Youth development voyage inspires career

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author)

Topic(s): HMAS Paluma (A01), STS Young Endeavour

TS Paluma Cadet Lachlan Smets onboard STS Young Endeavour. (photo: Unknown)
TS Paluma Cadet Lachlan Smets onboard STS Young Endeavour.

An Australian Navy Cadet from Training Ship Paluma has his eyes firmly focused on a career in Navy as a boatswains mate, having completed a recent voyage on the Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour from Brisbane to Mackay.

Lachlan Smets, an 18-year-old Mitchelton State High School student who graduates in six-weeks, said the voyage with 19 other young Australians was an experience he’ll never forget.

“It’s been tiring as sleep doesn’t exist with the watches you keep, but you learn to push through,” he said.

“The Royal Australian Navy crew and the 'youthies' have your back all the way through the voyage.” 

While the voyage had some challenging moments, he said it was very exciting.

“Climbing aloft to untie the gaskets when the ship was rocking, and swaying was great. I also loved taking control of the ship at the helm.

“During the voyage, I learnt a lot about myself. I know not to doubt myself, how to ask questions and have seen how important morale is working in a team,” he said.

The tall ship island hopped along the north-east Australian coast during his youth development voyage.

“We’ve been lucky to see whales, dolphins, stingrays, reef sharks and snorkelled with turtles. The ship itself is fantastic and a gift of its own,” he said.

As a Cadet, he isn’t new to the water, sailing corsairs and taking powerboats and canoes out on the Brisbane River at Sandgate. He said he hoped to be wearing a Navy uniform by this time next year.

“My dad was a combat systems operator in the Navy. He enjoyed it, and he has inspired me to join the service,” he said.

Now when I put on the Navy uniform, I get a tingly feeling as I think about how many people have worn it and the things that have happened throughout history in uniform.

“I‘ve applied to be a boatswains mate; the activities I have performed with the Australian Navy Cadets and also onboard Young Endeavour have supported that decision - I hope to be accepted soon.”

Since 1988 the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, in partnership with the Australian Government and the Royal Australian Navy, has provided challenging training voyages for more than 13,000 young Australians.

The voyages provide young people with a unique, challenging and inspirational experience that increases self-awareness, develops teamwork and leadership skills and creates a strong sense of social responsibility.

Voyages in Young Endeavour are open to all Australians aged 16-23, For more information, please visit

For more information on a career as a boatswains mate visit