At the beginning of this term, a number of students achieved their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
The Duke of Edinburgh program is an internationally recognised award that invites young people aged 14-25 to realise their ambitions and to change their world.
Young people challenge themselves by choosing activities that spark their interest in the three sections of the award – service, physical and skill. They set their own goals and work towards achieving them over the given time period.
Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award Recipients
The Bronze Award is the first level of the program and involves a 3 – 6 month commitment in the three areas of skill, physical and service plus four days of an Adventurous Journey. Five students completed their Bronze awards.
Bianca Gerin: Bianca chose cooking as her skill and set her goal as ‘making awesome desserts and planning an entire meal for her family’. For physical, she improved her technique and flexibility in callisthenics and for service, she volunteered at a local afterschool care program. For her Adventurous Journey, Bianca took part in the 2016 Year 9 rafting expedition on the Mitchell River.
Lara Horman: Lara played the part of Queenie in the 2016 Year 9/10 production and her goal was to develop her acting and to extend herself beyond her comfort zone. She was a member of the Victorian Softball Development Academy and her physical goal was to develop confidence in her skills and a reliable throw. For community service, Lara took on the role of assistant coach for the U15’s Lilydale ‘Ejays’ team and the Knox representative softball team. Lara took part in the Mitchell River rafting expedition in Year 9 for her Adventurous Journey.
Caitlin Howley: Caitlin chose to pursue two skills, both in the area of music. She joined the Concert Choir in order to enhance her understanding of music and aimed to learn four new classical pieces on piano. As her physical activity, she undertook a regular walking program in order to improve her stamina and general fitness. Caitlin made two contributions to community service. She participated in the Maths Assist program and was also a member of the Pegasus committee. Caitlin completed an exploration for the Adventurous Journey component and spent five days at the Elisabeth Murdoch Children’s research institute visiting several departments and learning about genetic research.
Malisa Watson: Malisa began running as a means of increasing her general physical fitness and reducing stress. She continued classes at the Action Drama Studio for her skill development and aimed to perform well in the mid-year Showcase. She also became better acquainted with the other students and her teachers, which increased her confidence. For community service, Malisa volunteered at Glengollan nursing home every Saturday morning where she helped the workers set up and participated in activities with the elderly. Malisa took part in the Mitchell River rafting expedition in Year 9 for her Adventurous Journey.
Kaitlyn Woodhill: Kaitlyn chose to improve her voice through regular singing lessons and performing a solo in a concert. She improved her karate skills as her physical activity and coached a younger group of students in karate as her community service contribution. Kaitlyn took part in the Mitchell River rafting expedition in Year 9 for her Adventurous Journey. Kaitlyn is now undertaking her Silver Award.
Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award Recipients
The Silver Award requires six months commitment to two activities, 12 months commitment to the 3rd activity and six days in total for the Adventurous Journey split over two separate journeys in the April and September school holidays. Four students completed their Silver Awards.
Natasha Bigg-Wither: A keen photographer, Natasha worked on her photography skills with the aim of taking better photos and extending her knowledge on editing photos in Photoshop. For physical, she chose to improve her karate skills, get into the black belt qualifier and subsequently, graded to the black belt. Natasha volunteered at a charity shop for the Brotherhood of St Lawrence as her community service contribution. For her Adventurous Journeys, Natasha came on the Great Ocean Walk and the Major Mitchell circuit (Grampians) which were both held in 2016.
Ada Chen: Ada chose piano studies as her skill and set herself the goal of learning 12 new pieces. For physical, she took up swimming as a means of relaxation from the rigours of her Year 12 IB studies and as a means of improving general fitness. For community service, Ada volunteered at the Vinnies Op Shop in Ringwood. Ada came on the Major Mitchell expedition in September holidays 2106 and the Falls Creek/Hotham Alpine crossing expedition in April this year. These journeys were a significant undertaking for a student who had never slept in a tent or camped before.
Emily Cowin: Emily chose cooking as her skill and planned a series of healthy, interesting meals. She experimented with recipes and learnt to substitute ingredients to cater for those with dietary considerations. As her physical activity, Emily continued her gymnastics training with a goal of maintaining her strength, fitness and flexibility levels. Emily was a committed member of the Tintern Poverty Project and gave countless hours to this worthy cause. She participated in both the Great Ocean Walk and Major Mitchell circuit for her Adventurous Journeys.
Belinda Rees: Belinda chose two skills in music and cooking. She wished to improve her guitar playing and secondly she was very keen to construct a series of difficult desserts and extend her culinary skills in preparing dishes from other cultures. For physical she sought to improve her technique in dance and, in particular, her pointe and tap skills. Belinda was also an enthusiastic and committed member of the poverty project both this year and last year and she participated in the Major Mitchell hike and the Falls/Hotham Alpine crossing for her Adventurous Journeys.
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Recipients
The Gold Award is a very significant achievement, as it required 12 months commitment to two activities, 18 months commitment to one activity, eight days of Adventurous Journey and a residential project.
Eliza Mignot is the only student this year to complete the Gold Award.
Eliza completed 253 hours of dancing for her physical and her goal was to improve flexibility, strength and turning co-ordination in ballet and prepare for her Advanced 2 examination. For her skill, she completed 227 hours of singing in choirs, lessons, practice and productions. Her goal was to improve expression, versatility and technical execution and complete her AMEB Grade 6 Singing Exam by the end of 2016. For community service, Eliza was a dedicated member of the Poverty Project giving 90 hours of her time to this cause.
The residential project for the Gold Award stipulates that awardees spend 5 days away from home staying in an unfamiliar environment and engaging in an activity for six hours a day. The purpose of the project is to push students out of their comfort zone and interact with new people. Eliza went on the French exchange last year and spent considerably longer than five days in an unfamiliar environment attending a new school, staying with a host family and improving her French language skills. As a Gold Award recipient, Eliza will be invited to attend an official ceremony at either Parliament or Government House early next year where she will receive her award from the Governor of Victoria.
Congratulations again to all our recent Duke of Edinburgh Award recipients.
If any students would like to participate in the Duke of Ed, please search for the relevant folder on the portal for all information or email Ms Bortolussi. There is no set starting date and new students are welcomed to the program at any time.
by Anne Bortolussi, Co-ordinator Duke of Edinburgh Awards Program