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Scheme staff

The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is managed by a dedicated team based in the office at Garden Island, Sydney. The largely civilian team is supported by members of the Navy Reserve.

 

The shore based team is responsible for organising and administering the youth development program delivered aboard STS Young Endeavour. 

 

Whether you’re looking for more information or ready for your next adventure, our team will ensure you have everything you need to set sail on the voyage of a lifetime. 

YEYSTeam2024

His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd)

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

 

We are grateful for the ongoing support of His Exellency the Governor-General, Patron of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley.

 

Their Excellencies have visited STS Young Endeavour on several occasions, sailing in Sydney Harbour and speaking with members of the staff crew and embarked youth crew. Their Excellencies have been strong supporters of the Young Endeavour Program for many years – during His Excellency’s tenure as Governor-General and Patron and, prior to that, as Governor of New South Wales and Chief of the Australian Defence Force.

 

Government House Open Day - 2024

Ms Jennifer Reilly

Jennifer Reilly was appointed Executive Director in early 2023. Prior to this time Jennifer was the Deputy Executive Director and Marketing Communication Manager for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme. She has twenty years experience in communication strategy and corporate affairs, including previous roles with the Australian Defence Force Academy, Royal Australian Navy and University of Canberra. Jennifer holds Bachelors of Communication and Applied Economics, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a member of the Tall Ships Australia and New Zealand Management Committee, and a Director of the TANZ Foundation.

Mr Jason Leung

Jason joined the Young Endeavour team as our Commercial Manager and Deputy Director in 2023. Jason brings a wealth of experience in commercial operations, contracting and procurement, and now leads the Young Endeavour commercial and customer service teams.

A new Marketing & Communications Manager for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is joining us soon! 

Mr Darren Watkins

Darren Watkins is the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme’s Youth Development and Voyage Coordinator. He oversees the application system and ballot, plans the voyages, and works with the staff crew to ensure the program delivered on board STS Young Endeavour remains contemporary and relevant for Australian youth. 

 

A former member of the STS Young Endeavour Staff Crew, Darren previously enjoyed a twelve year career as a Maritime Warfare Officer in the Royal Australian Navy.

Mr George Plellis

George Plellis is our Commercial Operations Manager, administering finance, contracts and other commercial requirements, including oversight of the Souvenir Locker and financial reporting for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme Public Fund Trust. George has forty years experience managing budgets and financial operations within government departments.

Ms Emily Fry

Emily Fry is our first point of contact for our corporate and community scholarship partners, coordinates the ambassador and alumni programs, and organises community engagement activities in ports around Australia.

CPO Greg Bray

Chief Petty Officer Greg Bray looks after voyage and youth crew administration, facilitating invoices, health checks, kit bags and other requirements before you join a voyage!

CPO John Raffo

John Raffo is our office and building manager, and keeps the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme office running smoothly.

CMDR Gavin Dawe

A former Commanding Officer of STS Young Endeavour, Commander Gavin Dawe OAM is our project officer, focused on the future of the Young Endeavour Program. Gav first joined the Young Endeavour crew as bosun during the ship’s first World Voyage in 1992, returned as Captain from 2008-2010, then returned again as Captain for the ship’s second World Voyage in 2015. From time to time he rejoins the ship as relief Captain, continuing a lifetime of service with the Royal Australian Navy.

PO Emily Ettridge

Emily works part-time with the Young Endeavour team, providing expert advice and liaising with Navy’s medical team to ensure best practise and compliance. 

LS Tomas Stewart

Tom grew up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and joined Navy at 17 years old. After 15 years of service he transferred to the Navy Reserve, joining the Young Endeavour team in 2018 as our Shore Administrator – working in the background to ensure the ship is well crewed and the crew are kept happy!

SMN Abigail Jakobsen

Abi joined the Young Endeavour team in 2023 as part of the Australian Defence Force Gap Year Program. After transferring to the Navy Reserve, Abi rejoined the team part-time in 2024 and is our first point of contact for youth crew and stakeholder enquiries. 

MS JENNIFER REILLY

Mr Jason Leung

Jennifer Reilly was appointed Executive Director in early 2023. Prior to this appointment, Jennifer was the Deputy Executive Director and Marketing Communication Manager for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme. She has twenty years experience in communication strategy and corporate affairs, including previous roles with the Australian Defence Force Academy, Royal Australian Navy and University of Canberra. Jennifer holds Bachelors of Communication and Applied Economics, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has sailed STS Young Endeavour in Australia and in Europe, participating in the Sail Training International Tall Ships Races, and is currently President of the Tall Ships Australia and New Zealand Management Committee and a Director of the TANZ Foundation.

Jason joined the Young Endeavour team as our Commercial Manager and Deputy Director in 2023. Jason brings a wealth of experience in commercial operations, contracting and procurement, and now leads the Young Endeavour commercial and customer service teams to ensure a diverse crew of youthies is ready to embark every voyage!

A new Marketing & Communications Manager for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is joining us soon! 

Mr Darren Watkins

Mr George Plellis

MS EMILY FRY

Darren Watkins is the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme’s Youth Development and Voyage Coordinator. He oversees the application system and ballot, plans the voyages, and works with the staff crew to ensure the program delivered on board STS Young Endeavour remains contemporary and relevant for Australian youth. A former member of the STS Young Endeavour Staff Crew, Darren previously enjoyed a twelve year career as a Maritime Warfare Officer in the Royal Australian Navy.

George Plellis is our Commercial Operations Manager, administering finance, contracts and other commercial requirements, including oversight of the Souvenir Locker and financial reporting for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme Public Fund Trust. George has forty years experience managing budgets and financial operations within government departments.

Emily Fry recently joined the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme. She is the first point of contact for our corporate and community scholarship partners, coordinates the ambassador and alumni programs, and organises community engagement activities in ports around Australia.

CPO Greg Bray

CPO John Raffo

CMDR Gavin Dawe

Greg Bray looks after voyage and youth crew administration, facilitating invoices, health checks, kit bags and other requirements before you join a voyage!

John Raffo is our office and building manager, and keeps the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme office running smoothly.

A former Commanding Officer of STS Young Endeavour, Commander Gavin Dawe OAM is our project officer, focused on the future of the Young Endeavour Program. Gav first joined the Young Endeavour crew as bosun during the ship’s first World Voyage in 1992, returned as Captain from 2008-2010, then returned again as Captain for the ship’s second World Voyage in 2015. From time to time he rejoins the ship as relief Captain, continuing a lifetime of service with the Royal Australian Navy.

LS Tomas Stewart

SMN Abigail Jakobsen

PO Emily Ettridge

Tom grew up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and joined Navy at 17 years old. After 15 years of service he transferred to the Navy Reserve, joining the Young Endeavour team in 2018 as our Shore Administrator – working in the background to ensure the ship is well crewed and the crew are kept happy!

Abi joined the Young Endeavour team in 2023 as part of the Australian Defence Force Gap Year Program. After transferring to the Navy Reserve, Abi rejoined the team part-time in 2024 and is our first point of contact for youth crew and stakeholder enquiries. 

Emily works part-time with the Young Endeavour team, providing expert advice and liaising with Navy’s medical team to ensure best practise and compliance. 

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