About The Awards

Our purpose is to provide life and leadership skills to young people from diverse, disadvantaged and remote backgrounds. We are building tomorrows leaders from today’s youth.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (DEIA) started in 1956 and has become the world’s leading youth achievement award and is currently present in more than 140 countries, having reached more than 8 million young people.

Over the past 50 years, we reached more than 150,000 young Victorians.
Over the next 50 years, we want to expand our reach to 1,000,000 young Victorians.

The holistic framework of the DEIA touches on all spheres of life and creates opportunities for young people to experience success beyond the classroom. Consequently not only does the individual but society as a whole benefits from empowered young leaders, energetic and involved community members and we see a release of massive potential.

We know that the 3 key challenges young people face today in Australia are:

  1. Employability
  2. Disengagement from education and society
  3. Untapped potential

Due to these challenges, we believe that there has never been a more critical time to engage and empower our young people to create a better future.

In Victoria, we work with over 50,000 young people and 350 educational institutions and community organisations. Each organisation collaborates with Government, community, business and other educational bodies to support their young people through the Awards. We support this process, providing training and resources to create long-term, sustainable community partnerships.

We leave our young Awardees feeling confident about their ability to follow their passion, future career opportunities and their ability to make a difference along the way.

Find out more about Our Impact here.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (Duke of Ed) is about individual challenge and is designed to encourage young people to develop into mature and active citizens who positively contribute towards society.

It presents a balanced, non-competitive and enjoyable program of voluntary activities which encourage personal discovery, growth, resilience, perseverance, responsibility and service to the community.

The Award is:


Individuals design their own program, which is tailored to suit their personal circumstances, choices and local provision. They start at whichever level of the Award that suits them best and they can take as long as they wish (within the age limit) to achieve their Award. This process is typically undertaken with their Award Leader.


Doing their Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. Every Participant’s program is tailor made to reflect their individual starting point, abilities and interests.


An Award is achievable by any individual who chooses to take up the challenge, regardless of ability, gender, background or location, with the right guidance and inspiration.


Whilst the Award may be offered within school, university, work time, custody or extra-curricular activity, individuals chose to do a program and must commit a substantial amount of their free time to undertake their activities.


Participating in their Award program fosters personal and social development. Individuals gain valuable experiences and life skills, grow in confidence and become more aware of their environment and community, transforming them into responsible young adults. They have the chance to discover their potential through the encouragement and the individual programming provided by Volunteers.


The Award provides a balanced framework to develop the individual’s mind, body and community spirit by engaging them in a range of up to five different challenges.


The Award is about setting goals and working towards these. Activity time undertaken prior to being accepted as a Participant by the Award Leader cannot be included in the minimum participation time requirements. At each level of engagement, the Award demands progressively more time, commitment and responsibility from the Participant.


The Award inspires individuals to exceed their expectations. They are encouraged to set their own challenges and goals before starting an activity, aim for these goals and by showing improvement, achieve an Award.


The Award requires persistence and cannot be completed with a short burst of enthusiasm. Participants are encouraged to continue with activities and to maintain their interest beyond their program requirements.


Participants and Award Leaders should find The Award enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding.

The Duke of Ed is designed over three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Young people can enter at any level providing they meet the age requirements outlined in the framework table below. To achieve each level, young people create their own unique program of activities over a set length of time across four Sections:

  • Service – To develop and encourage a sense of community spirit and responsibility to others
  • Skill – To encourage the development of personal interests and practical skills
  • Physical Recreation – To encourage participation in physical recreation and improvement in physical fitness and performance
  • Adventurous Journey – To encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery
  • Residential Project*– To broaden experience through involvement with others in a residential setting *Gold level only

Young people challenge themselves by choosing activities that spark their interest in each Section and setting their own goals. The Duke of Ed is about individual choice; young people tailor their Award and develop their career aspirations as they forge skills that go beyond academic success.

Through participation in The Duke of Ed, young people are empowered with the skills and opportunities to make meaningful decisions, enhance skills for life and work, live active and healthy lifestyles, contribute to their community and build their sense of adventure in the face of the unknown and unfamiliar.

More Information?

  • “Before, I would only dream of what I could do; now I still dream, but I also go out and do it!”

    Sam Burdon, Gold Awardee
  • “The current environment is very challenging for young people, so it’s important they try to make themselves more attractive to employers. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is highly valued by business because they know it helps to develop more rounded individuals.”

    HRH The Earl of Wessex, KG, GCVO, ADC Trustee
  • “I believe The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and other programs operated by the not-for-profit Awards Victoria Ltd are vital as they focus on developing our most valuable resource, our young people, who ultimately create the future of our community.”

    Gary Rowe, CEO, Safety Action Pty Ltd and Ambassador of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award