Duke of Edinburgh Practice Journey 24-25th May

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is available to all 14–25 year olds, regardless of their background, that is framed into 3 levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Award is about individual challenge, variety of activity, duration, support and team work and recognition. As every individual is different, so too are the challenges that young people undertake to achieve their Award. With guidance from their Award Leader, activity Assessor or other Award volunteers, each young person is encouraged to look at themselves, their interests, abilities, and ambitions, then set themselves challenges in the four different Sections of the Award (Service, Skill, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey).

These challenges require persistence and determination to overcome. Along the way participants may want to give up but at the end will have the satisfaction of knowing they overcame the challenges and succeeded, learning about themselves, their hidden depths of character, and developing as human beings in the process. It is important that these challenges are at the right level for the individual – too easy and there will be no sense of real achievement, too difficult and the young person may give up in despair. To read more about the award framework and the requirements see the following link:


Currently QAHS has 15 students working toward their Bronze award, with some of these students working in partnership with PCYC organisations to complete their award. Last weekend, 8 students embarked on their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Practice Journey.

At all Award levels, it is a requirement of the Award that participants undertake at least one Practice Journey. The aim is to provide participants with sufficient experience to enable them to plan and undertake their independent Qualifying Journey safely and with confidence.

Practice Journeys are to be of a similar nature (eg terrain and climate conditions), difficulty and duration, and in a similar environment as the planned Qualifying Journey, but not over the same route. It is a requirement that Practice Journeys should include sleeping overnight in a shelter, tent, hostel or other accommodation as appropriate with the group to plan and manage their own simple self-catering. The Practice and Qualifying Journeys must be using the same mode or combination of modes of travel (eg. canoeing, walking etc.).

Our QAHS students participated in a hiking and canoeing practice journey that was led by qualified staff from Education Queensland’s Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre. The students began their hike at Purlingbrook Falls in Springbrook, and hiked 9km with their full packs, including food, tents and personal belongings, through the valley to overnight at Woonoongoora Walkers’ Camp.

Here the students set up camp, cooked their own meals and reflected upon their navigation for the day. Day 2 involved hiking back to Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre on the Great Walk, crossing many creeks in short succession.

Upon arrival, the students unpacked and cleaned their gear and participated in an introductory canoeing session. Learning the basics of paddling technique and working with their canoe groups to steer and navigate the canoe on Hinze dam.

“Our Adventurous Journey through the nature reserve of Numinbah Valley was a fabulous, fun and physical learning experience which we all enjoyed immensely. Throughout the hike we developed our organisational abilities when it came to packing and our orientation skills whilst trying to navigate our correct route. We witnessed some beautiful sights such as the Purlingbrook Falls and were rewarded with a stunning sunset over the valley succeeding a long day of walking. After hopping across creeks and trudging through densely green terrain our amusing attempts at a self-made dinner were filling enough to make the ground a comfortable place to sleep. Upon making it back to base camp we finished the adventure with an exciting canoeing experience which ended in a very wet car ride home. The whole camp was extremely fun and engaging as we enjoyed both the company of our friends and the natural environment surrounding us.” – Matilda Shirley – Year 10

The group will embark on their qualifying journey in 3 weeks time. Completing a hike and canoe, however navigating through an alternate walk in Numinbah Valley. We congratulate our students on embarking on these nationally recognised awards.

Ms Alita Blackmur
HoD Global Learners