Each term we shine a spotlight on the ways in which programs and leaders are using The Award to add value to the lives of participants, their schools, and their communities.

This term it’s Martin Jellineck, AL from Box Hill, whose seen some inspiring program success for students struggling with negative relationships with school and many other aspects of life. We interviewed Martin to learn a bit more about how he structures running the Award and any tips he might have for other Award Leaders.

How long have you been delivering the award?
Since 2013 and for 6 years at Box Hill High School.

Tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do/teach at your school?
I am a Science Teacher who specialises in Biology. I also teach Mathematics and work with the gifted students at our school. I am an avid lover of the outdoors, cycling enthusiastic and enjoy exposing people to what the outdoors has to offer.

Tell us a bit about how your school delivers the Award?
Our school fought hard to secure Duke of Ed as a Year 10 Program curriculum endorsed subject. We run 3 x 50 minute periods per week on a Wednesday afternoon for approximately 96 students (4 x classes of 24 students). We run a year-long program culminating in our Adventurous Journey Programs. Our program aims to introduce student to a variety of activities in each section of the award through small trips and activities.

What has been the greatest highlight of your AL experience?
Watching two students in particular who started the program with a negative relationship with school and generally struggling with many aspect of life, develop into positive students will a renewed sense of belief in themselves. Duke of Ed provided them with opportunities to attain success initially in small activities that they never thought that they would be able to do and slowly scaling them up to completing quite impressive feats with the tools they had all along but were unaware.

What advice would you give other ALs in delivering the Award?
Organization is key, as exciting as the award is, students need to know what they are doing and why that is. You need to factor in as much student-driven activities and opportunities for independence as possible. It is not the sort of program in which students can achieve without being intrinsically motivated.

What solutions have you come with to help you better administer the Award?
Getting a commitment from the school to support it; financially and time-wise. Having a team of motivated Award Leaders equally committed to delivering a successful program. A large amount of student independence but with guidance available wherever they require it.