Queen's Birthday honours list 2018: OAM for 34-year Scout leader David John Reiken

Always prepared for youth: David John Reiken who is being awarded an OAM after 34 years service to the Scouts. Picture: Sylvia Liber.
Always prepared for youth: David John Reiken who is being awarded an OAM after 34 years service to the Scouts. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Like many parents David John Reiken supported his children with interests they loved to do when they were young.

When Christopher, Scott and Andrew started going to 1st Lalor Park Scout Group he got involved in Scouts first as a parent and then as a group president in the mid 80’s and group leader in his mid to late 30’s.

Mr Reiken remained involved when he moved to Wollongong to work with BHP Steel to take on a role as the finance manager for the Coated Products division in 1992.

That is when Andrew Reiken started going to 1st Figtree Group and Mr Reiken has remained involved ever since.

“The Region Commissioner was aware I was moving down here and grabbed me for a role at the region level,” he said.

Now 34 years after starting as a leader the 73 year old is still heavily involved in the Scouting movement and is being awarded an OAM in recognition of his services to youth.

With the NSW branch Mr Reiken is presently a region delegate on the state council, has been a member of the State Finance Committee since 1999, has been treasurer of Mount Keira Scout Camp Management Committee since 2009 and was a member of the Scout Development Fund from 2001-2005.

With the South Coast and Tableland Region he has been deputy region commissioner (program support) since 2013, was Region Commissioner for Administration from 1996 to 2013 and Assistant Region Commissioner from 1992 to 1996.

With 1st Lalor Park Scout Group he was Group Leader from 1988 to 1992 and Group President from 1984 to1988.

Mr Rieken also did a variety of roles at Australian Scout Jamborees in 2010, 2004, 2001 and 1992.

Scouting awards and recognition have included Mr Reiken being the recipient of a Silver Kangaroo Award from Scouts Australia in 2010. the Silver Emu Award in 2005 and the Silver Koala Award in 2001.

Mr Reiken said he was reaching the point now where he is thinking about retirement from the Scouts. He said he stayed on so long after his children grew up because he enjoyed what he was doing. He did none of it for regnition himself and did not expect it when he was told he was being awarded an OAM. He is grateful because thinks that will bring more awareness to the work of the Scouting movement and its many leaders.

“I could see it was something the young people need so I kept an involvement,” he said.

“In recent years that has been more at the region and state level. I have always been happy to use my skills to assist.”

“I love what the Scouting movement can do for youth. It is an all round program that basically allows them to develop at their own pace. The idea is they become good citizens for the future. It is all about them improving themselves. The whole way the Scouting movement works is it is youth led and adult supported. It really is about encouraging youth to explore different things and develop their skills and work together as a team.”

In other community involvement he has been a member of the Annual Art and Craft Show Organising Committee with CatholicCare for 10 years and parishioner and aaintenance co-ordinator with St Therese Parish for 15 years.