Duke of Edinburgh Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award aims to offer all young Australians the opportunity to experience a sense of personal achievement through individual challenge, teamwork and fun. The Award is an internationally recognised program that encourages a sense of adventure amongst its participants.
Each year over a 100 Monte girls begin working towards achieving a Duke of Edinburgh Award. Girls pursue a variety of sports and activities, along with volunteering time in their local communities, which contributes towards achieving an Award. Significant commitment and organisation are required to complete the program as well as effort, perseverance and initiative, which are put to the test on the Adventurous Journey. At Bronze level, Monte girls are introduced to canoeing and hiking in a ‘pack/ paddle’ expedition, then at Silver they can choose to pursue either hiking or canoeing. They also learn skills in camp craft, teamwork and navigation along with other elements that build character and only happen in the great outdoors. The lessons learned as well as memories and friendships gained are invaluable.
At Monte, the Award is available to all girls in Years 9-12. Comprising of three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, each level has four components including, Volunteering, Physical Recreation/ Fitness, Skill and the Adventurous Journey. Participation in the Award is entirely voluntary. Students choose their own activities and set their own goals within each of these areas. Each challenge requires dedication, both physical and mental, and while the structure of the Award provides specialist help in different skills, individual participants must make their own way to the best of their ability. Success in the Award Program comes through a conscious decision to accept and take up challenges.
The Gold Award is the finale in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and requires significant responsibility, effort and a commitment of at least 18 months. In addition to completing their choice of Physical Recreation, a Skill and Volunteering in the community, participants undertake a Residential Project of 5 days/4 nights and two Adventurous Journeys of 4 days/ 3 nights in the great outdoors.
Each level of The Award has four mandatory Sections:
Fitness/Physical Recreation: The type of activity chosen could be a team sport, individual pursuit or simply getting out there and working up a sweat. Many of the Monte girls choose to use the sports and physical activities offered by the Monte Sports Department to fulfil these requirements and include sports such as Netball, Hockey, Surf Life Saving and Yoga.
Skill: This component allows Monte girls to unleash their talents and broaden their abilities. Girls participate in anything from refereeing, to driving, to learning a musical instrument, to jewellery making.
Volunteering: The community service component allows for the connection to be strengthened between the College community and the local community. This component of The Award interrelates with a key component of the International Baccalaureate, Community and Service requirements. Any area of interest in the community, such as youth work, the environment or charity work are areas where we see Monte girls being active.
Adventurous Journey: This requirement allows the girls to discover their sense of adventure and bond with their friends while journeying into an unfamiliar environment with a small expedition group – bushwalking and canoeing – staying overnight and testing their resilience. At Monte, we run our expeditions through The Outdoor Education Group (O.E.G) and from the girls perspective this is the highlight of The Award.
There is an additional Section for Gold only:
Residential Project: This serves to broaden each participant's horizon and open their eyes to the world. Participation in these activities can be within Australia or anywhere around the globe, limited only by their imagination. Many Monte girls embrace this challenge and undertake this component of The Award whilst on Cultural exchange or in the Central Desert Community of Mutitjulu.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award offers participants a variety of rewards including:
• Achieving something for yourself
• Becoming more confident
• Getting new skills
• Having some great experiences
• Making new friends
• Meeting people from around the world
• Not to mention having a lot of fun in the process.