On the 20th of August, the Award in Western Australia (Awards WA) celebrated the 60th anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award- Australia by hosting a reception to recognise long-serving volunteers and Award Centres. As part of it they also gave out 6 Gold Awards to participants from those Award Centres.
One of those 6 was Aydin Hutchison.
Aydin’s Duke of Ed Award Story
Written By Aydin:
For the voluntary service section of the Award, I helped the younger youth at my scout group, 1st Wembley Downs. My scouting journey started when I was 8 years of age. As a cub scout I achieve my Grey Wolf Award. This is the highest award for Cubs. At 11 years I moved to Scouts and started working on the Australia Scouts Medallion. This award took 3 years to achieve. During this time the opportunity to start the Duke of Ed Award was presented to me and my parents encouraged me to do it because it aligned with the Scouts Medallion activities which enjoyed. The Service part of Duke of Ed allowed me to give back to my scout group in the form of community service. It was now my turn to teach the younger youth from my scout group the scout skills I had learned through my journey.
Photography & Filmmaking
For the skills section of the Award, I chose Photography & Filmmaking. My parents bought me my first camera for our trip to Jordan and Israel when I was 7 years old, this was the start of my love for photography. My family’s love for the great outdoors meant that we would often go on long hikes and camping trips giving me the perfect opportunity to capture some amazing photos. The Duke of Ed award has helped me to set smart goals to work towards in my photography ability.
During the bronze award, I started off just being a beginner at photography. The images that I presented to my photography mentor reflected that. As I moved through the silver award my images improved and as did the detail in my photos.
During the gold award, my photos have improved greatly with my mentor setting me new challenges that ended up directed out family holiday destination. In year 10 at Scotch College, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program required me to choose a Personal Project for one of our subjects. For this, I created an image book and called it ‘Western Australia’s Hidden Treasures’. This project took 12 months for which I spend multiple days photographing unique locations around WA that are not commonly seen by most people. During this time our family camping holidays were chosen based on my schoolwork.
For my Physical Recreation section, I chose to do Karate. At primary school, I was bullied by one of the bigger boys in my class. I started karate as a way to learn to protect myself which then gave me the confidence to passively stand up to the bully. As I progressed through my karate belts the bullying stopped. During my time in Karate, I have moved up the ranks in both my belts and in my skill.
My Sensei (teacher) has become a mentor to me and through my journey in the sport he has supported me and encouraged me to conquer anything. His motto to us is ‘memory, stances and strength’ meaning to progress higher you must practice your stances, and build strength which all require commitment to the sport. Doing Karate for the award I have been able to set specific goals and work towards achieving milestones through mental and physical fitness.
Cape to Cape Western Australia
For my journey section for the gold award, I participated in a 50km hike on the Cape to Cape track in Western Australia. I hiked with my school group Scotch College over a 5 day period. The journey was hard and very challenging. At the end of each day we had painful blisters and very sore feet that would get worse with every kilometre we walked. The terrain was hard and rough with our shoes constantly filling up with sand. While I was struggling, my friends were struggling even more and because they did not have the background knowledge that I had from Scouting they were asking me for help all the time. My scouting background meant that my friends could rely on me to help set up tents and cook.
Gold Residential Project
Cub Camp Youth Leader
For my Residential Project for the gold award, I chose to be a youth camp leader for my scout group. This required me to help assist and run several camps for the Cubs. For this, I was required to write and plan scout activities for two camps. My topics included rope tying for shelter building, knots, campfire cooking, kayaking, and general games. The Cub leaders mentored me through this process.
Overall I learned a lot about myself by doing every level of the Duke of Ed. I became aware of my abilities and my commitment to improve my skills and knowledge throughout each section of the Award process. I found that after completing each level my skill and ability was a lot broader especially in Karate and photography. I really enjoyed working with my assessors and Award Leader to complete all the sections of the award. My main focus now is to become an Award Leader for my College and help other people reach their true potential through the Award so that if anyone needs help completing their Award, I can guide them as my mentors guided me.