STS Young Endeavour and her world class youth development program were on show today when Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester met with the youth crew in Sydney Harbour.
Mr Chester boarded the square-rigged tall ship during her 11-day voyage and spoke with the 20 young Australians from five different states and territories who had sailed from Newcastle to Sydney.
“More than 13,500 young Australians have benefitted from Young Endeavour’s 30-year track record of delivering a world class youth development program,” Mr Chester said.
“I was impressed to hear first-hand the valuable life skills the participants have developed on this voyage.
“Not only have they faced personal challenges and set individual goals, they have worked collectively to develop leadership and communication skills.”
During the voyage, Royal Australian Navy crew taught 16–23 year olds the skills required to sail a brigantine, including how to navigate, keep watch, cook in the galley, take the helm and climb the 30 metre mast to work aloft, setting and furling sails.
Olivia Alves, a 17 year old Batehaven High School student, said the program has encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone.
“Young Endeavour has pushed my limits. I’m not used to leading other people, but learning how to step up has been a really good thing,” Olivia said.
Nicholas Muscat, a 19 year old youth officer from Bowen Mountain said he really valued the camaraderie and support from both the Navy staff and fellow youth crew.
“Everyone on board supports each other really well and I’ve been amazed how quickly we’ve bonded and become friends,” Nicholas said.
“I’ll definitely take skills like teamwork and leadership that I’m learning back to my job.”