16 December 2022

Setting sail on a leadership journey

Kilmore firefighter Stephanie Calderwood, 20, was one of 24 young CFA volunteers from Victoria to swap the fire truck for a sailboat for an 11-day voyage across the Tasman Sea.


The participants were picked for the challenge following a rigorous application process for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme.


The scheme aims to bring together young leaders to build skills and attributes to develop each participant into a better team player, a more effective communicator and a leader.


The CFA volunteers boarded the STS Young Endeavour in Sydney on November 15 and crewed her for 24 hours a day in all types of conditions during the journey to Melbourne.


Stephanie was recognised for her contribution and commitment to the pursuit of excellence during the voyage, and received the Young Endeavour Voyage Award.


“I was elected with one other to be the navigator for 24 hours — it was the first time in my life when I really had everyone rely on me and my decisions,” she said.


“It really took me out of my comfort zone, and I had to work hard to overcome the initial stress and panic of the big role.


“We all worked very well together in team challenges and learned a lot about each other. The bond that we created made anything we did together exciting.


“I learned that no matter who you are or what role you have in the team, communication makes a great team work well.”


The trip was supported by Coles who after the 2019-20 summer fires donated money to provide young CFA volunteers with an opportunity to build their leadership skills.


Story courtesy of:  McPherson Media Group