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"Last year I undertook the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Bronze Award, which has four main sections –Skills, Physical Recreation, Community Service and an Adventurous Journey. I chose activities or tasks that I knew that I enjoyed and set myself challenging goals for them, but goals that I wanted to achieve. This made it easy for me to spend time working away at them over the months that it took to complete the Award.

For the Skills section, my goal was to pass the AMEB grade 5 Classical Guitar exam by years end. It was an achievable goal that would take a lot of dedication and work. But because I enjoy playing guitar, I knew that it was a goal that I would have a great deal of fun working towards, and I did.

Spending three days trekking through the Darling Ranges along the Bibbulmun Track was one of the most memorable experiences of the Award – I’ll never forget what it was like to reach the summit of Mount Cooke and take in the spectacular view, the mist and fog rolling through the trees in the distance. While it was really challenging at times, it gave me the opportunity to learn many new skills like planning and preparation for a journey, map reading and compass navigation, and how to be self-sufficient and manage water and food supplies. It also helped me build on the leadership skills I had developed through my Community Service. Through the Adventurous Journey, I gained a great appreciation for the Australian bushland and an understanding of the importance of doing my part to protect and preserve the environment.

When all was said and done, it was really gratifying to know that I achieved the Award. Sure, it was difficult in some parts, but it was immensely rewarding to work towards and achieve the goals that I had set myself.  Completing the Award gave me an incredible feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone. I firmly believe that if you pick things that you enjoy, you’ll have an absolute blast. I’d definitely do it again, in fact I have already started on my Silver Award, and I hope to complete the Gold Award as well, before finishing Year 12."

Ethan Clements, Year 10 student

Living Waters Lutheran College