The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia – Friends, Supporters and Alumni Reception
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure for me, and for Kaye, to join you this evening to again pay tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – a program which is now in its fifty third year of operation in Australia – and indeed in Queensland.
I join with the Chair of the Friends of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, the Honourable Larry Anthony, in extending respectful greetings to the traditional custodians of these lands.
It was just a year ago that Kaye and I had the pleasure of hosting His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, when he visited Brisbane in his capacity as International Trustee and Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Council.
Prince Edward knows the Award only too well having been one of the eight million young people in more than 143 countries to have participated in the program since its inception in the United Kingdom in 1956.
In Queensland more than 2,000 young people commence this exceptional youth development program annually, striving for Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards. Through the program they learn new skills, improve their physical well-being, volunteer in their community and undertake an adventurous journey or expedition.
As well as testing themselves physically, these young people engage in extensive community work – a requirement of an Award which regards public service as being as important as adventure training.
In Queensland 166 schools, youth organisations and community groups participate in the Award. The Award is all-encompassing, reaching out to young people with disabilities, those in the juvenile justice system and youngsters in remote Indigenous communities.
This evening I am pleased to acknowledge the Award participants from the Police - Citizens Youth Clubs. I recognise the excellent work the PCYC does with younger members of our community and have been delighted to learn of the exceptional partnership the PCYC has formed in Queensland with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
Our youth are our future, and the Award, with its emphasis on developing self-reliance, responsibility, determination, confidence and community awareness, lays the groundwork for our young people to mature into competent, compassionate and responsible citizens.
While I particularly wish to congratulate those to whom I will present honors this evening, I also commend all those involved in the Award – the participants past and present, friends, volunteers, staff and donors. To all who support the outstanding Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, thank you very much.