The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour celebrated 30 years of challenging and inspiring young Australians at Fleet Base East on Thursday 25 January 2018.
The day marked exactly 30 years since the Prince and Princess of Wales oversaw the Union Flag and Merchant Naval Red Ensign being replaced by the Australian National Flag and the RAN White Ensign, signifying the ship’s presentation by the United Kingdom to the people of Australia as a ‘living gift’ to mark Australia’s bicentenary.
The 30 year celebrations coincided with the end of Young Endeavour’s second youth development voyage for 2018.
21 enthusiastic youth crew members greeted waiting families and warships alongside Fleet Base East with a robust rendition of Advance Australia Fair, sung from atop the tallship’s foremast.
Commanding Officer Young Endeavour, Lieutenant Commander Mike Gough, and the Navy crew, were congratulated on this significant milestone by Young Endeavour Youth Scheme Executive Director, Mr Stephen Moss and Chairman of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme Advisory Board and Co-Head of Rothschild Australia, Mr Marshal Baillieu.
Commanding Officer Young Endeavour, Lieutenant Commander Mike Gough, said it was memorable.
“It’s not every day that you get to command a ship celebrating such a significant milestone,” he said.
“Since Young Endeavour was gifted to the people of Australia by the United Kingdom to mark our country’s bicentenary in 1988, 13,100 young Australians from all parts of the nation have sailed her more than 415,000 nautical miles on 548 voyages, including two world voyages and four circumnavigations of the Australian continent.”
Chairman of the Young Endeavour Advisory Board, Mr Marshall Baillieu described the tall ship as an insightful living gift that has benefitted more than those who have sailed on her.
“The United Kingdom’s living gift, together with Australia’s continued investment in Young Endeavour and the associated youth development program, has brought far reaching benefits for the broader Australian community for three decades,” Mr Baillieu said.
“Delivered within a framework of sail training by the Royal Australian Navy, this challenging program promotes development of teamwork, leadership, communication skills and confidence – providing an enduring legacy with each participant’s subsequent contribution to society.”
30th birthday celebrations will continue with a gala dinner on Thursday evening before Young Endeavour takes centre stage for Sydney’s Australia Day celebrations.
In honour of her significant milestone, the brigantine will undertake a lap of honour of Sydney Cove, with 20 alumni aloft on the yards, as well as taking part in the ‘Salute to Australia’.
Young Endeavour conducts up to 20 voyages around Australia each year. The program teaches the youths 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.