Many Australian Schools offer the opportunity for their students to undergo the internationally recognised Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a program designed to build resilience, leadership and practical life skills in students.
There are 3 levels in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award:
The Bronze Award is for students aged 14 years and over. It comprises 1 hour a week average and an additional 3 months for a major in voluntary service, physical recreation or skills.
The Silver Award is for students aged 15 years and over. It comprises 1 hour a week average and an additional 6 months for a major in voluntary service, physical recreation or skills if the student has not completed the Bronze award.
The Gold Award is for students aged 16 years and over. It comprises 1 hour a week average and an additional 6 months for a major in voluntary service, physical recreation or skills if the student has not completed the Silver award.
Students are encouraged to provide Voluntary Service to their community and others.
Types of activities: Youth work, environmental service, charity work, supporting a local emergency service etc.
Students are encouraged to participate in physical recreation and sport to improve their own health and wellbeing.
Types of activities: Athletics, cycling, ball and racket sports, dancing, fitness activities etc.
Students are encouraged to develop their personal interests and social skills.
Types of activities: Music, sports coaching, games, media and communications, arts and crafts etc.
Students prepare and train for a journey in a new environment with a purpose in a small team.
Types of activities: cycling along an ancient trail, carrying out a demanding journey by foot, cycle or canoe/kayak, exploring human impact in national parks, exploring the natural world e.g. erosion, geology, animal studies etc.
This is only completed for students obtaining the Gold Award. Students are encouraged to expand themselves by connecting with others in a residential setting.
Types of activities: Youth parliaments, construction projects, leading a youth camp, crew member on board a ship etc.
The layout of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award often differs for each student.
Young people are encouraged to structure the program to “fulfil their passions and ambitions”.
Students can choose different activities as long as they meet:
The minimum period of participation (6 months for Bronze, 12 months for Silver and 18 Months for Gold);
The requirements of each Section; and
The safety training requirements for the Adventurous Journey Section
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program aims to equip young people with the skills for life and work. The program activities such as service, physical and adventure based activities assist student development.
Students are guided by their Award Leader, activity Assessor or other Award volunteers.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Snowy Mountains Grammar is an integral part of the School’s pursuit to challenge students to develop new skills, nurture resilience and make positive contributions to their local community.
“More than one third of students in Years 9 to 12 participate in the program across the three levels of the Award.
In 2022 the students embarked upon two very challenging and rewarding Adventurous Journeys.
In April the expedition party completed the coveted Ten Peaks hike where students summitted the Ten highest mountains in Australia over a four day period. In June, the students completed the first three sections of the spectacular Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory.
The students certainly epitomised Kurt Hahn’s (the founder of the Award program) motto of ‘There is more in you than you think’.”
Mrs Melissa Bell, Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Coordinator and Head of Education Support and Enrichment at Snowy Mountains Grammar School
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program has a strong global alumni network.
Some notable alumni include:
Briony Benjamin – Author of “Life is Tough But So Are You”
Michael Dillon AM – Leading cinematographer and first Gold Award Holder in Australia
Will Hodgman – Premier of Tasmania
Christie Cooper – Channel 7 News Reporter