Students can become involved in the Duke of Edinburgh program from Year 9. There are three levels, Bronze (Year 9), Silver (Year 10) and Gold (Years 11 and 12). At each level students must complete increasing amounts of Skill, Service and Physical Recreation as well as two Adventurous Journeys.
At Bronze level, the adventures comprise hiking for two days, at Silver level hiking and paddling over three days and at Gold level the four day adventures also include horse riding.
In order to enter the program students must be able to achieve a beep test of Level 5. In order to enter Silver they must be able to swim 100 metres in any stroke. The program works under a ‘user pays’ system and does involve a significant cost.
The Duke of Edinburgh Gold award is recognised by employers and education institutions alike as an impressive achievement. In fact, the University of New South Wales gives two bonus UAC points to any elite performers who achieve this admirable level. The Gold Award is presented to successful students at Government House by the Governor Marie Bashir.