For Dukes Week 2015 we have experienced it all! From sausage sizzles to scavenger hunts, and hot chocolate drives to tent-pitching competitions; last week was jam-packed with youth-led activities and events.

On top of all the fun that was had, there was a deeper meaning behind Dukes Week this year and our theme was ‘Give Back and Drive Change’. As well as a celebration of the Awards, Dukes Week also aimed to raise much needed funds to support three causes we are deeply passionate about:

Disability in young people

We also run The Bridge Award which is a program connecting young people and supporting success for those with a disability aged 14 years and above. Modeled on The Duke of Ed, The Bridge Award has more flexible requirements giving Participants the opportunity to achieve their best. We aim to strengthen The Bridge Award and give more young people with disabilities the opportunity to learn new skills, try new things and challenge themselves to reach their full potential.

Bridging the gender gap

Gender inequality exists in every single country of the world and research shows that Australia’s gender gap is widening. The Westpac Youth Gender Report revealed that a quarter of Australian teenagers have personally experienced gender inequality (35% being young women and 18% young men) which can have a major impact on an individual’s self-worth and limit the choices and opportunities available to them. At Duke of Ed Victoria, we strive to educate and equip both young men and women to understand the importance of gender balance, empower them to think critically about gender stereotypes and the role the media plays in shaping their perceptions.

Social inclusion

We believe that by being inclusive of all young people regardless of their socio-economic background the Award can empower socially excluded young people by providing a framework for them to become involved in their community, make new friends, build self-confidence and become more aware and accepting of difference. We strive to reach more young people from diverse backgrounds including Indigenous youth, remote and rural communities, homeless, unemployed and other young people who are unable to afford access due to social and economic disadvantage.

A huge thank you to all schools that got involved with Dukes Week this year: Mount St Josephs, Strathcona, The Mac.Robertson Girls School, Santa Maria, Xavier College and Box Hill High School. Your efforts and achievements are truly appreciated and we thank you for giving back and helping us drive change! It was extremely rewarding to come and visit your Dukes Week activities and events last week and we loved being part of all the action!

Check out some great photos from Dukes Week 2015:

Also – it’s not too late to enter our #DukesGiveBack photo competition!

Throughout all of August we are encouraging all Duke of Ed, Compass and Bridge Award Participants to enter our #DukesGiveBack Photo Competition for your chance to win a Kobo Wireless e-Reader and double movie pass! Here’s how:

  1. Follow us on Instagram: @dukeofedvic
  2. Post a photo of you ‘giving back’ (this could be from your Duke of Ed Service activity, it could be during your Dukes Week celebrations or it could be a selfie –as long as you include the caption of ‘why giving back matters’!)
  3. In the caption write ‘why giving back matters’ (in approx 25 – 50 words)
  4. Include #DukesGiveBack and @dukeofedvic in your caption.
  5. If you don’t use Instagram and would like to participate, email your photo and caption directly to lucys@dukeofedvic.org.au

Terms & conditions

Terms and conditions:

1. Competition opens on 1st August and closes 31st August 2015.

2. Competition is open to anyone that is currently completing or has completed their Compass, Bridge or Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. This includes all levels.

3. Entries must either be posted to Instagram with the hashtag #DukesGiveBack or must be emailed directly to lucys@dukeofedvic.org.au. All entries must include a short caption on ‘why giving back matters.’

4. Winning photo will be judged on creativity, originality and the quality and thought put in to the caption.

5. All images submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them, or the individual must be included in the image. It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure that any images they submit have been taken with the permission of the subject and do not infringe the copyright of any third party or any laws.

6. The owner of the winning entry photo will be required to provide written permission that we have the right to use their image. If you are under the age of 18 you must have a parent/guardian complete a talent release form which can be downloaded here: Talent Release Form

6. Winner will be announced on social media in the first week of September. Winner will also be notified via email.

7. Prize will be posted to the winner

Thanks for showing your support for Dukes Week 2015!

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