Tim Dibdin

I initially became acquainted with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award during my first year of teaching in 1984. This was at Nottingham Boys High School. There was a strong tradition of boys completing the Award in one of two units; the Scouts led by Dennis Usher and Richard Nicole and the other led by Martin Jones and Ian Driver. I was asked to assist on an Adventurous Journey by Martin, a Bronze Practice to the White Peak in Derbyshire. I loved the country and spending time with the pupils and my new colleagues. Subsequently, I joined a number of other expeditions including some challenging Gold hikes on the Kinder plateau in March (!) and in the Cheviot Hills of Northumbria. Wonderful times! When I moved to Australia in 1999, I applied for a position at Oxley College in Bowral, a lovely school set in the Southern Highlands of NSW and surrounded by beautiful National Parks. I secured the job and almost immediately became involved in assisting Adventurous Journeys. Fifteen years on, I applied for the Award Leaders position to cover a Maternity Leave. Seven years later, I am still co-ordinating the Award at Oxley, with fellow Award Leader Jenni Rees. We love working with our students and our outdoor providers at the Land’s Edge Foundation in Berry.

There is considerable interest among the young people at school and it is rewarding to see a number go on to complete their Gold awards and to see the increasing recognition of what the Award means for participants and the values it has for their futures. Several students from the College, have themselves gone into outdoor education. I would sincerely like to thank Prince Philip for his vision and enduring interest in promoting and encouraging the Award among young people all over the world. We honour you for this, among all the other positive contributions you made to people’s lives and the environment over the years. Finally, I would like to thank my friend Mr Jones, who is now sadly passed away.