The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award 

The Award is a programme of activities.  The challenge is for young people to make things happen rather then waiting for things to happen for them.  Lives are changed, both for the young people and for those with whom they come in contact.

Any young person aged between 14 and 25 can gain an Award at Bronze, Silver or Gold level.The Award is balanced. The four sections provide a framework to encourage physical activity, mental challenge, individual perseverance, teamwork and interaction with other people.

The Award is non-competitive. It is a personal challenge and not a competition against others.The Award is voluntary. Young people must choose to do it.

Once the entire programme is completed satisfactorily, as explained in the sections, the young person receives a certificate and pin/medal at a suitable recognition ceremony.  Gold recipients attend a formal ceremony and are presented their certificate by the Governor General of New Zealand.

Benefits of the Award for Students

  • Personal development

  • Self-belief and self confidence

  • An independent and self-motivating attitude

  • A sense of responsibility to others

  • A connection to the broader society

  • New or improved interest, skills and abilities

  • A willingness to try new things

  • New friendships and relationships with their peers and older people

  • Lifelong interests

  • Team skills

  • Life skills – negotiation, research, communication, problem solving, presentation skills

Skills Obtained

  • Leadership

  • Self-management

  • Decision making

  • Group management

  • Bush and survival skills

  • First aid knowledge 

Otamatea High School has a very active group of students at all levels completing the Award under the co-ordination of volunteer Mrs Robyn Bruce.

Students in the Award regularly fundraise to keep their training and expedition expenses to a minimum.

Many staff members now help out and are involved with the programme.

We are lucky to have Mr Stephen Orchard living in our community.  His years of bush craft instruction, expertise and knowledge are passed on to our students through his excellent tutelage and guidance at training weekends.

The groups have tramped many Great walks in the North and South Island, along with numerous other local and remote tracks.

We have two students who have for the first time taken up the Youth Everest Challenge.  This will fulfil their Gold Residential and Expedition requirements along with being the trip of a lifetime!

If you have any questions or queries regarding The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award at Otamatea High School please contact Mrs Bruce at robyn.bruce@otamatea.school.nz