As a Gold Awardee, I have been able to realise my own potential and recognise abilities that I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered without the inspiration and support of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The Award has enabled me to focus on my strengths, gain confidence in my abilities and learn to be self reliant. The Award has provided a platform on which I have been able to build a solid foundation for life, by developing skills and achieving goals that I never would have thought possible.
The programme has afforded me the opportunity to build strong relationships, overcome difficulties and develop resilience in the face of adversity.
In undertaking the Award, I have learnt how to overcome my disability and that my age has nothing to do with limiting what I am able to achieve. I have been able to develop self discipline and overcome barriers in the face of adversity whilst undergoing the Award.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award inspired me to pursue leadership and service opportunities through local and state government committees, focusing on making improvements to policies and planning of youth services and establishing educational initiatives to engage with young people in the community.
As an advocate for the youth sector, I have taken up an appointment as an Executive member on the Board of Governance for the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) to represent the rights and issues of young people in Australia. I serve on the Steering Committee of the National Online Community Youth Spaces Project for AYAC and the Steering Committee for the National Youth Conference for 2011.
I also joined the Policy Council of the Youth Affairs Council of SA, which is focused on representing the interests and issues of young South Australians.
As a member of the Council I have campaigned tirelessly to have the State Government close the inadequate Magill Youth Training Centre to provide humane accommodation and support for young people in detention.
As a result, the State Government has announced a change in policy with the closure of the Centre and made a commitment to provide a new facility to support the needs of vulnerable children/youths in detention.
I have undertaken study in training and tertiary education in a Diploma of Community Services Coordination at TafeSA and Diploma of Business at the South Australian Institute of Business and Technology (in association with the University of SA).
Currently I am employed by Health SA as a Consultant for the SA NT Datalink Consumer Reference Group, where I am responsible for the provision of high quality advice to support research, policy development, service planning and evaluation of health issues.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has instilled in me the confidence to succeed and the belief that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.