GB Australia is part of a worldwide Christian movement that has partnered with churches for over 120 years. Together we are committed to seeing girls’ lives transformed and God’s world enriched. Together we help girls and leaders seek, serve and follow Christ.
Girls’ Brigade groups (also called Companies) around the world have a mission to be relational, relevant and responsive in the way they work. We empower girls and young women in local communities to be themselves, to develop and use their gifts and skills, and to discover what it means to have life to the full in their generation.
GB groups around Australia come in all shapes and sizes, working with many styles of churches but all with the same aim – that girls will discover what it means to live life to the full in relationship with Jesus Christ. Each GB group caters for girls of primary and high school age with age appropriate programmes that build relationships among the girls and their Leaders. Our challenging and exciting activities are led by Leaders that have been screened and appointed by the church and given training by GB. We ensure a safe and encouraging environment for everyone to explore the different areas of the programme.
The Girls’ Brigade Crest
The Girls’ Brigade Crest is our worldwide unifying symbol seen in every Girls’ Brigade Company around the world.
In the Centre, a CROSS, the symbol of Christ and His church;
Below it a LAMP, that our light may shine out upon the world;
Above it a CROWN, that we may know Christ as our King;
and behind it all a TORCH, a flame of Christ’s loving Spirit and our devotion to Him.
The organisation that is now The Girls’ Brigade was originally three separate organisations. These three organisations, each with a similar aim, all came into being at the turn of the 19th /20th century in different places around the United Kingdom. Miss Margaret Lytle formed The Girls’ Brigade in Sandymount, Ireland in 1893, with the aim of the extension of Christ’s Kingdom among girls”. The Girls’ Guildry was formed in Scotland in 1900 with the aim of helping girls to become mature Christian women, and a few years later the Girls’ Life Brigade was formed in England with the motto “to save life” and the aim “to help girls become responsible, self-reliant Christian women”
All three organisations developed into uniformed organisations with programmes designed to meet the needs of girls and young women in Victorian Britain. Over the course of the next 60 years, the three organisations developed and adapted to meet the needs of the changing cultures around the country. They all saw much growth including, in 1923, the opening of the first overseas groups in Jamaica. Work also developed in Cape Town, South Africa, Riga and Lativia (all in 1925), and then gradually work spread to the over 50 countries in which GB is found today.
Over the years there were many conversations between the three organisations, but probably the most crucial and historic decision was the one made in 1964 when the three groups agreed to amalgamate. As a result of this amalgamation, the inaugural meeting of The Brigade International Council, was held on 10th June 1968 in a meeting attended by 19 countries. The meeting appointed Miss Joan Chenhalls MBE as the first International President. At this time two committees were established to oversee the developing work in the Atlantic and Pacific areas of the world. From this time on The International Council met every five years in different locations around the world.
In 1993 the international Family celebrated its centenary with celebrations around the world. This culminated with the sixth International Conference of The Girls’ Brigade in Dublin, Ireland. The next Brigade International Conference in 1998, held in Brisbane, Australia, saw a reorganisation of the international structure. As a result of this meeting, the Atlantic and Pacific committees ceased to exist, and instead five fellowships were formed – Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Americas, Europe and Pacific. Each Fellowship was, and still is, responsible for the development and administration of Girls’ Brigade in its own geographical area. Representatives from each fellowship, together with the International President and Treasurer form The International President’s Committee who have the responsibility of the work of The Girls’ Brigade International between International Council meetings. These meetings are now held once every four years.
Worldwide there are now over 3,000 GB groups with over 126,000 girls and young women meeting Jesus week by week through the work of The Girls’ Brigade.