Young Endeavour Sail Training Scheme
Since 1991, the NSW Branch of the Order of Australia Association has annually sponsored young people to undertake deep-sea voyages as youth crew in the Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour. This vessel, which was the gift of the United Kingdom to Australia to mark the Bicentenary in 1988, is managed and operated by the Royal Australian Navy. The scheme was initiated by Rear-Admiral Ross Swan AO CBE RAN (Rtd), a former NSW Branch President.
In 2011, Ashlea Jensen of Pambula (NSW) sailed aboard Young Endeavour on a voyage in waters off the Queensland coast. In a letter of thanks to the Association after returning home, she summed up the challenges she and her shipmates encountered and the benefits she herself gained from her voyage:
I just want to thank you all very much for giving me the chance to embark on a voyage in the Young Endeavour. It was everything I had hoped for and more than I expected. I made friends that I think will last me a lifetime, learned and experience things I would never have had the chance to, and most of all – I got to know myself better. Through my time on the Young Endeavour I learned how to relate to people from all walks of life, how to work as part of a team and how to trust in leadership skills I didn’t know I had. I have much more confidence in myself and my abilities and as well as a lot of memories I will treasure, have developed a thirst to know more, learn more and experience more. The voyage challenged us all in many ways, and one of the things I was proud of was that I didn’t get seasick! I loved the heady loftiness of the topgallant yards, the challenge of tying the gaskets is so high up in the wind and the bucking sea. I love the comfortable companionship that grew as strangers were thrown together in close quarters learning unfamiliar things. I loved the crew and their light-hearted, encouraging friendliness – and I developed a taste for sailing that I would love to pursue in the future.