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Taking on the great New Zealand outdoors


Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award (the Award) National Director Karen Ross and Christine (Grover) Worsfold from Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits & Education Centre (TOPEC) have signed an agreement to work together, providing young people in the Taranaki region with greater opportunities to gain real-world learning through the Award.

The Award is open to anyone between the ages of 14 – 24.  Young people design their own Award programmes, set their own goals and record their own progress. They gain practical life skills and hands-on experiences that will help them build resilience, self-confidence and problem-solving skills to enable them to thrive in our fast-changing world.

“We’re delighted to work with TOPEC to offer young people in the Taranaki region the many benefits they can gain from the Award,” says Karen.

“TOPEC will not only run the Adventurous Journey section of the Award, they will also be an Open Award Centre so anyone in the region can sign up under TOPEC to do the Award. All TOPEC staff will be trained as Award Leaders and they will work alongside Taranaki schools to offer the Award to as many students as possible,” concludes Karen.  

TSB TOPEC has been running outdoor programmes for Taranaki secondary school students since 1986 and uses two teachers and four instructors to provide education in the outdoors.

“We offer experiential learning, as well as NCEA assessments in our programmes and the move to project-based learning means our outdoor activities and flexible environmental programmes are perfect for 21st century education,” says Christine.

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award is a natural fit with TSB TOPEC’s vision for secondary schools in the Taranaki region.”


For more information, please contact:


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award                        Taranaki Outdoor Pursuits & Education Centre

Karen Ross, National Director                                        Christine Worsfold, Director

027 645 6696                                                                    021 043 1884 

[email protected]                                              [email protected]


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