Reception for the 60th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award
Good afternoon. Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House for this very special occasion.
This year, 2019, marks the 60th anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in our nation.
Since 1959, more than 775,000 young Australians have completed the Award.
Right now, in Queensland alone, there are some 8,500 young people honing their skills, sharpening their sense of adventure and forging life-long commitments to community service as Award participants.
What a phenomenon this program has become.
What began as a simple conversation in England way back in 1956 has grown into one the world’s great youth movements.
It has been a journey of passion and commitment, of change and empowerment – and it has a wonderful international dimension, with the Award active now throughout more than 130 countries.
The Award’s great strength lies in its flexibility – participants are not bound to one program or place.
There are currently over one million people worldwide completing their own unique program, via hundreds of thousands of youth-focused partners and operators.
This afternoon is centrally about expressing gratitude to all those who contribute to the Award’s resounding success in Queensland.
I therefore congratulate our Award Leaders and Award Centres’ representatives for the contributions they have made to the lives of so many young people across our State.
I thank the Queensland Government, particularly the Department of Education, and the national administration, for coordinating the Award since its inception in Queensland in 1962.
I further thank all volunteers – some 60,000 each year across Australia – for their special place in the history of the Award.
I especially congratulate the Queensland volunteer contingent to whom I will shortly present certificates. They have individually provided between 30 and 57 years of dedicated service to the Award. What remarkable people you are!
Finally, I pay tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh, who, with Her Majesty The Queen and the Earl of Wessex, demonstrates great interest in the Award’s impact here in Queensland.
As Governor and Award Patron in Queensland, it is my great honour to once again thank you all. How wonderful that this program continues to capture the potential of our young people and channel it for community benefit.
Long may the Duke of Edinburgh International Award continue. Thank you.