A Bacchus Marsh student has completed one of the most highly recognised youth development programs.

Bacchus Marsh Grammar’s Nicole Farnell, 18, was one of 42 young Victorians to earn the Gold Duke of Edinburgh International Award during a ceremony at Parliament House in Melbourne.

The award is a youth development program for Australians aged 14 to 25 to explore their potential, regardless of location or circumstance.

Having just completed year 12, Ms Farnell said she was excited about finishing the program.

“The award is an amazing achievement and allows for people to stand out within their community, whilst getting involved in new things,” she said.

Ms Farnell said she had to complete bronze and silver categories before securing gold, which required completing activities in five sections; community service, physical recreation, skill, adventurous journey and a residential project.

Volunteering with the Bacchus Marsh Guides, being a member of the Pentland Calisthenics College, a trip to Tasmania and mastering nail art were among the activities Ms Farnell undertook in her quest for gold.

Ms Farnell said the program was a lot of work, but at the same time, very rewarding.

“And rather than it being an extra burden, particularly when completing your VCE years, the Duke of Edinburgh activities get you to try new things and help relieve the stress levels of studies,” she said.

“It’s been a great achievement and it has been great to have a huge support from the school to complete it.”