At a glance
By Katie Langmore
It could be said that Nikketah Cuneo CPA has grown up with Scouts Australia. Cuneo works as payables and receivables manager at Energy Queensland, and she now volunteers with the World Organization of the Scout Movement, where she works hard towards ensuring the next generation of Scouts enjoys the same experiences that she had as a child.
“One of the things I love most about Scouts is that it gives kids resilience and helps them learn how to get through challenges,” says Cuneo.
Cuneo has been involved in Scouts Australia since she was 13. As a teenager she joined – and subsequently became the chair of – the National Youth Council for Scouts Australia. The role took her from regional Queensland and exposed her to governance and leadership, international travel and members from around the world.
“It really shaped my future career and, as I’ve progressed, a lot of the experience I’ve gained in Scouting has supported my professional capability and confidence. So, that made me want to continue and give back as an adult. I wanted to help to give those opportunities to other young people.
Cuneo has been a long-standing volunteer with Scouts Australia, holding both national and Asia-Pacific region roles, and is now a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement Audit Committee."
For the Audit Committee, Cuneo has found her two worlds coming together perfectly.
“Talking to colleagues at work about my volunteering, a lot of them – and particularly the accountants – have started to think about what they could do and how useful their skills would be. There’s a lot of need out there and so it’s great to see people coming on board with volunteering.”
For the Asia-Pacific region, she has been involved with the international team that oversees programming and youth engagement. Within this, Cuneo’s focus has been on Better World Scouting, which looks at the actions young people can take towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “We devise programs and I support implementing them in Australia,” she explains.
Cuneo spends hours on her Scouting work each week, fitting it in around her full-time role with Energy Queensland, spending nights on Zoom meetings with colleagues from around the world. The work also takes her overseas.
With three children in Scouts and a husband who is a district leader at a national level, the organisation is incorporated naturally into her daily life. For international travel, like her recent trip to Switzerland for a conference, Cuneo has to take annual leave and pay for some costs, although the organisation chips in also.
Cuneo has also been with Energy Queensland for 15 years and is thankful that the organisation is supportive of her volunteering work. “They’re good with encouraging volunteering – giving everyone in the organisation two volunteer days a year – and they’re also conscious of the governance and leadership experience that the work gives me.”
“They’re good with encouraging volunteering – giving everyone in the organisation two volunteer days a year – and they’re also conscious of the governance and leadership experience that the work gives me.”
The Scouting movement was founded in the UK by Lord Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. It quickly spread throughout the world, with Scout Groups starting in Australia in 1908.
By 1937, more than 2.5 million Scouts from nearly 50 countries were affiliated with an established international body, set up to prevent control drifting into the hands of religious, political or military bodies.
From its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Organization of the Scout Movement now supports scouting in 218 countries and territories, and 172 national Scouting organisations around the globe, representing a Scout membership of more than 54 million.