way through to their calendars?: Andy B
13 Scouts NSW have a really nice calendar. The functionality is really good and it look really nice. the filters and nice big format make it easy to use. Andy B

Create an IT Support Page to host Guides, Fact sheets, FAQs. 

  • how to use Gmail accounts:
    • Scouts
    • personal
    • Unit level role account (eg.
    • how to switch between accounts
    • get notifications of new emails in all the above
  • how to get a password reset for: Google ID, Scouts Oz ID.
  • Operoo [AN Note: already on website, make easier to find]
  • OLEMS (Scouts Australia system)
  • using stuff from your mobile device as well as PC
  • instructions to not use your private account for any "Scout member work" stuff
Branch Planning Day stall

Promote the AA Teams better. (move to public bit of website)

Plus be able to access the AA Teams by name (as now), as well as OAS type.

Branch Planning Day stall

Check that each of the AA Team contact information on the website is up-to-date:

  • Alpine:
    • Downhill
    • Cross Country
    • Tours
    • Snow Play
    • Snowboarding
  • Archery
  • Air Activities:
    • Balloon
    • Power
  • Bushwalking
  • Canoeing
  • Pioneering
  • Rock
  • Scuba / Snorkeling
  • 4WD
  • Boating? (no web page yet)
  • Mountain Biking? (no web page yet)
Branch Planning Day stall
17 Add a "Last updated date" to the top of each website page so people can see how old the info is.  Could be typed manually or as a module. Branch Planning Day stall

Add filters to the Branch Calender for: (each section: Joeys, Cubs etc), Courses, room bookings, and other themes.

AN NOTE: I found out that you can already do this!

Branch Planning Day stall Done
19 Create a Branch Equipment List page that shows what gear Branch have that units can borrow.  (list being made by Rob Fredericksen) Branch Planning Day stall
20 Create an EVENTS page so that each upcoming event can have more information and contact details about it. Branch Planning Day stall

Create a Unit Program page that has a list of activity programs like what was made at the Branch Planning Day.  This is so that we don;t have to keep reinventing the wheel.  The old Branch books are good but they are 60 years old now.

Start with a list of Term Programs to get the names of the activities, then have the details of each activity so Leaders can just use them as needed in their own program.  Have contact details for person who made it (optional).

Branch Planning Day stall

ACT Scouts email subscription category list page that people can subscribe or unsubscribe from them themselves. Maybe in the Member's area of the webpage.

This would allow people to tailor the emails they get so they don't get spam about stuff they are not interested in, but also allows people to get info on a broad range of things if they choose to. The Branch all-ACT emails would be one category and possibly mandatory for all.

Suggested categories are: Sections (Joey, Cub, Scout, Venturer, Rover), Events, Fund raising, Branch News.

Branch Planning Day stall
23 Email comms: All Scout Groups to have the role based email addresses active for people.  Will allow anyone to send to a role like all Scout Leaders for a number of groups. (eg. email to:, like you can for Branch Planning Day stall
24 All Scout Leaders and Branch staff to us their Scouts ACT accounts for all Scouting things, NOT their private accounts.  This should apply to email accounts, and Google drives, personal computers, and anywhere else people might be storing personal privacy information related to Scouting. Branch Planning Day stall
25 Have a page for Adventurous Journey information for Scouts and Leaders. Branch Planning Day stall
26 Can we use the Google Contacts in Gmail to have the Scouts ACT directory and email distribution lists? Branch Planning Day stall
27 Risk Plan examples.  There are a couple there, but could there be more please so they don't need to be reinvented by new people. Branch Planning Day stall

Does the website Search function work on the Private Members pages?  Something like Google Bard might be able to do this.

[AN Comment: or even better, move most of it to the public part of the website]

Branch Planning Day stall
29 Create a Joey Resources sharing page.  This could share walks, maps, activities Branch Planning Day stall
30 Do the Vennies want to move their external website pages into the Scouts ACT site? Branch Planning Day stall
31 Can you change the email address you use for the Members Area on the ScoutsACT website?

 Website Management ideas





1 Allow a representative from each Adventurous Activity group access to edit their own website page in addition to Branch Office doing updates.
[This can only be done by SiteSuite support and does not work well]
Can't do
2 Broken link check to report on internal and external hyperlinks that need fixing.
[SiteSuite does not have this capability]
3 Scouts ACT to be able to manage user access to edit pages.
[This can only be done by SiteSuite support]
Can't do

Version-ing of pages. 

Currently any page change anywhere on the website that is saved gets published whenever anyone clicks "Publish".  This means changes that are in-progress but not finished get published.

  1. A new version of a page can be made and saved without it being published. 
  2. Pages have who saved it (audit trail)
  3. Pages can be approved by a different person acting as the approver and then get published.
[SiteSuite does not have this capability]
5 Multifactor Authentication (MFA) far all accounts that can edit the website.

Helps prevent defacement.  Good security.

6 Do we need MFA on the Member's area?

prevents access via a stolen or copied password

prevents password sharing

7 Site editing accounts require password change every x months or they are disabled. Catches people who leave or no longer doing changes.
8 Audit who has access to change the website and disable anyone without a current need. Helps prevent defacement 

Allow representatives of the Branch Scout Council, Branch Venturer Council and Branch Rover Council to edit their own webpages (similar to #1)
[This can only be done by SiteSuite support and does not work well]

Branch Youth Council
10 Create customised forms and surveys for use on the website (feedback etc)
[This can only be done by SiteSuite staff at a cost]
11 Enhance security (no generic website admin userids [names only], MFA, change logs)
12 Error trap page to replace the built-in.  This will make us look more professional and friendly. Andrew N Done

Pictures on the website & Privacy.  

  • SiteAdmins need to understand using pictures on the ScoutsACT website
  • Scouts Australia has the Privacy Policythat includes sections on:
    • Photographs and images
    • Website and online services
  • Scouts ACT has a section titled "Website on-line services policy" contained in  2.11_Privacy_Policy_Guidelines.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) also has advice on their website here:

Andrew N
14 Add a favicon file so that the URL gets a Scout branded icon in browser tabs.
[This can only be done by SiteSuite support]
Andrew N Done1


1. Press SHIFT & Refresh button to force a cache refresh in Chrome and Edge to see the icon.

Consultation plan

Here are the planned consultation methods for this project:

  1. Feedback Form on the website
  2. Attend Committee meetings
  3. Attend Branch Council meetings
  4. Survey sent to all Scouts ACT members
  5. Newsletters that Committees and BEC email out
  6. Attend Scout Group and Rover meetings.

Branch Planning Day 20 January 2024

On 20 January 2024 Branch held a Planning Day at Camp Cottermouth for:

  • section leaders to get together and share programming ideas
  • for Branch Teams (like AA Teams) to provide information for programming activities (section nights and/or weekend activities) or more direct leader support (training, recognition, admin, borrowing branch equipment) or individual youth member support (peak awards, youth councils, SAIT).

I ran a stand for the website at the Planning Day and the ideas that came from that are incorporated in the suggestion tables above.

Other Scouts website links

A separate pagehas been created with screen grabs of each website to facilitate a comparison of pages.



NSW 1   NSW 2







New Zealand

Consultation so far...

Here's a list of specific consultation done so far.  I've talked to lots of people along the way, but these are the specific meetings i've been to.

# Date Consultation
1 31 Aug Rob F
2 5 Sep Group Leaders meeting (Jumbanna) with Craig
3 11 Sep Craig R
4 13 Sep Branch Scout Council with Jay
5 18 Sep Branch Venturer Council with Jay
6 21 Sep Communications, Marketing and Publicity Committee meeting
7 28 Sep Sarah S
8 16 Oct Combined Branch Scout & Venturer Council with Jay
9 20 Jan Branch Planning Day at Camp Cottermouth
10 TBA Branch Executive Council

Other details about the project

Andrew plans to visit as many Scout Group meetings and Committee Meetings as he can so that there is direct consultation and feedback from youth and volunteers around Canberra.

Website Redevelopment Project Plan

Below is the table showing the overall project plan.  Things have slipped a little bit...

Table of deliverables
# Document Status Target date
1 Project Plan In progress 22 May 2023
2 Analysis of existing Scouts ACT website In progress TBA
3 Analysis of other Scout websites In progress TBA
4 Stakeholder consultation In progress 30 October 2023
5 Website management system and hosting In progress TBA
6 Final report to Scouts ACT IT Committee Not started 30 October 2023

I've also been updating the existing Scouts ACT website where I can along the way.