Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

$600,000 to expand Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Families and Community Services Minister, Mal Brough, today announced a $600,000 Australian Government grant to expand the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Australia.

The funding is being made available to support the Prime Minister’s challenge which aims to increase participation in the program from 15,000 a year to 25,000 by 2010.

Mr Brough announced the funding at a function attended by His Royal Highness, the Earl of Wessex, in Melbourne.

"The Duke of Edinburgh Awards gives young Australians the opportunity to achieve personal excellence and build self-esteem, self-reliance and respect for others," Mr Brough said.

"The grant of $600,000 will build on the success by establishing the Prime Minister’s Challenge with the aim of increasing the number of young people involved in the Awards across Australia to 25,000 by 2010.

"The grant will help strengthen the national office in co-operation with the states and territories that administer the program."

Mr Brough said more than 250,000 young Australians have completed the Award since the program began here in 1958.

The Award celebrates its 50th anniversary internationally this year and its emphasis on service, skills, physical recreation and adventurous journey remain the same as when it was founded.

The program provides individual challenges for people aged 14 to 24.

It is delivered through an Australia-wide network of more than 1500 operators and 35,000 adult volunteers, mostly with schools, community groups and uniformed youth groups such as scouts and cadets.

Mr Brough urged the business community to support this excellent youth development program.