Matthew Burfield represented Australia at the 2014 IGE in Korea. Matthew joined more than 70 Gold Award holders from around the globe at the National Youth Centre of Korea in the Cheonan District, taking part in intense workshops, events, field visits and team building activities over 10 days.
Matthew said when he first arrived, he was greeted by many other friendly and eager Gold Awardees all eager to exchange their Award experiences and adventurous journey stories.
The Secretary General of the International Award Foundation (IAF), John May addressed the group explaining the IGE would “challenge and test the group and they would be given a lot of work to complete in a short amount of time”.
Lectures and Workshops
Each day lectures and workshops were held on building highly effective teams, leadership and what makes a good leader. Different tools and metrics were used to measure the quality of the outcomes and everything was constantly linked back to how the group could help The Award both locally, and internationally, achieve it’s goals of giving every young person aged between 14-25 in the world, the opportunity to participant in the Award. The group explored the importance of non-formal education, and how the Award is teaching young people important life skills that can’t be learnt in a classroom and the impact measures that the Award impact framework defines as being key measurable metrics.
The larger group was then split into 9 smaller groups with each group being sent to a different location in Korea for two days worth of field visits, to explore and ask questions, perform interviews, take photos, and record information about one key impact measure that each group had been assigned. The team then had to do a 10-minute presentation on their key message to HRH the Earl of Wessex, the Trustees, International Council members and the IGE delegates.
International Award Council Election
Throughout the IGE, nominations and elections were held to elect eight delegates (2 from each region) for the International Award Council for 3 years– a group that meets each year to discuss and make decisions on behalf of the International Award Association. Matthew was amongst the eight individuals to be elected for the International Council and is still currently involved in this group.
Matthew says the best moments he took away from the IGE would be
“the achievements, friendships, the diverse cultures, and just how truly international the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award really is. The IGE was arguably the best experience of my life thus far. The process accomplished some amazing things and I met some truly inspiring people.”