Five Orange youths have taken a huge leap out of their comfort zone to complete the Bronze level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
Delivered by the Office of Sport in NSW, the Duke of Ed is a global youth development program, empowering young Australians aged 14-24 to explore their full potential.
Orange City Council is the only council in NSW registered as a Duke of Ed Award Centre, which is coordinated by Orange City Council’s Youth Services program.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd congratulated the participants on undertaking the Award, as well as the Youth Services staff who guided them through the process.
“Taking part in the Duke of Ed isn’t easy, it takes time and effort, and I congratulate the participants for their commitment. They have achieved something of which they can be very proud,” Cr Kidd said.
Achok Aluk, Jazzel Kind, Apollo Arden, Jo Wright and Jordan Wright, who range in age from 14 to 20, have completed the four categories of the Award: Physical Recreation, Skills, Voluntary Service and Adventurous Journey.
For their ‘Adventurous Journey’ the group recently spent two days hiking and camping at the Lake Burrendong Sport and Recreation Centre, accompanied by Award Leader Katrina Hausia and Office of Sport supervisors Jason French and Deb Robinson.
They hiked about 20 kilometres over the two days, carrying everything they needed in heavy packs, set up their own campsite and cooked their own food, ensuring they left no trace of their visit when they left.
Council’s Youth Development Officer, Ms Hausia said the participants were all members of the Orange Youth Action Council, a group supported by Youth Services, for young people to get involved in the community and support issues important to them.
“We found that what the members of the Youth Action Council were doing fulfilled most of the requirements of the Duke of Ed anyway, so we thought they should make it official so they could put it on their resumes,” she said.
“It’s an internationally recognised award and a great opportunity for these young people to step up and show they are motivated, can set challenges and achieve their goals.”
Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee congratulated the participants on completing the Award.
“Volunteering offers great opportunities to meet new people and acquire knowledge and skills. Well done to all the participants on their commitment and determination to complete the Award,” Mr Lee said.
“The Duke of Ed is the world’s leading youth leadership program that empowers young people to develop skills and build resilience for their future personal and professional life.”
For their Voluntary Service the participants volunteered their time to be positive role models and young leaders at the Youth Hub, while for Physical Recreation they set themselves goals while participating in a range of sports and physical activities.
For their Skills they took part in event management through the Youth Action Council, learning how to run a committee and hosting two events, a colour run to mark Child Protection Week in conjunction with Orange Runners Club, and the Glenroi Christmas Festival.
The participants have recorded their activities and achievements in a diary that will be submitted to the Duke of Ed Award Foundation for final approval. They have shown an interest in continuing on to their Silver Award.
Ms Hausia welcomed any young person interested in joining the Youth Action Council or completing the Duke of Ed to contact her on 0403 230 236.
For further information on the Duke of Ed clink on this link .