The National Patron of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia, The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) presented 12 Australians with a Distinguished Service Medal or a Long Service Medal on Wednesday 26th October at Government House Canberra.
This inaugural presentation of service and recognition Medals celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award internationally and commemorates the commitment of these Australians to the world’s leading youth development program.
A Gold Distinguished Service Medals is awarded for eminent, exceptional service and achievement in a volunteer capacity and or for an employee who has consistently extended and distinguished themselves amongst their peers in the Award community, well above and beyond the expectations of their remunerated role. Gold Distinguished Service Medals were presented to Professor The Hon. Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, Michael Crouch AO, Robert Gerard AO, the Hon. Sir Eric Neal AC CVO and His Honour John Pascoe AC CVO.
A Silver Distinguished Service Medals are is awarded based on eminent service and achievement in a volunteer capacity and for an employee who has consistently extended themselves in a notable manner well beyond the expectations of their remunerated role and were presented to Tom Mould (Qld) and Gary Rowe(Vic).
A Long Service Medals is awarded after 10 years of service in a voluntary or paid capacity to the Award and on the day were presented to Maureen Burdett, Jennifer Cox, Tracey Craze, Peter Hawes and Katharine Pinkerton, all from the ACT.
Professor the Hon Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO
Professor Dame Marie was Patron of the Award in NSW from 2001 to 2014. During her term she was a very strong advocate for the positive impact of the Award in particular on “ensuring young Australians are equipped, healthy and happy to go on and run this country with the great destiny facing it as a force for good in the Asia‐Pacific region.” As Governor of NSW, Professor Dame Marie presented over 4,000 Gold Awards at 41 ceremonies.
Michael Crouch AO
Michael was a former director of the Award’s national Board and is currently a director and Deputy Chairman of the Friends of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Michael has been a most engaged major sponsor initially through his company Zip Industries and currently personally contributing as the Award’s Benefactor. Michael was the founder of the Award Ambassadors initiative and he is a World Fellow of the International Award Foundation.
Robert Gerard AO
Robert’s multi-faceted contribution commenced in 2002. He is the former Chair of the Award in South Australia and the former national Chair of Friends of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Robert has also served several terms as a director on the National Board. Robert is a generous major sponsor of the Award and is a World Fellow of the International Award Foundation. Robert is a current member of the SA Friends Committee and Co-Patron of the Award in South Australia.
The Hon Sir Eric Neal AC CVO
Sir Eric was a former National Chair of the Award between 1984-1992 and was responsible for encouraging Australians to join the World Fellows of the International Award Foundation. Sir Eric served as Trustee of the International Award Foundation between 1987-1997. Sir Eric was also instrumental in securing the Tax Deductibility status of the Award. Whilst Governor of South Australia Sir Eric was Patron of the Award. Sir Eric has remained a strong public advocate of the Award and with Lady Neal have supported, sponsored and contributed to key events that have become milestones in the Award’s history
His Honour John Pascoe AC CVO
John Pascoe has served the Award as National Chair between 1995-2004 at a time of major restructure in the governance of the Award. He has also served as Trustee for International Award Foundation between 1998-2006. During this period John was Chair of the Asia Pacific Region and was a key driver to establish a regional office with paid staff. John has remained an Honorary Advisor to the Award and takes every opportunity to be an active advocate.
Tom is a current Board member, Company Secretary and Treasurer of the Award in Australia and is the longest serving director. He is a former director of the Award’s digital company AwardWare. Tom has actively represented the Board on many committees, national and International functions. Tom’s drive of structural change has lead to greater efficiency and improved outcomes in the management of the Award.
Gary currently serves on the Board of the Award in Victoria and is its Deputy Chair and Chair of the Governance Sub-Committee. Gary is an active Award Ambassador and regular sponsor of events. Gary also serves on the National Board’s Risk Management Committee. Through his company, Safety Action, Gary also provides the Award in Victoria and the national Office with pro-bono work health and safety technical assistance.
Maureen has served for 21 years as the CEO for the Award in the ACT. Maureen has also been a Committee member of The Friends of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Australia and has also represented the Award at an international level. Maureen was instrumental in securing permission from Judith Wright for her former property Edge, to be on gifted by the Australian National University to the Award in the ACT.
Peter has provided 15 years of volunteer service to the Award in the ACT. He has served as an Award Leader at Marist College during which time he grew the Award with up to 30-40 students completing Awards annually. Peter has also been an invaluable Board member on the ACT Award Committee for more than ten years.
Tracey has provided 12 years volunteer service as an Award Leader at St Edmunds College. She is an innovative and imaginative leader for the boys of St Edmunds, who speak very highly of her, encouraging them to help each other toward completion of their Award Journey.
Katharine has served for 18 years as a member of the ACT Award Committee, as a passionate volunteer, and occasionally as a part time employee. Katharine is described as an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the Award and readily lends a hand wherever it is required.
Jennifer, who is a Gold Award Holder has been volunteering for the Award for 15 years. As the Award Leader at Orana Steiner School where she instituted the Award, there are now up to 20 students completing Awards annually. During this time, Jennifer continues to be very active in supporting her Alumni, of the Marist and Merici Colleges’, known as the Draught Horses.