Meet CFA's first Duke of Edinburgh recipients

Amberliah Duffy and Tegan Hutchinson from Kalorama-Mt Dandenong brigade are the first Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) award recipients to complete their program through CFA.


Junior Brigade Coordinator Gavin McNamara, DOE recipient Amberliah Duffy and Brigade Captain Michael Motteram

The internationally-recognised program, being piloted in District 13, acknowledges young people for their participation, community engagement and personal achievements. 

It is open to 14-24 year olds, regardless of their background and includes Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. 

Participants are required to complete four sections at each level: Voluntary Service, Skill, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey. The award supports their future employment and study opportunities.

Both Amberliah, 16, and Tegan, 20, have completed their bronze award, and Amberliah will now undertake her silver level. 

Amberliah, who has been in CFA five years, said completing the Duke Of Edinburgh was an amazing opportunity and she encouraged other young members to take up the opportunity if they could.

“It was really great to be able to complete the DOE as part of my CFA experience,” she said.

“One of the best parts was helping my junior leaders to run the junior brigade and training nights, and also helping with the planning of brigade activities. I also spent five days in Canberra learning about current-day politics and Australia’s wartime history.”

DOE recipient Tegan Hutchinson with Brigade Captain Michael Motteram

Tegan, who joined the brigade to gain new skills, meet people and challenge herself, said participating in the DOE program was an adventure and a constructive way to give back to the community.

“I loved that it was a challenge, something different where I had to take the initiative and tailor my experience to my likes and interest, while expanding my skills,” she said.

“My Adventurous Journey was particularly special. I spent a week on a houseboat in Echuca, learning how to steer and park the boat, operate the generator and other appliances, read maps, and navigate the waterways.”

The brigade’s Junior Brigade Coordinator Gavin McNamara initiated the pilot with CFA’s Volunteer Sustainability Team.

“I was working with cadets undertaking their DOE through my role through the Australian Army Cadets, and decided to ask if juniors had the ability to sign-up to complete their DOE award through CFA,” he said.

“Our brigade supports the program as it recognises that the members involved and those who have completed it are going to be a more active member of their community.

“Those who undertake the DOE Award will often continue their award activities after they finish the program. This is not only beneficial to the member, but also the community as a whole.”

In addition to offering the DOE Award, CFA is also trailing the Compass Award within the District.

For more information on either award programs, email

Author: Shaunnagh O'Loughlin