Seven Shellharbour Anglican College students have gone the extra mile to complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
But due to COVID-19 restrictions, the students will have to wait to a later date to be presented with their Awards from the Governor of NSW, Margaret Beazley.
Nevertheless the college's Award coordinator Nathan Alterator was full of praise.
"This is a huge achievement for them, and even more remarkable to have completed it during their HSC year and through the current COVID-19 restrictions," he said.
The Gold Award requires a high level of commitment and dedication by participants over a 12-18 month period and consists of five sections. Students must regularly undertake a skill, community volunteering, physical recreation as well as team based adventurous journeys.
An extra section is required for the Gold Award whereby participants must spend four nights away from home on a shared project.
'The Award provides an invaluable opportunity for our students to grow in confidence, connect with the community and develop valuable life skills. Through the Award, our students become better citizens engaged with their communities and their learning," Mr Alterator said.
The students travelled to the regional NSW town of Gilgandra for their residential project.
The seven girls served and connected with the community in tasks as varied as painting, gardening, general maintenance and preparing facilities for the Gilgandra Show.
For their Adventurous Journey section, originally scheduled for Fraser Island in 2019 but rescheduled due to the Queensland bushfires, students travelled to Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland and to Maria Island off the east coast of Tasmania.
Jessica Livingstone said her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award has helped her to develop resilience and communication skills.
"I hope that what I have learnt during the award will provide a foundation as I look to develop these skills further moving into the workplace," she said.
Andrea Barnes felt her resilience and determination had improved thanks to completing the Award.
"Not only was I pushed physically out of my comfort zone, but I was also pushed spiritually and mentally. It has taught me that I can overcome any struggles I face in the future if I stay focused," she said.
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