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Prince Philip’s award legacy lives on

Less than two months after the death of Prince Philip, the latest round of young Australians has graduated with an international award carrying his title.

Not since 2019 has there been a ceremony to confirm the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Australia, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

But this week in Sydney, more than 200 young people were presented with the award in one of four categories – voluntary service, skills, physical recreation and an adventurous journey.

Leilani Healey, 19 from the NSW Central Coast, was among the recipients.

She completed Papua New Guinea’s Kokoda Track as part of her award.

“The trek was very hard but it has given me the confidence I can achieve anything I put my mind to,” Ms Healey said.

“It’s also given me an appreciation of what soldiers went through during the Second World War.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Prince Philip established the award, which started in Australia in 1959 and has since been completed by more than 775,000 young Aussies.

“It’s what I like to describe as a do-it-yourself growing up kit,” he once said of the award scheme.

Prince Philip died on April 9. He retired as patron of the award in 2017 and was succeeded by his son, Prince Edward.

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