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As part of celebrating our 60th Anniversary of the Award in Australia, Duke of Ed Vic are showcasing stories from our Participants about their Award journey and the impact it’s had on their lives. These stories help inspire others and help us encourage more young people to begin their Award.

Each month we run a draw of Participants who are interested to tell their Award story. The participant who wins the draw becomes our Star of the Month. The Star gets their story featured here (as well as on our social handles) and wins a $100 voucher of their choice to spend at Ticketek, Kathmandu or Apple.

We had so many fantastic stories from all our competition entries that we’ve decided to share some of them here. This one is from a runner up: Isabelle Huang, who lives in Melbourne and is currently completing her Silver Award. Isabelle is 18 and is doing her Award at The Kilmore International School.


Interview with Award Holder - Isabelle Huang


Why did you decide to become involved with the Award?

I was first introduced to the Award when I was year 10 (16 years old), at the time I had just transferred to an IB school. My initial reason to participate was to get my CAS done quicker. But after I experienced my first adventurous journey to Mount Feathertop, I decided to take on the challenge to finish the Award.


What were the most memorable parts of your Award experience?

My most memorable part of the Award was during my first 3 days 2nights hike to Mount Feathertop on the Razorback track. During the hike, I faced a lot of obstacles, such as the height of the mountain triggering my fear of heights. I was the slowest person in line, so I was always at the back. My supervisor, who was good at hiking, taught me a lot of tricks to make my hiking trip easier and faster. It was also my first time setting up a tent, sleeping outdoor (during the freezing night) and eating camp-based food (which is really interesting).


What has been the biggest challenge in your life, either before starting the Award or during?

The biggest challenge in my life before joining the Award was facing my fears. I was really scared of doing anything that was outside of my comfort zone. Because of that, my physical strength is weak, and I used to give up halfway if I found something really challenging.


 Has the Award helped you overcome any challenges you have faced?

Absolutely! The Award helped me to overcome myself. I have become more confident whenever a challenge is given to me; I learnt to persevere till the end and never give up if I am met with obstacles in life.


 Would you say the Award has had an impact on your life and where you are today? If so, how?

Yes! The Award has helped me develop into a more well-rounded-student. In fact, the Award has greatly transformed me mentally and physically. It not only allowed me to develop into a person who can take risks, it has led me to recognize my strengths and overcome my weaknesses. In addition to that, I have become more aware of myself and my surrounding situations. It was difficult at first for me to overcome some of the challenges I faced in the award, but the aftermath of overcoming the challenges makes me a better person.

Hence, I have learnt two things in this Award:

“what comes easy, doesn’t last long; what lasts long, doesn’t come by easily.”

“If life gives you lemons, take it and embrace it”.