We recently were informed that Year 12 student, Nikita Avery, has had her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award confirmed. This is huge achievement! The GOLD Award takes a substantial level of commitment, perseverance and focus for over a year. Nikita started her Duke of Edinburgh journey in Year 10 when she enrolled in the Bronze Award. She successfully completed two three day adventurous journeys along the Yuraygir Coastal Walk with the CVAS group as well as logging the required hours of a skill, service and physical recreation. Nikita then progressed to the Silver Award where she completed her adventurous journeys along the Kokoda Trail and continued to log online her chosen areas of skill, service and physical recreation for an hour a week for six months. To undertake the Gold Award is a huge commitment and Nikita was determined to complete it within her time at CVAS. The required time for each area increases to twelve months and an hour a week must be logged online. Nikita chose to study photography as her skill and has captured every sunrise on film for a whole year. These she made into a booklet as a lasting memoir. For service Nikita assisted with junior tennis training at Junction Hill Tennis Club and her activities with Grafton Physical Culture Club and fitness in general covered the physical activity requirements. Gold Adventurous Journeys need to be at least four days in length and aim to allow travel into unfamiliar environments with a group. Nikita used her canoeing experiences at Camp Mebbin to allow her to join two white water expeditions with Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre to fulfill these requirements. Both expeditions were by all accounts extremely challenging and life-long friendships were made with the other participants. The final component of the Gold Award is a Residential Project where participants broaden their horizons and open their eyes to the world by living within an unfamiliar group of people for at least five days. Nikita chose to use her third Kokoda Expedition as her Residential and explored the group dynamics during the arduous trek. Nikita will receive an invitation to attend a Gold Award ceremony at Government House where the Vice Regal Patron of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia (NSW Division), His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales will present all Gold Awardees with their certificates. CONGRATULATIONS NIKITA!!