The Duke of Edinburgh's International award is a program that provides, promotes and preserves a framework of Award participation that equips, engages and empowers all young people in Australia to explore their full potential. It encourages students to design their own individual program, which is tailored to meet their personal circumstances, choices and local provision. The award inspires individuals to exceed their expectations, set challenges and goals before starting an activity and aim for these goals by showing improvement.
The award program melds with the IB Diploma and forms a solid foundation for completing the CAS requirements, especially the Duke of Edinburgh section requirements for service, skill and activity. In addition to these sections, participants are also required to complete a practice and qualifying Adventurous Journey- a journey with a purpose.
The aim of the Adventurous Journey component is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about the wider environment, as well as to develop their self-confidence, team work and health. Participants are taken out of their comfort zone- in an unfamiliar environment but kept within a safe and secure setting, achieved through suitable training and supervision.
This week our Duke of Edinburgh Silver students embarked on their Practice Adventurous Journey, facilitated by experts from Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre. The silver (3 days and 2 nights) practice journey allows our students to prepare, plan and experience skills in an unfamiliar environment to ensure their qualifying journey is safe and successful.
Below are reflections from Duke of Edinburgh participants:
The Duke of Edinburgh journey was such a memorable journey. Hiking daily alongside determined and like-minded people was an experience I will cherish. This being my qualifying journey, I was able to see my progression of mapping skills and leadership skills with the reward being camping at the end of the day, with breathtaking views to wake up to in the morning. The journey brought us closer together and my favourite part was stargazing, cooking and playing team bonding games under the stars. I am very excited to join future Duke of Edinburgh journeys as a mentor as I find so much happiness when camping, hiking and cooking in the mountains.
Year 11 Student, Mia Bergh
During this week I completed my silver practice journey for the Duke of Edinburgh program with the Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre, where I was given the opportunity to build on my geographical knowledge and my athletic ability through hiking. This exciting experience accompanied by my peers and teachers encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to experience an adventure where I was taught geographical and survival skills, environmental safety and how to effectively make use of resources sustaining the environment. Although at times this adventure was physically challenging, through the great help of my peers and teachers I was encouraged to keep going, making memories that I will remember for a lifetime. I truly recommend this program to everyone as it challenges you and allows you to experience new things that you may not have been familiar with before, all on top of making lifetime memories with your peers where you all make way through hardships with the support of each other having a great time.
Year 11 Student, Rishita Mehra
Our Students will complete their qualifying journey in Lamington National park in July.