The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour set sail from Sydney today for a 12-month voyage, circumnavigating the globe.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer was at the departure from Fleet Base East, and spoke with members of the Royal Australian Navy crew and the 24 young Australians who will sail the ship on the first leg, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is an important component of what Navy does to give back to the Australian people," Rear Admiral Mayer said.
"Utilising our people and skills as mariners we have been able to work in partnership with the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme for 27 years to provide over 12,000 young Australians with an opportunity to complete a life changing voyage."
The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, who is patron of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Darren Chester, representing the Prime Minister, joined family members for the departure ceremony, giving the crew of Young Endeavour a formal send off for their 55 day voyage to South America.
During the 12 month circumnavigation, Young Endeavour will visit New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Malta, Greece, Turkey, France, England, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and South Africa.
Young Endeavour will return to Fremantle, Western Australia, on 23 December 2015 and arrive in Sydney in mid-April 2016 following youth development voyages along the southern coast of Australia.
"Twenty Navy personnel have been especially chosen and trained for this World Voyage and will lead the Youth Crew - this is a significant commitment and requires personal sacrifices for both the crew, and their families and friends," Rear Admiral Mayer said.
The Young Endeavour program has been recognised internationally as a leading youth development program for over 25 years, developing teamwork, leadership, communication, resilience and a sense of community responsibility amongst hundreds of young Australians each year.
For more information about the scheme visit http://www.youngendeavour.gov.au
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143889.