Billionaire Australian Philanthropist Funds Duke of Edinburgh's Award Initiative
Thursday, 13th May 2010 at 2:12 pm
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has announced the $6 million Clive Palmer Youth Development Initiative – believed to be one of the largest donations to a youth program in Australian philanthropic history.
The Initiative will bring The Duke of Ed’s youth development and leadership program to more young Australians across the country with a focus on disadvantaged young people in remote and regional Australia.
Duke of Ed chair Larry Anthony says the generous commitment will enable the program to be accessible by more young people from all backgrounds especially those in isolated communities.
Anthony says while the Award program already engages over 33,000 young Australians and is growing, distance and accessibility issues have made it difficult to expand the program to remote and regional areas, including in Western Australia.
He says with the additional financial resources, they will develop frontline access centres in remote areas to help disadvantage young people – particularly those from indigenous communities – develop their leadership skills and gain employment.
The Initiative will involve Professor Palmer donating $6 million to The Duke of Ed over 10 years.
Professor Palmer says he chose to invest in The Award because of its significant track record in making a difference in young people’s lives.
Palmer is a self-made Australian billionaire and a long time supporter of community initiatives, including youth soccer through his support of Gold Coast United. He is listed on BRW’s Rich List as Queensland’s wealthiest person and owns through his privately owned company Mineralogy Pty Ltd one of the world’s largest magnetite iron ore deposit (160 billion tonnes) located at Cape Preston in Western Australia.
Professor Palmer has been a professor at Deakin University in Victoria and is now a Professor at Bond University on the Gold Coast.
He says the Duke of Ed gives all young people an invaluable opportunity to build their confidence and their character while giving back to the community.
With a history in Australia spanning nearly 50 years, The Duke of Ed gives young people a framework for participation and recognition. Across the three levels of bronze, silver and gold, participants must complete activities in the categories of skill, community and adventurous journey and record their achievements along the way.
A key component of the program’s success in remote areas is The Duke of Ed’s world-leading digital platform – the online record book (ORB).
This Palmer donation will facilitate the expansion of the ORB and as a result allows thousands of isolated young people to communicate effortlessly with each other and their adult mentors. Developed in Australia, organisers say this technology is unrivalled and is a first for the 125 countries who deliver The Award.
In addition to the schools program operating in over 1100 schools, the Duke of Ed currently works with over 840 indigenous youth, 170 new refugees, 72 in juvenile justice, 244 disabled young people and 20 homeless youths.
The Clive Palmer Youth Development Initiative is expected to increase this impact four fold over the next ten years.
For more information go to: www.theaward.com.au