We are proud to announce our finalists in the The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (DoEIA) Excellence and Innovation Awards. The Awards recognise the outstanding efforts of those who drive The Duke of Ed Award and highlight the commitment and dedication to youth development within the community.

This year we received exceptional calibre of nominees, which recognises the incredible work of individuals and organisations in the areas of Innovation, Sustainability, Outstanding Program Delivery and Youth Leadership all across Victoria. Our judging panel met recently and had the very difficult task of selecting Finalists in each category. Meet our judges here.
It is with great delight that we have selected our Finalists and we are thrilled to announce the following…

Innovation Award

for an individual, school or organisation delivering the Award in an innovative way

Janet Nieuwenhuis, Firbank Grammar

  • Janet is an endless source of positivity and inspiration to her students. Apart from being actively involved in the school, she is an agent for positive change by initiating challenging Compass events. She enthusiastically supports individual projects and was instrumental in organising the Compass-led Relay for Life and a wheelchair-a-thon. Janet takes immense pride in her students. In her role as Compass Coordinator this year, she introduced interactive recordings and Google Docs as ways to continually support and mentor her students

Michelle Pride, The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School

  • Michelle’s outstanding dedication and leadership has seen The Award program at The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School grow from strength to strength. She has spearheaded numerous community projects, tirelessly organised fundraisers and BBQs to raise awareness and funds for the Award programs. She recently supported a team of 19 students on a hike through Northern India for the World Challenge Expedition Challenge. She continues to be a great source of inspiration for her students and the wider community at large.

Lachlan Hogan, Caulfield Grammar School

  • Lachlan has an unstoppable drive to help others and drove a major community project for students and staff members at Caulfield Grammar, to assist young refugees and Asylum seekers with their schooling and homework. He left an impressive track record of hard work, dedication and selflessness as he undertook and completed his Gold Award program this year.

Sustainability Award

for an individual, school or organisation that has successfully delivered an exemplary Award program for over 10 years

Gary Garner, Lowther Hall

  • Gary Garner has been a long-term active supporter of The Award in Victoria, having been involved with the program for numerous years at Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School. Gary’s passion for The Award is evident, as he enthusiastically finds ways to make the program’s tasks interesting and enjoyable as students continue to learn. Gary guides each student with their needs and allows them incomparable opportunities and regularly organises Duke of Ed trips.

Newhaven College

  • Newhaven College has continuously supported The Duke of Ed Award since it was established and has actively encouraged its students to undertake their Awards. Newhaven has consistently committed its resources to provide The Duke of Ed experience for its students, who in turn have benefitted immeasurably from their journey.

Michelle Pride, Mac Robertson Girls High School

  • Michelle has been an energetic and persistent force behind the Award program at The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School over the years and continues to support and mentor young students. Her commitment and enthusiasm for her students undertaking the program has created ripples of positive change throughout the wider community as well.

Outstanding Program Delivery

For an Award Leader making outstanding achievements in facilitating the Bronze, Silver or Gold Award

Jenna King, Dandenong High School

  • Jenna King is a passionate Award Leader at Dandenong High School. She is dedicated to helping students during various stages of the Award journey and offers support and solutions. For example, when some students who were unable to complete their Physical Recreation goals, Jenna opened the school Gym every Wednesday morning to ensure they could complete their requirements. Jenna strives to offer her students lots of opportunities through the Duke of Ed, whilst ensuring they always have fun.

Stephen Frigo, Oxley Christian College

  • Stephen has been a great role model and an unending source of support and inspiration for the students he mentors in The Duke of Ed Award. He actively supports and encourages his students throughout their Award journey and looks to their individual skills and talents. His commitment is boundless, even cutting short his holidays to run a camp. Stephen continuously innovates to improve classes to make them enjoyable and fun.

Daniel Idrees, St Andrews Christian College

  • Through the organisation of extra outings and active and exciting excursions, Daniel Idrees continuously contributes to the program by ensuring it is enjoyable whilst exposing his students to many new experiences. Daniel takes the time to regularly check in on each student in his class, following their progress and dedicating time to those who may be struggling so that they can gain invaluable life skills.

Youth Award Leadership

For a young person who has demonstrated significant leadership within The Award, their organisation, and as a self-leader

Nieve Powell, Methodist Ladies’ College

  • As a Young Award Leader and Award Participant, Nieve Powell is an inspiring individual to her peers and teachers. She is passionate, dedicated and works hard as an Award Leader. Nieve stands out as an Award Participant as she supports fellow Participants, helps to grow the program at school and leads fund raising efforts especially during Dukes Week.

Margaret Tran, The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School

  • In 2015, Margaret Tran was determined to become the first Gold Awardee at The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School. Showing an immense amount of commitment and dedication, Margret has lived out the values of The Award in everything she does, from service to others, mastery of self and commitment to self-improvement. Margaret has become a great source of inspiration and a role model to fellow students in promoting the benefits of The Duke of Ed Award. She even completed an 18 month-long program in India as a part of a World Challenge Expedition team.

We congratulate all our deserving Finalists. The winners of each category will be announced at the Gold Award Gala on Saturday 3rd December at The Grand Hyatt Melbourne. We will be in contact with each Finalist for further details.

Thank you to all of those who submitted nominations. A nomination is a great achievement in itself! The Award programs and the ongoing positive impact they have on young people would not be possible without dedicated individuals and organisations such as our Finalists and Nominees. We look forward to celebrating their success on the night!

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