The next generation of young Australians are building their leadership, teamwork and resilience skills on board the Royal Australian Navy ship Young Endeavour.
The Sail Training Ship (STS) has started the new year setting sail from Tasmania, for an 11-day voyage with a crew of 24 youths aged between 16 to 23 years old.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the Young Endeavour Program gives the young sailors the opportunity to develop valuable life skills.
"This program is both challenging and inspiring. The group must successfully work together to sail a traditionally rigged tall ship as they begin their journey along the Tasmanian coast," Minister Reynolds said.
"Since 1988, the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme has taken almost 14,000 young Australians on voyages. A further 12,000 guests from organisations supporting youth with special needs have participated in a community day sail."
Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck joined the Young Endeavour crew for a day sail on the Derwent River on the penultimate day of their voyage.
"The program is recognised internationally as a leading youth development program. I am delighted to have met these young Australians, and encourage them to draw on their experience in Young Endeavour when they return to their studies, workplaces and communities," Minister Colbeck said.
Young Endeavour was gifted by the UK to the government and people of Australia to mark the bicentenary in 1988.
The Morrison government has committed to continue the highly successful program with the replacement of the STS Young Endeavour, set to be introduced into service from 2023.
Defence will undertake a tender and competitive evaluation process, following briefings with industry, in early 2020.
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More information about the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is available here.