The Award Programme was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1956 as The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, to encourage and motivate young people over the age of 14 to become involved in a balanced programme of voluntary self-development activities.
The programme was designed with great care by a small team, whose members included HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; Dr Kurt Hahn, educationlist and founder of Outward Bound and the United World Colleges; Lord Porritt, the New Zealand Olympic athlete, Royal Surgeon and former Governor-General; and Lord Hunt, the famous adventurer and leader of the team which supported Sir Edmund Hillary in the conquest of Mount Everest.
Almost as soon as it was launched in the UK, the Award was taken up by schools and youth groups in other countries. The unique compostition of the programme is ideally suited to easy adaptation and integration into different cultures and societies. The basic content of the Award remains the same throughout the world, but the activities, the application and even the title are all adapted to suit the varying needs of young people in different countries.
Over the past three decades the Award has developed and grown, touching lives of young people in more than 60 countries. The programme is continuously evaluated and modified to suit the changing demands of a modern society and the needs of young people. Today the Award is a major international programme recognised and used by agencies concerned with youth throughout the world.
In New Zealand, although one or two organisations started taking part earlier, it was not until 18 July 1963 that the Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson, held the inaugural meeting of the National Council of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award in New Zealand at Government House in Wellington, when a Constitution for the Award in New Zealand was adopted.
More information on The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award programme may be found at http://www.dofehillary.org.nz/.
There are four sections that need to be completed at each level (with an extra requirement at Gold level). As you move through the levels a higher degree of commitment is required, but you can choose your own activities for each section and complete the requirements with things that you enjoy doing!
The hours and months required for each section are minimums and we encourage you to go over and above this to get the most out of the programme for yourself. You can tackle each section one at a time or do them all at once ... it's all up to you!
Two of these Sections for 6 monthsOne Section for 4 months
Two of these Sections for 12 monthsOne Section for 5 months
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