Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award

If you want to take your life to the next level, challenge yourself, gain confidence, learn new skills and meet new people, then this programme is for you! 

The Duke of Endinburgh's International Award is a prestigious programme that has helped millions of young people all over the world to develop essential life skills and become the best they can be. 

In New Zealand it is known as the Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award, named after Sir Edmund Hillary, one of New Zealand's greatest adventurers. 

MDANZ is a licensed award unit, and through our award leader Marty Price, we can provide funding and direct support for our members aged between 14 and 24 years who want to take on the challenge to achieve either Bronze, Silver or Gold level awards.

What is involved? 

You design your own programme, set your own goals and record progress toward achievement.

For all award levels you need to set goals across the four different areas outlined below.  This will usually take a year to complete but there is no time frame! 

Service – Making a community contribution and being of service is highly empowering and great for building a sense of belonging and community networks.

Physical Recreation – This can be tailored to fit your abilities and interests.  Examples might be boccia, fishing, horse riding, gardening, adapted snow sports, trampolining, power chair sports, and the list goes on.  The idea is to have some challenge and stretch to achieve a satisfying personal goal.

Skills activity – This could be about perfecting an existing skill or learning something completely new.  Examples might be learning to drive, animation, blogging, knitting, cooking, sailing, etc.  The skill you might like to learn might be more physical and cross over with some of the ideas listed above and that's okay too. 

• Go on an Adventurous Journey – plan and complete a trip away from home.

• And to achieve a Gold Award, you also need to take part in a Residential Project

MDANZ can support you with coaching, tools and a small budget to help you achieve your goals and achieve greater Freedom. 

 What our members are saying 

"I wanted to take part in the Duke of Ed program to give me the chance to explore my interests and to contribute to my community. It is great way to focus on some goals and a nice opportunity to broaden my horizons."
- Camille Peterson, 17

"This has benefited her physical and emotional well-being. "
- Melissa Peterson, mum to Camille

"It has increased his self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. It's given him a goal to focus on and commit to."
Debbie Houkamau, mum to Jack Lovett-Hurst 

"I'm much more open to learn new skills than I was. It has helped my self confidence and helped me to be more independent."
Dylan Schneider, 17

"He's got a more independent, more positive, can-do, will give it a go attitude."
- Michael Schneider, dad to Dylan 



Learn more from members who are, and have taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award:

Olivia Shivas, former Rangatahi Representative on MDANZ National Council

Dylan Schneider, MDANZ Northern Branch 

Find out more

To read more about the Award click here.

To get an information pack or find out more about this programme please email [email protected] with "Duke of Ed" in the subject title.