Robert (‘Bob’) Prewett RFD, Gold Awardee 1964
“I completed my Silver and Gold Awards in the 1960s. I received my Gold Award in Victoria in 1964 which was presented to me by the Chief Scout of Victoria. I was registered as the 9th Gold Awardee in Victoria. In those days we were lucky to have 4 people presented with a Gold Award Certificate in any year. My final assessed expedition was a 6-day cross country hike through the Victorian High Plains.
In the 1960s-1970s I knew every Gold Awardee in Melbourne and most from country Victoria through my involvement in The Victorian Gold Award Holders Association. I am still in contact with a few Gold Awardees from those days. In the late 1960s most Victorian Gold Awardees came from Ballarat and Morwell YMCA Youth and Hoadley Area Scout Groups (from Glenroy-Strathmore-Essendon-Broadmeadows-Brunswick), Girl Guides (Glenroy). Other Awardees involved in scouts lived in Hampton , Camberwell and Box Hill, and a few from the country areas Portland and Warrnambool. Boys and Girls Brigades and Jewish youth groups were also becoming more involved in The Duke of Ed.
We were all very organised and formed our own committee. We held successful social functions, held a mud-bash and a car-rally as fundraisers, organised community service activities (e.g. built Lyrebird Walk for a Ferntree Gully park). Many of us were ‘called up’ for National Service in the 1960s-70s and hence went into military service as Nashos, in the AMF, CMF, RAAF and RAN. At least one Victorian Gold Awardee served with the Army in Vietnam, and one Awardee went to Antarctica with Rover Scouts and another with the RAN.
I represented the Victorian Gold Awardees at the Canberra Conference during The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to Australia in about 1970-72. At the time, I had to get permission from the Commanding Officer of my Army Unit to attend.
We also had a few Gold Award holders visit from England and Commonwealth countries involved with our Association and a few from interstate when they lived in Melbourne. We drove across to Adelaide for a function with the first Gold presentations in Adelaide, and on another occasion we drove to NSW to meet socially with the Gold Awardees there. Our Association initially met at the offices of the Victorian Department of Youth Sport and Recreation or the Award office, then at members’ homes, restaurants or a pizza parlour.
I have been involved with the Scouting movement over 50 years and behind the scenes for The Award since it started in Victoria (nearing 50 years too).
In more recent times I have been very privileged to see the continuance of the Gold Award in 2 generations of families; there are now several children of Gold Awardees who also received their Gold Awards. Another memorable occasion was meeting the family where 7 of their 8 children had been awarded certificates at the Gold Level.
Across the decades I have worked on several sub-committees, then on the Victorian Board and as a former Victorian Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award before my retirement. It is wonderful to see a National Alumni that will now bring together Awardees from all over the country.”
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