Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 6 2010 Contents 34 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
defence magazine ›
YOUNG ENDEAVOUR YOUTH SCHEME
As a Leading Aircraftwoman, Emma-Lee Weston had not spent a
great deal of time at sea prior to boarding Australia’s national sail
training ship Young Endeavour.
gets her sea legs
By Jeffrey Von Drehnen
“It was amazing,” she said after completing her
11-day voyage. “It was definitely a lot harder than
people had told me it would be.
“Being thrown from side-to-side, sea-sickness,
24-hour watches, lack of sleep, and being out
of your comfort zone were all challenging. But it
didn’t bother me because you always get thrown in
the deep end with the Defence Force.”
As a recipient of Air Combat Group’s Young
Endeavour Scholarship, 23-year-old Emma-Lee
experienced the voyage of a lifetime, sailing from
Newcastle to Brisbane in June this year.
As part of the development voyage, Emma-Lee
faced varying challenges ranging from learning
nautical terms, handling the sails on a 44-metre
brigantine, tying sailors’ knots and cooking for 38
people, through to climbing the 30-metre mast to
the topgallant yard.
“They make you climb the mast over and over so
you can get over your fears.
“It worked. By the last day I wasn’t scared
anymore. It took a while, but I got there.”
A bicentenary gift from the United Kingdom to
the youth of Australia, Young Endeavour provides
young Australians with a unique, challenging and
inspirational experience at sea.
Crewed by the Royal Australian Navy on behalf of
the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, the ship has
seen more than 11,000 young Australians embark
on a voyage since her delivery in 1988.
Onboard, youth crew learn about sailing, as well
as about themselves and their ability to work as
Commanding Officer Young Endeavour, Lieutenant
Commander Damien Munchenberg, said the ship is
all about development.
“The youth crew experience a broad range of
challenges, emotions and activities while the ship
is under sail,” LCDR Munchenberg said.
“The program is facilitated to enable each
youth crew member to experience, develop
and consolidate both as an individual and then
collectively as a team member in a demanding and
During each voyage youth crew is split into
watches, enabling the ship to sail 24 hours a day.
Each watch is responsible for steering the ship,
fixing her location, setting and furling sails and
calling on all hands, including waking the entire
youth crew in the small hours to tack the ship as
“Everything was teamwork. If you didn’t know
something, you asked the person next to you.
“I’ve never seen a group of people working
constantly for 11 days straight and never have
an argument, even though everything involved
teamwork,” LAC Weston said.
Placing an emphasis on training while under sail,
the voyage offered few anchorages – at Trial Bay,
just north of Port Macquarie, and Cape Moreton off
the coast of Brisbane.
These rare moments provided a chance for the youth
crew to explore different sites and take a break from
the routine of being at sea.
“You never wanted to say no because you didn’t
want to turn down a challenge. You knew you’d be
disappointed with yourself if you did,” LAC Weston
As part of the learning through experience
sail training program, the crew develop a new
perspective on leadership, teamwork and
confidence. For LAC Weston, that is something she
plans on bringing back to the Air Force.
“You don’t have to know what you’re talking
about as a leader, you just have to be the one that
motivates people who do.
“I never looked at it that way until I was on Young
“I think it’s an excellent experience. I wish everyone
could do it so that I could talk to them about it.”
Voyages aboard Young Endeavour are open to young
Australians aged 16-23. Further information on the
ship and the youth development program delivered
on board is available at www.youngendeavour.
“They make you
climb the mast
over and over
so you can get
over your fears.
It worked. By the
last day I wasn’t
It took a while,
but I got there.”
- Leading Aircraftwoman Emma-Lee Weston
TOP LeFT: Leading Aircraftwoman Emma-Lee Weston (red
jacket, 3rd from right) and her watch aboard Sail Training
Ship Young Endeavour.
TOP RIgHT: Former Captain of the Young Endeavour
Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe congratulates Leading
Aircraftwoman Emma-Lee Weston on arrival at Brisbane.
RIgHT: Leading Aircraftwoman Emma-Lee Weston on
dishwashing duty in the galley of the Young Endeavour.
Links Archive Issue 7 2010 Issue 5 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page