A Warragul Regional College teacher’s leadership and help in enabling students to participate in Duke of Edinburgh International Awards has been recognised at a presentation at Government House in Melbourne.
Samantha Richards was presented with a long service award for her voluntary work by the Duke’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, at a ceremony hosted by the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau.
Ms Richards said she and the Prince had a “good chat”. He was very informal, she said. Duke of Edinburgh awards can be earned by young people in three categories - bronze, silver and gold – but the service awards are a relatively new recognition.
Ms Richards got involved in the program 15 years ago when she first joined the teaching staff at the Warragul school.
Each year there have been at least 25 students involved and some have gone on to achieve the highest gold award, she said.
The program that requires young people in each of the levels to attain four goals – in physical recreation, intellectual development, volunteering and by undertaking an adventurous journey.
Ms Richards said her role had been to approve and assist students reach the individual goals they set themselves.
Involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards gets young people to go beyond the everyday and take on challenges, she said.
Ms Richards said she had not been a lone hand in helping the hundreds of Warragul Regional College students that had taken part over the past 15 years, many of the former participants also voluntarily come along to assist run the program.
At the ceremony at Government House earlier this month Prince Edward presented gold awards to 70 participants as well as 15 long service and two distinguished service medals.
Warragul Regional College teacher Samantha Richards meets Prince Edward, Duke of Wessex, at Government House in Melbourne where the Prince presented her with a long service medal for her support of young people taking part in the Duke Of Edinburgh...