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The Duke of Edinburgh International Awards’ 60th anniversary celebrations continue in Wellington

The Duke of Edinburgh International Awards’ 60th anniversary celebrations continue in Wellington HRH The Duke of Edinburgh presents Gold Awards and speaks at an education panel.

Wellington, Saturday 18 November 2023-This morning 80 young people from across New Zealand were celebrated, as they received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh himself, at a special ceremony.

The Duke, speaking at the ceremony said: “My congratulations to each and every one of you for achieving your Gold Award, I hope when you look back you feel it was all worthwhile. The Award is an individual achievement, but also a team effort, so thank you to all the parents, Award leaders, and Volunteers. There are a fantastic range of schools and delivery partners represented here today, and I hope you can all share in the pride of this moment.”

The Gold Award honours significant dedication to developing new skills, getting active, supporting community and planning, leading and experiencing an Adventurous Journey. It’s the top honour for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award and one that only a small group of people receive around the world each year.

The special ceremony, hosted by Wellington College, also included a phenomenal Kapa Haka performance from Te Haeata Awatea.

The Duke then attended part two of a discussion with Principals and school leadership, facilitated by Emily Fabling, Deputy Chief Executive, Policy and Sector Performance at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and Andrea Duncan, GM Culture, Capability and Performance at Kiwibank; both board members of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award.

The panel – which included Sir John Kirwan, New Zealand Principal’s Federation President Leanne Otene, Paul Chambers, CFO and COO of Kiwibank, and Alec Solomon, Tumuaki at Tikipunga High School – delved into an engaging debate, discussing what resilience really means, the role that community and culture plays in enabling young people and what types of skills and attributes rangatahi need to thrive in a dynamic world.

Emma Brown, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in today’s events – from celebrating 80 inspirational participants this morning, to some incredibly interesting discussion this afternoon.”

“We know educators across the country are going above and beyond to ensure students are ready to meet the world – whether that be in their schooling, their transition to tertiary education or employment, as future leaders, or as global citizens. We’re on that same mission through the Award’s globally-recognised framework, helping educators to support students and meet challenges with creativity, compassion and resilience.

This afternoon’s event was a wonderful opportunity to discuss these challenges and how the Award can best support schools and educators in the years to come.”


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