Celebrating four of the Award family’s most inspiring members

Harry Collins, Samar Kildani, Sue Walker and Klaus Vogel celebrated recipients of the inaugural Founder’s Medal.

Between them, they have dedicated more than 100 years of service to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. This week, they became the first recipients of the Founder’s Medal – given in recognition of exceptional service to the Award internationally.

To anyone who works with the Award, Harry, Samar, Sue and Klaus are likely to be names that they will know well. They have supported its work internationally in a variety of different ways,  and all are known for their steadfast dedication to the Award and to the young people who benefit from participating.

The medal, which will be issued to only a very small number of recipients annually, was launched this week as the Award family continues to mark HRH The Prince Philip,  Duke of Edinburgh’s centenary year. The recipients are selected based on exceptional service to the Award internationally, which has resulted in significant impact over a long period of time. This could include contributing to the Award’s growth, demonstrating innovation and entrepreneurship or sustained and inspiring voluntary service.


About the inaugural Founder’s Medal recipients

Harry Collins (United Kingdom)

Harry Collins

Harry has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Award internationally for nearly 20 years. Throughout that time, he has been the life and smile of the World Fellowship network, with an infectious sense of joie de vivre that draws in fellow philanthropists. A World Fellow, he served as Honorary Chair of the World Fellowship from 2012 – 2015. He was made an Honorary Benefactor in 2017. For many, Harry Collins is synonymous with the World Fellowship.

We don’t believe there is a year since 2003 where Harry has not supported the Award in multiple ways financially, in kind and by introducing contacts. Harry regularly goes above and beyond, such as running the Snooker at the Palace event, securing a Maserati for an auction, buying not one but two tables at Party at the Palace at Hampton Court and supporting Special Project Dinners. In 2010 he joined the Foundation’s Events Committee and in 2014 he became an inaugural member of its Development Group.


Samar Kildani (Jordan)

Samar Kildani

Samar is the National Director and driving force behind the Award in Jordan, as well as being a significant influencer within the region and the Association as a whole. Samar started the Award from a hallway in the Amman Baccalaureate School in the 1980s and has dedicated her life to ensuring young people from all backgrounds in Jordan can start their Award. The Award is delivered in all settings, from the most prestigious schools to refugee camps, as well as mainstream schools and youth centres. Every Award participant in Jordan knows of Samar, a testament to her hard work, passion and dedication to the Award.

Internationally, Samar has helped the Foundation to navigate its way through relationships with numerous states within the Middle East, using her experience and expertise to develop networks and ensure impact. She has always been a vociferous champion of the Foundation’s work, and that of the wider Association. Samar’s ability to garner partnerships from Ministries, universities, NGOs as well as international organisations is one of the most impressive anywhere.


Sue Walker (Australia)

Sue Walker

Sue has been a diligent, tireless, well prepared and proud professional representative of the Award since 1996. She began her engagement as State Manager within the South Australian Award Office, where she line managed Award operations with responsibility for ten staff and a commercial off-site Outdoor Centre. In 2000 she moved roles to become General Manager/National Director for the Award in Australia, where she established a Charter for Business in Australia with two founder member companies and $100,000 in new funds.

Internationally, from 2003 to 2020, Sue served as the inaugural Regional Director for the Award in the Asia Pacific, at first from home, establishing a foreign company and gradually bringing on the full-time staff to support the regional operations of a growing global charity. Sue implemented the IAF’s first new revenue channel in ten years through bringing in and account managing new fee-paying Independent Award Centres, generating more than 50 new licensees. She has served as a founding member of the China Board of Directors, and now the Strategic Development Committee, providing advice to deliver strategy, promotion to key stakeholders and sponsorship and growth opportunities.

Sue provided strong leadership in the change management process for the Association’s Operators, begun at the Malta Forum in 2012, to deliver new global licensing, branding and digital platforms to the 15 national operators of the region who, in turn, cascaded locally to meet standards obligations and enhance sustainability. She project managed the successful relaunch of Indonesian operations, securing a grant of $100,000. In 2020, Sue was appointed to the role of Honorary Consultant to the International Award Foundation.


Klaus Vogel (Germany)

Klaus Vogel

Klaus is the former Chair of the Award in Germany and has been involved with the National Award Operator since its inception in 1992. From 1994 – 2011 he was the National Director, working in an unpaid capacity, and was, from 2003 until 2020, the German Award Association’s Chairman. During that time he built a reputation for championing the highest possible quality of delivery in what we now call non-formal education and learning within his own region of Germany where the Award became an important facet of schools’ activity and with a growing number of licensed operators throughout the country.

Klaus sat as an International Council representative twice between 2006-2009 and 2012-2015. This brought him into active engagement with the Award internationally. He worked tirelessly within to support the development of a number of new and fledgling National Operators, particularly in the area of leader training and quality assurance, always looking to ensure that the activities offered to young people aligned closely with the educational philosophy of Kurt Hahn. Klaus pioneered work within the Association on matters that we now see as business as usual, most notably the need for purpose in meetings, quality assurance, strategy, and effective procedures. His work, often informed by The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model, presaged what we now have in place in terms of licensing and validation arrangements, the Association’s Memorandum of Understanding, and adherence to standards in leader training. When we look at many of the Award Operators within Europe in particular, we can plainly see the impact of Klaus’s original involvement, encouragement and support.