Around 80 rangatahi from across Aotearoa came together on May 20th to receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award at a ceremony hosted by The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, Governor-General.
The Gold Award highlights the exceptional achievements in developing new skills, getting active, supporting community and planning, leading and experiencing an Adventurous Journey. Recipients are amongst a small group of rangatahi globally who achieve their Gold Award each year.
The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, patron of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award, spoke of her gratitude to all those involved.
“We all have a role to play as kaitiaki for our communities and our environment, and I am privileged to be patron of an organisation that empowers our rangatahi on that journey. My sincere thanks to the Award Leaders, volunteers, supporters, parents and staff for everything that they do.”
For many, the presentation celebrated a long and inspiring journey spanning up to five years, achieving their Gold Award in addition to accomplishing their Bronze and Silver. Emma Brown, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award, acknowledged the sheer dedication required to achieve such an accolade.
“Doing your Award is no small feat – it challenges you to go beyond your comfort zone and continuously strive, develop and push through those tough moments. The rangatahi celebrated this week have shown exceptional resilience, determination and dedication to their community and embody the whakatauki “rangatira mō āpōpō? Rangatira i tēnei rā! – Leaders of tomorrow? No – Leaders of today!“
The Award ceremony was the perfect tribute to the hard mahi and resilience shown by each of the participants. Achieving their Gold Award despite the challenges of Covid and a cost of living crisis highlights what young people can do, even in the face of adversity.
Congratulations to those who received their Gold Award this weekend. It’s a huge achievement that’s only made possible by the generous support of the many parents, Award Leaders, volunteers, and organisations whose time, dedication and funding helps to ensure the Award keeps operating.
To everyone involved, we thank you.