The HOPE Collective have been engaging students around Whyalla in new learning practices through the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
A total of 22 young people in the community, including students at Stuart High School, Whyalla High School, and members of the Youth Advisory Council, are participating in a pilot program partnered with the award.
The program aims to help young people explore their full potential, regardless of their location or circumstance.
Two Year 9 students at Whyalla High School, Eliza Clayton and Delta Powell, have been participating in the ‘bronze level’ of the program for the past three months.
The students were tasked with documenting their learning in three categories – service, physical recreation and skills.
Eliza, who played a key role in Whyalla High’s We Will Rock You musical, has been teaching dance and documenting her contemporary dance learning for the program.
She says the program has allowed her to track her growth in the area of dance.
“It gives you something to work towards,” she said.
Delta has been focusing on her first aid training and work with St John Ambulance Australia in Whyalla for her skill and service components. She’s covering her judo training for the physical recreation category.
Other students at the school have been involved in assisting with counter teas for their sporting club and developing leadership skills through Operation Flinders training.
Stuart High School Year 9 students Tam Wall, Niel Peel, Zachary Lamshed and Shakaya Watson have also been participating in the Duke of Edinburgh pilot.
Tam has been mentoring the Smith Family homework club and helping run the breakfast club for students in the morning.
“The program is awesome, I’m privileged to be a part of it,” she said.
Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Participant Mya Smith has been doing her service component at the Whyalla Fauna Park
“I am a lot more confident talking to people when I am out and about. Each day I am there I have new experiences and am thankful for the opportunity,” she said.
“My favourite part so far has been feeding and getting to know Saffy the baby camel.”
Youth Advisory Council members are involved in creating and facilitating community events, and fundraising for community causes, such as homelessness and disability.
Those undertaking the Award have this opportunity to participate thanks to funding which was granted to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, South Australian office.
Its aim was to provide wider access of the Award to regional young people.
“When I came to hear about Hope Collective and its vision, it was evident to me how the Duke of Ed framework could align nicely to achieving what the community said it wanted for its young people,” said Delivery Partner Manager Aida Ashworth.
Students involved in the pilot program will continue to progress towards the completion of the Bronze level award early in 2019, with plans to engage another group of young people already underway.