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2023 Graduate achieves Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

Our School has been offering students the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Scheme for 50 years. The scheme empowers students to explore their full potential and find their purpose, passion and place in society regardless of their location or circumstance.

Year 12 student, Declan is the fifth person from our School to achieve this Award, and the youngest to do so, so far! Declan reflects on his experience with the Award.

I started my Bronze Award in Year 9 at the encouragement of my School and my parents. At the time, my sister was completing her Gold Award and I wanted to do the same. I attended her Gold Award ceremony and that only solidified my drive to complete it. The Awards have made me get involved in a lot of new things from team sports to hiking, and volunteering in my community. I have met so many great people because of the Award and it has made my life more interesting and fulfilling.

The Award has pushed me to focus on my physical fitness. Through playing sport and working out, it has encouraged me to continue playing in the school bands and help my community. While completing the Award I have tried lots of new things and made tonnes of connections.

Overall, the most memorable experience was my Adventurous Journey, for which I hiked a section of the Bibbulmun Track from Collie to Balingup. I walked 84 kilometres with a group of much more experienced hikers. It was so much fun getting to spend time with a group of interesting people and spending time in nature, seeing places I would never see otherwise! I learnt so much from the other hikers.

I would definitely recommend the Award to others! It makes you broaden your skills, try new things, help your community, and stay active. You meet lots of new people and have a lot of fun. And it is not too time demanding – meaning it can be done while in school. The challenge was sticking with activities over a long period of time; 52 weeks of activity at the Gold level definitely helped me develop perseverance and organisation. I hope to continue playing volleyball and music while at university, along with one day going hiking again.


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