Queens recipients 2011 Amelia Holmes, Jemima Wixted and Emma Clarke with Captain Noela Ensbey.
Queens recipients 2011 Amelia Holmes, Jemima Wixted and Emma Clarke with Captain Noela Ensbey. Kirstin Payne

Noela leads the Girls Brigade

AFTER two decades of organising camps, crafts and sing-alongs, many would have called it quits. But Girls' Brigade captain Noela Ensbey is keen to do it all over again.

Warwick's first Girls' Brigade, a weekly evening program for girls from Prep to 19 years, will start its 20th year on February 2.

Having a clear passion for helping the community's youth, Ms Ensbey, a teacher and mother of four, continues to be committed to the organisation after nearly two decades.

"I enjoy seeing the girls grow and develop into young responsible women and then bringing their children back all over again," she said.

Originating in 1992, the Warwick Girls' Brigade was started by a group of ladies which included Ms Ensbey and Helen Palmer.

Ms Palmer's children also went through brigade during her involvement of 19 years.

"There was a large interest for something like this to begin when we first started," said Ms Ensbey, who was a Girls' Brigadier herself in Brisbane, from age 12.

With the number of girls attending in recent years fluctuating between 50 to nearly 80 at times, it is hoped the Brigade tradition will continue on.

"It gives the girls a balanced approach to life," Ms Ensbey said.

Meeting weekly, the brigadiers are involved in community service along with a range of arts, sports, and other activities including movie nights and go-carting. Camping trips, often to Toowoomba or in Warwick, are included yearly for badge work.

These give the brigadiers the chance to meet other like-minded teens.

First Girls' Brigade Warwick has also been very successful, with many awardees coming from the region.

"Over the past 20 years we have had around 15 girls who have received a Queen's award," said regular helper Mary Ann Clayton. The Queen's Award is the highest international honour in the Brigades.

Many attendees work towards the pioneer pin, the highest national award to be achieved, which takes many years of work and community service.

"We hope to celebrate the 20th anniversary later on in the year," Ms Ensbey said.

With invitations going out to companies statewide, the event is sure to be a big one involving much of the wider community.

For more information on joining Girls' Brigade call 46617999 or 46617655.


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