On 10 June, three participants of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program, Serina Guo (Year 10), Amy Miners (Year 11), and I were privileged to attend the thanksgiving service for the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Government House. There, Serina received her Bronze, and Amy and I our Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards. In addition to this, the Governor-General and other speakers acknowledged Prince Philip, the patron of the Award and a great inspiration, while also underlining the importance and value of the program.
After the presentation, we were able to speak with the recipients from other schools, sharing stories and memories from the program. As the Governor-General remarked, unlike other official ‘Duke of Ed’ award ceremonies, awards were presented to participants in different stages of their journey – from Bronze Awards to Long Service Medal recipients. It was great to reminisce with other participants about our Duke of Ed hike experiences and admire the people who have dedicated decades of their life to the program.
The stories of other participants and the remarks of the numerous people with a connection to the Award once again highlighted the great advantage that this program offers its participants. From helping to build resilience, to promoting balance and well-roundedness, there are few such programs that are so well recognized internationally.
Overall, this was a marvelous event that really inspired Serina, Amy and me. It once again reaffirmed that while this program is challenging, it is absolutely worth it – making us better individuals and ultimately giving us invaluable opportunities.
Lize van der Walt
Photo at top: Amy Miners, Lize van der Walt and Serina Guo at Government House, June 2021.