Zoos SA

Zoos South Australia is the first zoo in the world to be an accredited Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Centre.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a leading structured (non-formal education) youth development program, empowering young people to explore their full potential and find their purpose, passion and place in the world, regardless of their location or circumstance.

As a non-formal education framework, the Award can play a vital role in providing opportunities for young people to develop essential life skills, increase their employability and foster their creativity and innovation.

The Award is transforming individuals, communities and societies around the world. We have developed nine impact measures to quantify and explain the relationship between short term personal outcomes in young people and the longer term social impact of the Award. It is likely to take many years for the results of the impact measures to become evident, therefore we have also established a set of ten outcome measures that can be observed in the short-term. We are currently measuring these outcomes in young people doing the Award and will report on them shortly.

The Zoos SA program is open to adventurers aged 16-20 and will involve participants developing skills to support the Adventurous Journey section of the Award as well as setting goals to develop a chosen skill.

All participants complete voluntary service with activities at Adelaide Zoo, Monarto Safari Park and external conservation organisations. We are also proud to offer a number of registration and Adventurous Journey subsidies, to support participants from a disadvantaged background.

How is an Award achieved?

To achieve an Award, each young person must learn a skill, improve their physical well being, volunteer at Monarto Safari Park and experience a team adventure in a new environment. In each of these elements participants are working towards a self-determined personal goal.

All Participants are supported by a network of educators qualified in areas across outdoor and academic education fields.

The key elements of our program are:

  • Open to all young people aged 16 to 20.
  • Participants from disadvantaged backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply as fees can be subsidised.
  • First zoo in the world to offer this prestigious program with unique access to opportunities and experiences.
  • Zoos SA is committed to providing an accessible environment for all, the course will be tailored to individual participants needs; including physical accessibility and differentiated learning strategies.
  • Experience working within a conservation organisation and assisting with projects on our two sites.
  • Currently available for the Bronze level.
  • Four Areas of study: Physical RecreationSkillsVoluntary ServiceAdventurous Journey
  • Achieving the Award recognises individual goal setting and self-improvement through persistence and achievement.

What impact does the Award have on a young person?

Through this challenging journey of self-discovery, our Participants:

  • Gain social connections
  • Are equipped and empowered to achieve their personal best
  • Learn to take responsibility for their goals and choices
  • Become connected to and actively engaged within their immediate community
  • Make a real difference to society through their positive contributions and involvement
  • Learn to persevere and overcome barriers to success
  • Learn important life skills
  • Increase their career opportunities


Information evening

Wednesday 20 December 2023
Adelaide Zoo Learning Team | From 4pm

Come along to a free information session to hear all about the Duke at the Zoo program and ask questions from the program facilitators.

Register now

Register your interest for 2024

Seize the opportunity to make 2024 YOUR year of growth, challenge, and triumph. This year, we’re offering not one, but two incredible semesters filled with unforgettable experiences.

Semester 1 runs from 13 January to 29 June and applications are open!

Semester 2 promises even more opportunities for self-discovery and achievement. Running from 13 July to 21 December, immerse yourself in a diverse range of activities designed to unlock your potential and make memories that last a lifetime. Semester 2 applications will open in early May.

Apply now via the expression of interest form below and we will be in contact with you.

Applications for Semester 1 close 22 December!

Image credit: Tom Hunt
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More information

In 2024, the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program will be split into Semester 1 and 2 programs.

Semester 1 will run from 13 January to 29 June 2024 – Applications are now open. Please register your interest to receive the application survey. Applications for the 2024 year close Friday 22 December 2023.

Semester 2 will run from 13 July to 21 December 2024 – Applications for Semester 2 will open at the start of May.

The program will run fortnightly Saturday sessions at Adelaide Zoo, Monarto Safari Park and through external organisations.

During each program, there will be two overnight journeys for Bronze participants and one double-night journey for Silver participants. These will take place in different locations within SA.

To complete the Duke of Edinburgh program, participants select goals that are directed to their passions, skills and goals. With the help of our fully trained and qualified team of educators, they will learn, explore and achieve.

Being the first Zoo in the world to be accredited to offer the program, the Zoos SA offering is unique and exciting.

The Award has four sections;

Broaden abilities and unleash talents
Examples include; photography, videography, plant identification, animal anatomy, walking trail interpretation, bush cooking.

Voluntary Service
Connect with the community and provide service to others 
Examples include; tree planting, biodiversity surveys, care for animal exhibits, trail maintenance.

Physical Recreation 
Improving physical fitness and wellbeing by getting active
Note, this is tailored to students abilities and can be adapted for accessibility, this section occurs outside of scheduled weekly session times.
This may include; team or individual pursuits to work up a sweat from yoga to swimming, ball sports to rock climbing.

Adventurous Journey
Team building inspired through adventure and discovery journeying in unfamiliar and challenging environment
Includes: Preparation & Training; at least one practice overnight hike on Monarto Safari Park trails and a qualifying overnight hike on a section of the Heysen Trail or similar.

The Zoos SA Duke of Edinburgh International Award program is open to all young people aged 16-20 with subsidised pricing available for disadvantaged students.

Zoos SA Membership required: Find out more about the benefits and purchase at zoossa.com.au/zoo-memberships

Bronze: Program fee $390 (includes the Duke of Edinburgh registration fee)
Silver: Program fee $460 (includes the Duke of Edinburgh registration fee)

To discuss the criteria for subsidised places, please contact us via [email protected]

The Duke at the Zoo program is designed to suit a range of needs, goals and motivations of young people, is inclusive and accessible for a range of abilities.

Membership and program payment is due before the commencement of the course.

To register your interest please fill out the above form and a member of the Zoos SA Learning Team will be in contact.

Alternatively you can reach out via email [email protected] or call 08 8230 1258 during business hours.

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction. Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging. We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.

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