SCONE Grammar School’s (SGS) Adrian Berry has been recognised for his untiring dedication to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards Scheme.
The retiring staff member travelled to Parliament House earlier this month to be presented with his accolade, which acknowledges 16 years of service.
When Mr Berry first started at SGS in 2001, the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards Scheme was operating but most students organised the program on their own.
The school has since had 100 pupils gain their Bronze and Silver awards and a further dozen who have achieved Gold status, which is a 12-month commitment.
“I was a bit surprised to receive this honour,” Mr Berry said.
“It’s taken a while to get it up and running, so it’s a newly-introduced award.
“The number on my medal is 99.
“You don’t do things like this for a pat on the back, however it’s nice to get the recognition.
“I receive a lot of support from the school community.
“And, it would be remiss of me not to thank the parental assistance, particularly with transportation, and especially Annie Rodgers who has been most supportive over the years.”
Not all learning happens in the classroom.
The Duke of Edinburgh International Award equips young people for life and work.
It prepares them regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills and interests.
The youngsters gain experiences outside the classroom to become committed, responsible and fulfilled citizens of the world.
“We are very fortunate to be able to offer Duke of Edinburgh as an extra-curricular activity for secondary students,” Mr Berry said.
“There are four main sections – community service, physical fitness, skill or hobby, and expeditions.
“And, yes, while some pupils struggle with their studies at the same time, most of the students understand its long-term benefits.
“The award can play a critical role in a young person’s personal development and is achievable by any 14 to 24-year-old who wants to take up the challenge.
“The biggest reward, I get, is hearing the pupils and parents’ positive feedback.
“When they come back to me and say it was great, that’s an absolute thrill.
“I went through it in the United Kingdom a long time ago.
“Now, I’m training up a few staff to continue the scheme.”