MacMasters Nippers 2023
The Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia was formed in 1962.
The Duke of Edinburgh Program comprises five (5) components: Fitness/Physical Recreation, Skill, Volunteering, Adventurous Journey and a Residential Project (Gold Level Only). The program consists of three stages: Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. The minimum age for each award level are: Bronze (13 years 9 months+), Silver (15+) and Gold (16+).
When our rookie surf lifesavers turn 14, they will be sent a letter inviting them to join the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program. This was started at our club for our youth members to use their new skills and knowledge from surf lifesaving to achieve a significant award.
The Duke of Edinburgh has a direct relationship with Surf Life Saving, whereby the components of the award can be completed within the Surf Life Saving environment. Activities such as volunteering on surf patrols, learning surf lifesaving skills, board riding activities – all of these and more, count towards the award.
MacMasters Beach Surf Lifesaving Club is an accredited licensed operator for the Duke of Edinburgh Award which teaches participants personal development skills and follows the well-known Duke of Edinburgh Award principles. To complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award participants must be financial, patrolling members of MacMasters Beach Surf Club.
Each Award is uniquely designed by each participant, allowing them to set their own goals. Refer (here) a brief summary of each award (Bronze, Silver & Gold) and the requirements set out by Duke of Edinburgh.
Minimum timeframes for each award are as follows:
Bronze: 3 Months (extra 3 months in one section)
Silver: 6 Months (or extra 6 months in one section for direct entrants)
Gold: 12 Months (or extra 6 months in one section for direct entrants)
Aims of the Program
Constructive use of free time
A balanced program of skills, service, physical recreation and expedition
Present a challenge to the individual
Development of self-discipline and perseverance
To encourage community involvement
Individual improvement through persistence and achievementincur
The skills developed within the Duke of Edinburgh Program are focused around individual performance and can be modified to suit each participant’s needs.
The skill choices are centered on encouraging the development of personal interests and personal development.
Each goal is individual and the program is not a competition between participants.
To complete each award, 2 camps need to be completed. Our volunteers, led by Geoff Dominguez, aim to organise at least 3 camps per year to enable everyone to attend at least 2 of these. At the bronze level a
2 day/1 night camp is required. At the silver level 3 day/2 nights are required. Gold level is different again. These camps may incur a cost which we try to keep to a minimum. The club owns a lot of equipment which is used by Duke of Edinburgh participants or personal camping equipment can be used also.
The main part of our camps involves bushwalking/hiking and camping out. We have done canyoning, caving, abseiling, white-water rafting, cycling………
For more information –
See the website, Duke of Edinburgh Award website or email
It has taken 5 years for me to complete the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award and in this time I have completed tasks that I would not have done had I not been encouraged to do so by my surf club, MacMasters SLSC. My adventure section had me caving underground, trekking overland in Tasmania and multiple canoeing trips assisting with bush regeneration. For my volunteer work I was actively involved in surf lifesaving and assisting with the nippers program on the beach. The highlight of the program for me was the residential where I got to attend an immersion trip to India where I visited and assisted in some of the poorest areas of India. This program has been an excellent opportunity to develop leadership and team work skills, as well as, making friends and gaining experience for later life.
The Duke of Edinburgh awards have been a pivotal factor in my development as a leader, explorer and team worker. Allowing me to step out of my comfort zone, I have taken every opportunity to learn from the experiences and memories that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. From the endless Overland Track in Tasmania to being the youngest Team Leader at SuperCamp Australia, initially being scared to participate, I started to grow as a confident leader. These experiences allowing me to reach my goal of school captain, I decided to take a big leap and take upon the challenge of being a Patrol captain at MacMasters Beach SLSC. I firmly believe Duke of Ed has set me on a journey to challenge myself as an individual and a member of all my communities.
Without a doubt the most memorable experience I had with Duke of Ed was when my dad, my mate Pete and I drove all the way up to Chilli Beach on the Queensland cape to do a week long beach clean up. We learned heaps about the sources of marine pollution and the effects it has on the environment. Spending a day with the local Aboriginal community as the school kids helped us clean up the beach was amazing and a cultural experience I won’t forget.