Australia’s national sail training ship, STS Young Endeavour has visited Newcastle where she welcomed aboard students from Kotara High School Special Needs Unit.
Although a strong north-easterly wind prevented the tall ship leaving Queens Wharf for a day sail, the youth crew provided ship tours to the local students. Sixteen-year old Dominic Erbacher from Tumut, NSW shared some of his new found knowledge and experiences.
“I explained to my group how we set the sails and gave them a run through of the ropes.
“We then went below deck and took a look at the kitchen, café and accommodation.
“I was a bit nervous heading into today, but I’ve really enjoyed it.
“It was nice being able to help out and to give those kids a chance to see Young Endeavour,” Dominic said.
Year 9 Kotara High School Special Needs Unit student Casey Cole said she enjoyed the visit.
“I sometimes sail small boats on weekends with Sailability.
“I haven’t been on a bigger boat so I was really looking forward to visiting Young Endeavour and seeing it up close.”
“I thought it was really cool and interesting and the tour was really informative,” Casey said.
Young Endeavour’s arrival in Newcastle marked the penultimate day of Voyage 18/18. Twenty-two young Australians from six states and territories joined Young Endeavour in Brisbane for an 11-day adventure to Newcastle.
During each voyage, youth crew disconnect from their everyday lives and are taught communication, teamwork and leadership skills by the Navy staff crew.
They also learn the skills required to sail a square-rigged tall ship 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.
Now in its 30th year, the Young Endeavour Youth Development program has benefitted more than 13,300 young Australians aged 16-23 and welcomed aboard over 11,500 guests from organisations supporting young Australians with special needs.