Gold Duke of Edinburgh Presentation

2017 06 07 dofe gold presentation web 02On Wednesday 7th June two former Pacific Hills Christian School students, Michael Chellappa and Grace Leung were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley, AC DSC (Retd), Governor of New South Wales.

It was a grand occasion held at St Stephens Church, Macquarie Street and afterwards at Government House in the Botanic Gardens.

Michael and Grace both finished school in 2016 and are currently at university. Michael is currently studying mathematics and economics but is hoping to change to actuarial studies. Grace is completing Speech Therapy and greatly enjoying her course.

Grace was invited to present the address on behalf of the awardees and spoke eloquently of the impact that doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award had had on her character. She mentioned that the activities had allowed her to develop a balanced and enriched life. Grace spoke of the exhilaration of standing on the summit of Australia’s highest mountain at sunrise and loudly singing the National Anthem, at the end of her Gold Qualifying Journey. She noted, that at times, she thought of giving up, but found the strength to carry on. She learned that the challenges she faced on the journeys, were opportunities to further develop her character. She thanked those who had supported her on the award journey, particularly her parents and teachers.

Both Michael and Grace have had some incredible Adventurous Journeys. For their Bronze Level they walked from School to Berowra Waters via Crosslands for their Practice Journey and from Cowan to Berowra for their Qualifying Journey. For Silver, Michael and Grace endured the tough challenge of Bungonia Gorge with five river crossings and a tortuous mountain climb. They also endured extreme heat and thunderstorms on the hike in the Royal National Park. For Gold, they walked fifty kilometres on the South Coast in torrential rain in the middle of an East Coast Low Pressure System. Finally, for their Gold Qualifying Journey they completed the tough walk from Guthega to Thredbo in the Kosciuszko National Park. They faced winds gusting to more than 120km/hr, cold and even snow. It seemed that the tougher the conditions, the tougher Michael and Grace became.

To complete the Gold Level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award requires commitment, perseverance and resilience. It takes a special sort of person to reach to the very highest level. Michael Chellappa and Grace Leung are two such people, and are warmly congratulated on their achievement.

Colin Lees and Bronwyn O’Neil
Duke of Edinburgh Coordinators

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Presentation Gold Duke of Edinburgh Presentation Gold Duke of Edinburgh Presentation Gold Duke of Edinburgh Presentation Gold Duke of Edinburgh Presentation