A Hills teenager has had her years of community service and personal development recognised by the Governor of New South Wales at a special ceremony.

KATE MATHIESON, who graduated from Pacific Hills Christian School last year, was presented with her Gold Duke of Edinburgh International Award by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, after which she attended a private reception at Government House.

Kate spent several years completing her Bronze, Silver and Gold levels through the program that operates at Pacific Hills Christian School.

For her Gold International Award, Kate had to complete a variety of activities including canoeing the Myall Lakes, community service, singing and physical fitness.

Kate wrote a reflection about her achievement which was published in the official program – “The Award has built my character in ways that I never knew I could grow. I grew in my patience, resilience and general positive thinking, teaching me to look beyond myself and to look at the needs of others.“

Duke of Edinburgh is the world’s most high-profile youth development program and is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

When Prince Philip was Patron of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award he said, “Gold Awards are not easily gained. Young people growing up in this modern complicated world have many difficulties to face and opportunities for personal development are often limited. I hope that all those who take part in this Award will find added purpose and pleasure in their lives.”