Posted on April 21, 2016
Tintern Grammar has always been a supporter for the Duke of Edinburgh program and this year there has been a renewed interest with 50 new applicants signing up for the program. The Duke of Edinburgh Award is internationally recognised and invites young people aged 14-25 to realise their ambitions and to change their world. Run in over 130 countries, the Duke of Ed is designed over three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. To achieve each level, young people create their own unique program of activities over a set length of time across four Sections:
- Physical Recreation
- Adventurous Journey
Young people challenge themselves by choosing activities that spark their interest in each section and then setting their own goals. The Duke of Ed is about individual choice; young people tailor their award and develop their career aspirations as they forge skills which go beyond academic success.
Over the April school holidays 14 students from Tintern Grammar, 2 students from Yarra Valley Grammar, 1 student from The Knox school and 3 staff (Ms Constable, Ms Ord and Ms Bortolussi) undertook an adventurous journey to one of the most picturesque and spectacular coastlines in Australia. Jack Read (Year 10) describes this journey:
During the holiday break between term one and two, a group of Duke of Ed participants ventured out into the vast bushland of the Great Ocean Road to complete stages 4-8 of the famous walk which runs alongside it – the Great Ocean Walk.
This journey all began one Wednesday lunchtime. A group of us made our way up to C11 in the senior college to begin our preparation for the Great Ocean Walk. The buzz of excitement as we all entered the room was astounding and we were all anxious to begin. Mrs Bortolussi and Ms Constable gave us a quick briefing on what we needed to achieve and we were off! We went into our two predetermined groups and started to build our plan for the walk we would be embarking on in just two weeks.
After that, time flew and before we knew it, we were already at school by 5:45am, packs filled to the brim, ready to embark on our 4 day hike along the Great Ocean Walk. The bus ride there was a bit gloomy and everyone was falling asleep in their seats but luckily enough we all picked up by the time we got to Aire River, and our journey began. We got out of the bus, pulled our packs out of the trailer, strapped our gaiters on, rubbed on some sunscreen, helped each other out with chucking our packs on and slowly but surely we were off!
The first day was an outstanding beginning to our adventure. The sun was shining and the beautiful seaside views made for an awesome first experience of this sensational coastal environment. As the day grew older we started to tire a bit, but the gentle sea breeze was enough of an amenity for us to keep on persisting to our campsite.
Every day was a new challenge, but with each day also came many great experiences and memories. After finishing this walk, I really cannot express how much fun it was in just words. All the different people, all the different environments and the challenges that we experienced on this walk lead to such a dynamic and fulfilling feeling. I would give anything to go back and do it again. Jack Read, Year 10
by Anne Bortolussi, Secondary Music Teacher