Career change smooth sailing for Navigator

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

Topic(s): Recruitment, STS Young Endeavour, Training Authority - Maritime Warfare

Lieutenant Harry Ingham stands in front of STA Young Endeavour at Jones Bay Wharf, Sydney. (photo: LSIS Tom Gibson)
Lieutenant Harry Ingham stands in front of STA Young Endeavour at Jones Bay Wharf, Sydney.

Navy life can be fast-paced, but for one ship, it’s all about the journey.

Sail training ship Young Endeavour operates a Navy crew to support youth leadership and development, and onboard life involves a little less warfare but is equally dynamic.

After testing the waters on a suitability cruise, Lieutenant Harry Ingham was hooked and has just set sail on his first voyage as Navigating Officer as part of the staff crew.

“In all honesty the suitability cruise from Newcastle to Brisbane was the best 10 days of paid service that I’d ever undertaken,” he said.

“Without sounding clichéd, the whole idea of adventure under sail, the interaction with the youth crew and getting a chance to explore the coast got me,” Lieutenant Ingham said.

With two close mates onboard and experience on small boats as well as major fleet units, Lieutenant Ingham said he was well prepared for life onboard a tall ship.

“While sailing on Young Endeavour is unique, there are similarities to working on small boats,” he said.

“You get a good team ethos and have a small crew of bonded people that work well together.

“There is also a good sense of job satisfaction as you have fewer people to get things done.

“There’s nine staff posted onboard with a youth crew of 24, so commensurate with your position, you have a higher degree of responsibility onboard,” Lieutenant Ingham said.

Delivering the youth development program to 16 to 23 year-olds is a soft skill that Navy personnel don’t often have the chance to practise, which Lieutenant Ingham is keen to develop.

“Seeing the ‘youthies’ grow on the suitability cruise was very rewarding. They get so much out of it.

“I’m excited about having the chance to work and live on a sailing ship and to do something out of the ordinary.

“A career is a journey, not a race, so I’m really happy to be in this job,” Lieutenant Ingham said.

STS Young Endeavour was presented to the Australian Government by the United Kingdom as part of Australia’s bicentennial in 1988.

The brigantine commenced service in support of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme in 1988 and has been operated and maintained by the Royal Australian Navy ever since.

Over 12,500 young Australians have participated in the youth development program delivered in Young Endeavour.