Behind every Bronze, Silver and Gold Awardee, we know there is an entourage of support that comes together to create this incredible success.

It has been our absolute pleasure to introduce The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (DoEIA) Excellence and Innovation Awards to recognise the outstanding efforts of those who make The Duke of Ed Award possible and highlight the commitment and dedication to youth development within the community.

We received an amazing number and caliber of nominations, a clear indicator of the incredible work being done across Victoria by organisations and individuals in the areas of Innovation, Longevity, Outstanding Program Delivery, and Youth Leadership. You can read more about the Award categories and meet the 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

Debra Tucker, Ashwood School

  • With two decades of experience in running Ashwood School’s Award Program, Debra Tucker has proven her positive influence on students, allowing them to develop their own ideas and demonstrate their leadership capabilities. Debra has been invited to speak at conferences and Professional Development days for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Victoria on how to set up and run a successful Award Program in schools.

Goroke P-12 College

  • At Goroke, the Duke of Ed Program is seen as a point of difference and the students are great ambassadors for the values the school wants represented in the community. The school utilises The Duke of Ed as a motivation for students to build on their leadership skills, improve their emotional intelligence and engage more strongly with their local community.

Margaret Cullinan, Santa Maria College

  • From the small group of eager girls who first participated in the program in 2007, the Award program at Santa Maria has grown to accommodate 100 year nine students in the Bronze award alone. This is thanks to Margaret Cullinan who has personally made sure each and every girl involved in the award has the best chance at succeeding, giving her own time outside working hours to assist. Margaret also worked to introduce The Duke of Ed’s Silver Award to the school as an elective subject and last year 52 girls were enrolled in the Silver Award program

Longevity Award

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

Goroke P-12 College

  • Years of providing eager students the chance to succeed beyond their typical school curriculum has paid off for Goroke P-12 College, whose Award Program has impacted over 150 students to date with a new program begins every two years.

Debra Tucker, Ashwood School

  • With twenty years of experience in running the Duke of Ed, Debra Tucker has tirelessly dedicated her time to helping countless young students achieve their goals and reach their full potential. Debra continuously encourages fellow staff, students and families at Ashwood School to work as a team to ensure the Program is both successful and sustainable.

Judy O’Flynn, Girls Brigade

  • Judy became involved with the Award in 1998 through Boy’s Brigade Mitcham and, after realising the positive influence it could have on young men, she encouraged Girls’ Brigade Victoria to also get involved. Since then, Judy has worked tirelessly to encourage girls to finish their Award. She continuously offers great suggestions and ideas for activities and spends many hours working with the girls and offering support.

Outstanding Program Delivery Award

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

Clare Rayner, Warrandyte High School

  • Clare Rayner leads the Award program at Warrandyte High School and works hard to motivate, engage and challenge her Duke of Ed students. Clare spends hours each week running meetings for her students, organising cooking challenges and practice walks for the student’s upcoming hikes. In addition to this, Clare also runs fundraising events and information sessions for both students and parents, to ensure the Program is delivered to the highest standard.

Catherine Pendelich, Montague Continuing Education Centre

  • Catherine Pendelich introduced The Duke of Ed to her students eight years ago and since then has made the Program a cornerstone of the school’s culture and has embedded it into the curriculum. Catherine participates in each and every Duke of Ed activity within the Montague Continuing Education Centre and also encourages other staff and parents of her students to get involved.

Tamsin Visick, Haileybury College

  • After achieving her Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards as a Participant, Tamsin Visick qualified as a teacher, and has now been involved in running the Awards at Haileybury’s Senior Campus for the past nine years. Tamsin has offered an expedition each term since 2006 including four expeditions to Nepal, two to Ecuador and plans to take a group to complete Kokoda next year.

Youth Award Leadership

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

Jessica Tong, Mikaela Turner, Nia Kallas, Jared Berry, Box Hill High School

  • Jessica, Mikaela, Nia and Jared are currently completing their Gold Awards and act as a unified team to build the Award’s presence and recognition at Box Hill High School. As official Youth Award Leaders, Mikaela and Nia have worked tirelessly all year, helping to supervise Bronze and Silver activities and events. Jessica’s promotion and sourcing of great prizes attracted around 70 people to take part in Box Hill’s Dukes Week Scavenger Hunt and Jared can be referred to as the ‘ultimate workhorse’ always ensuring Dukes related events are successful.

Amanda and Sophie Fontaine, St Pauls Anglican Grammar School

  • Sisters Amanda and Sophie Fontaine, from St Pauls Anglican Grammar, are outstanding ambassadors and fulfil all aspects of the Duke of Ed Award independently and conscientiously as well as being altruistic members of their community. The pair completed their Bronze Award last year and are currently working towards Silver. Together, they have undertaken the commendable task of promoting greater involvement in the Duke of Ed Award at their school by addressing a whole school assembly, creating promotional flyers for school open days and conducting workshops with younger students.

Winners of each Award category will be presented at The Gold Award Gala on Saturday 6th December at The Melbourne Town Hall.

Thank you to all of those who submitted nominations, we think being nominated in itself is a huge achievement! The Award programs and the ongoing positive impact they have on young people would not be possible with you.

We thank you for your support!

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