The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in Australia

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award commenced in Australia in 1962, and encourages young people set their own goals within a simple structure of Community Service, Skill, Adventurous Journey and Physical Recreation in three levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold. A Residential Project is an additional element for the Gold Award.

There are set time requirements and an expectation of regular commitment towards the achievement of goals under the guidance of an instructor/assessor. The Award engages participation by young people from 14 - 25 years of age.

A key element of The Award is that participants can use any experience they wish to meet minimum Award requirements. The Young Endeavour Program is one example of a partnership that is focused on exciting personal development outcomes for participants.

Completion of the Young Endeavour Youth Development Program, undertaken during an eleven day voyage on board STS Young Endeavour, meets the Award requirements for one of either:

  • Gold Award - Residential Project, or
  • Expedition Practice Journey.

The aim of the Duke of Edinburgh Residential Project is to broaden your horizons and open your eyes to the world. The Residential Project is intended to offer participants unique experiences that truly broaden horizons and challenges their outlook. At the heart of the Residential Project is the undertaking of a purposeful experience with people who are not the Participant’s usual companions, working towards a common goal. Adding to this, the young person is also outside of their usual place of residence, often in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people. It is hoped that the Residential Project rewards Gold Award Participants with a sense of personal achievement, enhanced social connection with new and interesting people, and a truly life changing experience.

The aim of the Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey is to stimulate a spirit of adventure and discovery whilst undertaking a journey in a group. The Adventurous Journey is all about getting out and going on an expedition or exploration in an unfamiliar and challenging environment, with a clear purpose. More than any other Section of The Duke of Ed, the Adventurous Journey is about team work and social connection with both the team members who will undertake the journey, and also the Volunteers who instruct, supervise and assess the journey. At the heart of the Adventurous Journey, is the opportunity for a young person to engage in activities that require determination, physical effort, perseverance, problem solving and cooperation.. Practice journeys should be of a similar nature and duration, and in a similar environment, using the same mode of travel to the planned qualifying journey, but not over the same route. Please note opportunities for a qualifying voyage in Young Endeavour are very limited, however opportunities may be available on other tall ships in Australia, or overseas during the international Tall Ships Races. 

Please note, the completion of a voyage with the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme cannot be used for both components of the Award.

If you are sailing aboard STS Young Endeavour and plan to use the voyage to progress your Award, make sure you tell your Watch Leader when you embark, and have your Record Book ready. Our Staff Crew need to know what you hope to achieve on day one so that they can assess you over the duration of the voyage. You also need pre-approval from your Award Leader.

For further information or details, contact your state office of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.


2021 Youth Development Voyages


The ballot is now open for applications on an expression of interest basis, eligible young Australians aged 16-23 can apply for Youth Development voyages sailing through to December 2021. Voyage berths are allocated by ballot, and through our Scholarship Program.