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St Peters students have a unique opportunity to commence the Duke of Edinburgh Award program in Year 9 when they attend Ironbark and it is heartening to see so many taking advantage of this opportunity.

Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator, Mrs Anne Tetley-Jones, said the program provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate that they are capable of more than academics.

‘Many of our students chose to do the adventurous journey at Ironbark or seek recognition for the community service work they do during their tour of Cambodia. They can gain credit for representing St Peters in a sporting team and for participating in a music ensemble,’ she said.

‘Through the Duke of Edinburgh program our students are able to formalise what they are already doing and receive an internationally recognised award for the community work they do.’

Year 11 student, Ben H said that he embarked on the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme because it was readily achievable.

‘With the Ironbark Program in Year 9, it is not difficult to complete the Bronze level,’ he said. ‘This year I am in Year 11 and working on my Gold level… I plan to finish Gold before the end of Year 12.’

For his Gold Adventurous Journey, Ben has gained a berth on a Youth Development Voyage aboard the Young Endeavour in September, sailing from Darwin to Broome!

‘For my residential program, my stay is in a traditional English college in Cambridge in July, attending the Cambridge Coding Summer School. I was successful in gaining a 2016 RSL Youth Development grant to assist with this,’ he said.

Year 12 student Lily K also commenced the program at Ironbark. She has particularly enjoyed the program’s community service requirement.

‘For my service I have been going to the St Peters Prep Centre every Wednesday morning before school to help out with whatever they need. In addition, I am helping to run a deaf youth group at the PCYC so they can achieve their bronze award,’ she said.

Fellow Year 12 student, Kelsey H said he went into it to meet new people and make more friends.

‘Participating in Duke of Edinburgh is a great way to immerse yourself with new people and experiences,’ Kelsey said. ‘The highlight of the entire program so far has been being able to get amongst the wild life of Morton bay like the dugongs, dolphins, turtles, sting rays, manta rays and soldier crabs.’

Mrs Anne Tetley-Jones said that one of the best things about the Duke of Edinburgh Award program is that it can be tailored to suit the individual student.

The students we spoke to were unanimous in recommending that other students should join the program but Ben H said it all when he said, ‘The Duke of Edinburgh Award program encourages you to develop your abilities, try new activities, travel and have fun meeting new people. If you like the sound of that, join Duke of Ed at St Peters as Mrs Tetley-Jones and the student team will assist you to plan and succeed in whatever you want to achieve.’

The Duke of Edinburgh Award program is not onerous. Students simply have to document their activities in an online record book.

For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh Award program please email Mrs Anne Tetley-Jones.