The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a leading structured (non-formal education) youth development program, empowering young people to explore their full potential and find their purpose, passion and place in the world, regardless of their location or circumstance.

As a non-formal framework, the Award can play a vital role in providing opportunities for young people to develop essential life skills, increase their employability and foster their creativity and innovation. The Award is transforming individuals, communities and societies around the world.

The aims of the Award are for participants to:

Below are some photos and a student’s reflection of this term’s Gold/Silver kayak expedition from Lake Bonney to Loch Luna.

Mr Alan Brown & Ms Libby Butterworth
Duke of Edinburgh International Award Coordinators

Darcy’s daily reflections:

Day 1 (Tuesday): The first day consisted of arriving at the caravan park, setting up, and getting used to the kayak. We learned how to set up our kayaks, how to properly paddle, and how to reduce our chance of capsizing (an important one!). 

Day 2 (Wednesday): This was our first proper day and it was a real fun one. Setting off early in the morning, we made good progress and arrived at our campsite around mid-day. Being the first day, I found kayaking surprisingly easy. I didn’t get tired nor feel like I was going to tip over. It was perfect weather and upon arriving at the campsite we went swimming in the lagoon. That night we all sat together and played campfire games, one of my favourite things. Although, this day taught me it was important to stay hydrated as by the end of it I had a massive headache. 

Day 3 (Thursday): By day 3 it felt like everyone had really got the hang of things. Like Wednesday, we set off early in the morning and once again all paddled really well to make it to the campsite by mid-day. It was perfect weather again (mid to high twenties) and the paddle didn’t feel to tiring or hard. Day 3 was my turn to navigate and with a fellow student we navigated through a windy part of the river. Navigating was hard at first as making sure everyone was going the right way, felt like a big task. Although, after learning how to use the compass, keep track of where we were, and use the help of the whole team we made our way to the campsite in no time! We swam in the river and jumped of trees, played lots of cards, and even saw some pretty cool animals like giant lizards and kangaroos. My favourite part of Thursday, and the camp, was the night kayak. A group of us when out after the sun set and paddled around. It was amazing seeing the river at night but also feeling so connected to the land and like nothing else in the world existed. Overall for being remote, I found it surprisingly easily and actually loved it! 

Day 4 (Friday): Friday was the last stretch to get to our final destination. We woke up extra early and watched the sunrise, it was so beautiful. I would say kayaking was the hardest on this day as unlike the rest of the camp, we were going against the stream. It felt harder and my body was getting a bit saw this point. But nonetheless we once again made it!