Young Endeavour homecoming for Commanding Officer

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), LSIS Brenton Freind (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, Sydney

Topic(s): Change of Command, STS Young Endeavour

Out-going CO STS Young Endeavour, LCDR Gavin Dawe OAM, RAN (right), hands over the Weight to in-coming CO, LCDR Michael Gough RAN, during a change of command ceremony onboard the sail training ship at Fleet Base East, Sydney, NSW. (photo: LSIS Brenton Freind)
Out-going CO STS Young Endeavour, LCDR Gavin Dawe OAM, RAN (right), hands over the Weight to in-coming CO, LCDR Michael Gough RAN, during a change of command ceremony onboard the sail training ship at Fleet Base East, Sydney, NSW.

Lieutenant Commander Mike Gough has retaken command of Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour 33 months to the day since he left the position.

During a ceremony at Garden Island, Sydney, outgoing Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe handed over the 'Telescope of Challenge' as a symbol of the transition.

"It's very exciting to be back," Lieutenant Commander Gough said.

"Each voyage you see often shy and under-confident young people come onboard who don't know anyone else on the crew. 

By the time they leave the ship, you see them grow, make 23 new friends and develop confidence from being given the responsibility of sailing the ship. Seeing the youths develop is very rewarding."

The Young Endeavour delivers an internationally recognised youth development program that has been developing teamwork, leadership, communication and resilience skills among young Australians for more than 29 years.

Lieutenant Commander Gough previously held command of the purpose-built sail training ship for two years between 2012 and 2014. He said the opportunity to join the ship originally came out of the blue when a friend onboard was looking for a relief.

"Before I joined I thought you had to be a keen yachtsman and accomplished sailor. I didn't know a great deal about the youth development aspect," he said.

"I really encourage other Navy personnel to consider a posting."

Outgoing Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe spent almost three years in the job, and during that time circumnavigated the globe and Australia.

The trip involved sailing around both Cape Horn off the southern tip of South America and the Cape of Good Hope off the southern tip of Africa.

"There aren't too many captains these days that get the opportunity to sail around both Capes," he said.

"During the 12-month voyage, I also had the privilege of taking Young Endeavour to Gallipoli for the Centenary of Anzac, sailed the ship to the United Kingdom for the first time since she was gifted to Australia for the bicentenary, and then participated in the 2015 North Sea Tall Ship Regatta in the Baltic."

Lieutenant Commander Dawe will now take a 'gap year' of his own, using some of his well earned leave.

Information on Young Endeavour is available at www.youngendeavour.gov.au.