Shepparton Access is a community organisation providing support for people with a broad range of disabilities, their families and carers. The organisation has offered The Duke of Ed, The Bridge Award and The Challenge Award since 2010.
Award Coordinator, John Canty, shares his experience of being a Coordinator and how the programs make an impact in their setting.


When Wendy Shanks, the CEO of Shepparton Access, placed the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award marketing material on my desk 3 years ago, we had no doubt this program would be a winner.

After attending an information day in Melbourne and discussions that I had with some coordinators, I had been made aware that this program operated very well in primary and secondary colleges, however I wondered how I could effectively integrate this program into our current program, as it runs on a roster system.

Strengths and Opportunities, Win-Win situations:

For Shepparton Access:

  • Compliments our personal Support Planning Process
  • 6x “Award participants were selected to trial the Self Advocacy Leadership Training Manual – This was delivered by an external organisation namely valid Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with a Disability
  • Gives the opportunity  to promote our organisation (through RACs)
  • Reinforces our relationship with schools and other organisations within our community and provides a talking point about our service provision.

For the community:

  • Work experience – all business, organisations
  • Voluntary work – collating at the business centre, Council promotions
  • Develop community networks
  • Systematic advocacy
  • Individual advocacy – one student represents Youth Disability Advocacy Service

For the individual student

  • Enhances the students computer skills through power point presentations
  • The Participant principles of community support and participation
  • Obtain and maintain networks with other likeminded young adults
  • Develop abilities to maintain a positive self-concept
  • Develop abilities for building positive relationships in life and work
  • Learn to respond to change and growth


Download the Shepparton Access Case Study

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