Gold Awardee Joshua Harbourd had no idea his Service component for the Award would have such an impact on his future.

“I started volunteering for St John Ambulance in November 2012. I wanted to complete the Duke of Ed Bronze Award, but didn’t know what to do for the Service component. I had completed a first aid certificate at school so I already had some basic qualifications and a friend had already joined so I thought I would also give it a go. All I knew about the organisation was that they provided first aid at events. I was apprehensive at first, but I haven’t looked back after 3 years and more than 800 hours of service.”

Volunteering at St John Ambulance
“As a member of the Moonee Valley St John Ambulance Cadet Division, I have developed my first aid skills and obtained first aid qualifications including Advanced First Aid and Advanced Resuscitation (Oxygen and Defibrillator). I have also helped out with the cadets at the Division and I was a group leader at the 2015 Cadet Easter Camp. Another memorable experience as a cadet was to march in the ANZAC Day parade. I have been to some great events including the AFL Grand Final (a reward for volunteering many hours of service), the Rolling Stones concert, International soccer games and the Melbourne Marathon. My volunteer work gives me a great sense of satisfaction as I am giving back to the community. My experiences with St John Ambulance have also made me realise that I want to pursue a future career in nursing.”

Life after the Award
“Now that I have completed The Duke of Ed I will continue with the Award activities. I look forward to making the move from being a cadet to an adult member with St John Ambulance and continuing with my volunteer work. I am working towards my third Dan black belt in taekwondo in March next year and once Year 12 exams are over I can get back into regular training. I will further develop my skill as a taekwondo instructor by volunteering to teach the juniors. I get a great sense of satisfaction from teaching the kids and seeing them progress from one level to the next. After participating in the Lord Somer’s Big Camp for my Residential Project, I have returned to help out at Camp Diversity which is a camp for intellectually disabled young adults. It was incredibly rewarding, I plan on returning next year and have also applied to help out at the 2016 Big Camp in January.”

The most important lesson I leant
“Completing the Award has helped me develop my self-confidence and made me more community focussed. I’ve had so many rewarding experiences and I feel a sense of personal achievement and pride in the numerous activities that I have completed throughout my journey. The most important lesson that I have learnt, is to keep on going even if you lose motivation as the rewards at the end far outweigh the challenges that you face. This was especially important completing my Gold Adventurous Journey, the Kokoda Trail. The trek was one of the hardest things I have ever done and required months of preparation but it was an overwhelming feeling knowing that I had completed such a challenge!”

The Service section of the Gold Award offers the opportunity to engage with society and gain an understanding of the importance of your role within both your immediate and global community. It gives you the chance to connect with individuals and groups you may have previously overlooked or not been aware of, and to make a real difference to your wider community.

On behalf of the team at Duke of Ed Victoria, we would like to congratulate Joshua on his fantastic achievements. Joshua will be receiving his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at the Gold Award Gala in December this year. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to purchase a ticket to support more young people discovering their passions. More info here.

If you are unable to attend the night but would like to make a donation to help us reach, equip and mentor more young Victorians from diverse, disadvantaged and remote backgrounds you can find more info here.

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