Almost 30 years on from her arrival in Australia, Navy’s sail training ship Young Endeavour has welcomed her 13,000th youth crew member, with 20-year-old Grant Cowley from Margate in Queensland the young Australian to benefit from the milestone voyage.
The fourth-year apprentice mechanic said he was thrilled by the revelation, which his grandparents, Mackay residents, were on hand to witness.
“It’s pretty cool to be told you’re the 13,000th member of the Young Endeavour youth crew,” Mr Cowley said.
He recently sailed from Brisbane to Mackay with 20 other young Australians on a voyage which took them island hopping up the coast with the whale migration. Far from being a pleasure cruise, the voyage pushed the crew out of their comfort zone, teaching them about leadership, teamwork and themselves.
“It’s been awesome! At the start, it was a bit sketchy as I didn’t know much about the ship or the other youth crew, but now everyone has grown together and learnt a lot. I’ve made mates for life,” he said.
“I now know how to sail a tall ship, which isn’t something everyone gets to do. I’ve also learnt a lot about team building and working with people from different backgrounds.”
The fourth brother to sail on the brigantine, Mr Cowley said he was looking forward to comparing his experiences with his brothers when he returned home.
“My brothers left me in the dark a bit about Young Endeavour so it wouldn’t ruin my experience. I’ll share my experiences with them and see if they’ll share a little more of their stories with me,” he said.
Christine Crowley, the mother of the boys, said that each of her sons got something a little different from their Young Endeavour experience.
“It’s hard to put it into words, but each of them has grown from the experience,” she said.
“My sons have developed leadership and teamwork skills and the ability to work and live in close quarters with new people.
“It’s helped to prepare them adult life,” Mrs Crowley said.
The Young Endeavour was gifted to Australia by the British government in 1988, to celebrate Australia’s bicentenary of colonization. Operated by the Royal Australian Navy, Young Endeavour is primarily used to provide sail training to Australian youth through the ‘Young Endeavour Youth Scheme’, with up to 30 selected youth supplementing the small naval compliment on a training voyage.
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe said he was proud of his Royal Australian Navy crew delivering the youth development scheme.
“In the last 29 and a half years, the Young Endeavour has seen many Australians aged between 16-23 benefit from the award-winning program,” he said.
“The outcomes experienced by the youth who sail in her is a testament to the Navy crew who give the youths such a unique, challenging and inspirational experience at sea aboard Young Endeavour,” Lieutenant Commander Dawe said.
For more information about the Young Endeavour and the Youth Scheme visit, http://www.youngendeavour.gov.au