On Wednesday 19th October The Hon. Adrian Piccoli, Minister for Education, supported by The Hon. Luke Foley, Leader of the Opposition, launched the “Duke of Ed Employer” initiative to a group of over ninety attending MPs, business supporters and community organisations in the Jubilee Room at Parliament House, Sydney
The purpose of the Duke of Ed Employer initiative is to encourage more young Australians to take part in the Award. By recognising and endorsing the Award through recruitment processes for entry level employees, employers are demonstrating that the Award is a valuable pursuit for young people to explore their potential and have experiences that are oftentimes transformational. This is as simple as asking the question “Have you done the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award” on application forms or during the interview process. The initiative also encourages employers to use The Award as a training and development tool for their young workforce.
The Leader of the Opposition, The Hon. Luke Foley said, “Not everyone is born with the confidence to achieve their potential so the recognition and support that comes from this award can make a world of difference to a young person’s life. I am honoured to play a part in encouraging business to recognise the value of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.”
Joining the party leaders to officially launch the initiative were Chair and the Deputy Chair of The Parliamentary Friends of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, The Hon. Natasha Maclaren Jones and The Hon. Clayton Barr; Chair and Deputy Chair of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia, The Hon. Shane Stone and The Hon, Sandra Nori; Chief Executive Officer of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Mr Peter Kaye AM; and Professor John Simons, Vice Chancellor Macquarie University with whom the Award has a preferred partner relationship.
Major Australian employer, Hungry Jack’s, is one of the first large organisations to become a ‘Duke of Ed Employer’. Chairman and CEO, Jack Cowin says “Leadership, responsibility and respect for fellow citizens are important qualities we look for in our young employees. Hungry Jack’s is proud to be a ‘Duke of Ed Employer’ as we believe these valuable life skills are cultivated through participation in the Award”.
Deputy Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, The Hon. Sandra Nori, says
“Resilience, responsibility, respect and cooperation cannot be taught – they can only be learnt experientially. The Award is a great exemplar of transformational learning. The Award is about making the citizen and we know the Award changes lives. Australia needs young people who will undertake the challenges of doing the Award.”
Gold Awardee, Ms Neelam Gopalani, who now works at a global professional services firm, spoke about her Award experience and how it assisted her to successfully secure the first role of her career. “The activities I undertook as part of my Award helped build my problem solving and leadership abilities, encouraged me to give back to society, and work in diverse teams. I also developed a greater love of the Australian landscape through the fieldtrips I undertook. The confidence I gained and experiences that I had I believe gave me an edge in entering the workforce an
d landing my first job”, she said.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is especially grateful to The Hon. Natasha Maclaren Jones and her staff, ably assisted by the Hon. Clayton Barr, as the hosts of this important bipartisan event through their involvement in The Parliamentary Friends of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. This group of Parliamentarians supports the Award through their strong connections with local schools and communities.
Find out more about the Duke of Ed Employer program HERE