Stand Out with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

Posted by Kambala

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary program that enables students aged between 14 and 24 to pursue their interests, develop skills and make valuable contributions and connections to the community outside of the constraints of the school timetable and curriculum. The Award also requires students to play a role as a member of an expedition; most Kambala girls choose to undertake a canoeing or hiking expedition. This helps the girls to develop bushcraft and navigation skills, as well as requiring them to take on a leadership role in a wilderness setting.

There are three levels of the Award; Bronze, Silver or Gold. Each level involves a regular commitment to three sections; a physical recreation activity such as a school or club sport, community service, and the development of a skill such as cooking, driving, or playing a musical instrument. In addition to these three sections, each level requires the completion of an adventurous journey.


Who can take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

Kambala students may commence the Bronze Award in Term 4 of Year 8 and many are able to complete the Gold Award by the end of Year 12. Each level of the Award recognises a continuing commitment to personal development, physical fitness and community service. There are no academic or physical prerequisites for the Award; it is open to any Kambala girl willing to contribute to the community, develop initiative and pursue her own interests outside of the school curriculum.


Connecting with future prospects

The Award is often used by our Year 12 students to demonstrate all-round achievement and community-mindedness when applying for post-school pathways. Due to the significant, ongoing demands of each section, only a relatively small number of students across NSW complete the Gold Award each year. This means that the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a way for our girls to stand out from other school leavers when applying for competitive places at university or in the workforce.


Benefits of the Duke of Edinburgh Award

The founder of Outward Bound and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Kurt Hahn, noted in the early 20th century that ‘modern youth’ would be affected by six ‘declines’ caused by the convenience of technology and the business of modern life; the decline of physical fitness, initiative and enterprise, memory and imagination, skill and care; self-discipline and finally, compassion.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award challenges our students to prevent each of these potential declines by encouraging initiative in a range of areas, connection with the local community and exploration of the wilderness. Thousands of people across the world can attest to the various benefits of completing this Award and the feeling of personal achievement at being recognised for their commitment to self-development and community service.


Initiation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Award was initiated in the aftermath of World War II by Kurt Hahn and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who strongly believed that the post-war generation would benefit from participation in such a scheme. Kambala has been an Award unit since the 1960s; in 2020 we have over 100 students participating, including nine Year 12 students who are working towards the Gold Award.


Increasingly, universities, residential colleges and employers are seeking applicants who can demonstrate the qualities required in a Duke of Edinburgh participant such as initiative, generosity of spirit and leadership. Our Careers Advisor, Virginia Pelosi, can provide senior students with more information about how tertiary institutions may recognise Duke of Edinburgh Awardees in their applications processes.


For more information, students and parents are encouraged to visit the Duke of Edinburgh Sundial page or contact Mr Sebastien Knox, Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator.

About the Author

Sebastien Knox

Sebastien Knox is Kambala’s Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator and Senior Social Sciences teacher (Economics, Legal and Business Studies).