On Friday the 13th nearly 400 young Australian’s received their Gold Award at the National Gold Award Ceremony at Town Hall in Sydney. The ceremony was part of a larger series of events attended by His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG GCVO to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Award in Australia. As the biggest cohort to receive the Award outside the UK, The Earl and a horde of Australian stars - including Dawn Fraser AC, Layne Beachley AO, Kirk Pengilly and Jack Thompson AM - were on hand to present awards to the recipients. After the ceremony we caught up with some of the attendees to hear more about their Award Journey and their experience at the event.
Our first story comes from Julia Revere from Genazzano FCJ College in Victoria. Julia completed her Residential Project in Bourke a small rural town in NSW through the Youth Engagement Project where she undertook a solidarity immersion experience spending most of her time volunteering at the PCYC. Speaking about her trip afterwards she said “although the trip was both mentally and physically challenging, knowing that everything I did was helping others gave me the strength to persevere. From this trip I have uncovered a passion for social justice and a drive to serve others ”. After completing her time in Bourke her assessor said “throughout this experience Julia demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and a genuine interest in helping the kids of Bourke”.
At the Gold Award Ceremony Julia was presented her Award by Jack Thompson AM, which was bestowed to him by the Earl. The Earl also greeted the Awardees, including Julia and posed for some photography to mark the moment.
Read more below to hear more about what Julia had to say about her Award Journey and her experience at the ceremony.
What was your favorite memory or part of your Award Journey?
My favorite part of my Award Journey was completing the Residential Project aspect of the Award. Not only did it foster a deeper passion for social justice but allowed me to actively contribute towards helping others- which I found very rewarding.
Has the Award changed or shaped your life in any way?
The Award allowed me to develop a sense of resilience and determination. Although the Award proved challenging at times- specifically regarding the Adventurous Journey - it taught me the importance of persistence and hard work.
Do you expect the Award will impact your life in the future, and if so how?
I believe that the Award has had an incredible impact on my life as it has encouraged me to strive to be the best version of myself, as well as continually give back to the community. The Award allowed me to develop a passion for helping others, which I intend to continue to do in my future work.
What was your favorite part about the Gold Award Ceremony on Friday?
My favorite part about the Gold Ceremony on Friday was having the opportunity to meet like-minded people and engage in conversation with others who had also completed the Award. I found it incredibly interesting to hear of the myriad of experiences that the other Awardees had undertaken through their journey in completing the Gold Award.