The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is a not-for-profit organisation which provides young Australians aged 16-23 with a unique, challenging and inspirational experience at sea aboard the national sail training ship Young Endeavour.
Minister for Defence Personnel, Darren Chester welcomed the vessel and her crew to Sydney Harbour over the weekend, saying, "More than 13,500 young Australians have benefited from Young Endeavour’s 30-year track record of delivering a world class youth development program."
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.
The Young Endeavour scheme began when the magnificent sail training ship STS Young Endeavour was given to the people of Australia by the United Kingdom as a Bicentennial gift back in 1988. Since then, the Scheme, in partnership with the Australian government and the Royal Australian Navy, has provided challenging training voyages for over 12,000 young Australians aboard Young Endeavour.
"Not only have they faced personal challenges and set individual goals, they have worked collectively to develop leadership and communication skills," Minister Chester said.
Young Endeavour undertakes around 20 voyages each year, mostly along the east and south coasts of Australia. Each voyage embarks 24 young Australians, the youth crew and nine specially trained Royal Australian Navy crew, usually for an 11-day adventure at sea.
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."
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.
"I’ll definitely take skills like teamwork and leadership that I’m learning back to my job," he said.
The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is run in partnership with the Royal Australian Navy with the head office at Garden Island, Sydney. It is supported by Commonwealth funding and private donations.
"I was impressed to hear first-hand the valuable life skills the participants have developed on this voyage," Minister Chester said.
More information about the Young Endeavour program is available here.