Duke of Edinburgh at GHS

Many Galston High School students undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme alongside their academic studies, giving them a broad base of skills and experiences outside the classroom. At the end of 2022, Galston High School’s current Year 12 participants completed their final Duke of Edinburgh adventurous journey in Kosciuszko National Park to qualify for the prestigious gold award.

The Year 12 students has had to tackle more obstacles than usual on this adventurous journey including floods, snow, broken shoes and broken tents! But throughout all the challenges, the group showed great resilience, humour, camaraderie and determination to complete their Duke of Ed experience on a high.

School prefect and Duke of Ed participant, Isaac Reeves, recounts (with tongue in cheek humour!) the time the group spent at Dershko’s Hut during the Kosciuszko hike.

Rain thundering, tents dripping and feet trudging. The trail never – ending. Each step drawing us closer and closer to the promise of a warm fire and dry cabin. Wandering like a parade of freshly wrapped kebabs draped in plastic seeking any respite from the ferocious roar of the wind and rain. The treacherous traversal of our map saw the number of boxes slowly tick down, like a painstakingly slow sand timer. Boots sloshing, hands freezing, eyes squinting, retreating into our thin shells of protection. A dense and chewy breakfast was awaiting us but the driving force was the protection of the four walls of Dershko’s Hut.

Ringing clear in our minds was the fact that this was our choice we had brought this upon ourselves and we were determined to enjoy this, gaining not only experience but lifelong friends and sopping wet clothes. At the peak of each hill our eyes desperately scanned the horizon yearning to catch a glimpse of the Hut, yearning to be dry. Then finally a glint of white, a shimmer of hope, a sigh of relief could be heard resounding throughout the group we finally made it. The protection of the Hut beckoned us into the warmth leaving us steaming and in high spirits.

A break in the rain spurred us on, allowing us to leave the warm confines of the Hut and making our way towards O’Keefe’s Hut for the night. Two days later our eyes fell upon the roof of our beloved, settling back where we started. Laughs and smiles continued well into the night encouraged by the warm lick of fluorescent fire illuminating the night sky.

Congratulations to Galston High School students on completing the adventurous journey of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.