17-year old Ariyah embarked upon a life-changing voyage from Geelong to Sydney in March 2023.
A keen sportswoman and year 12 student at Freshwater Campus, the 17-year-old boarded STS Young Endeavour in Geelong and sailed to Sydney from March 27 to April 6.
With thanks to the Balgowlah RSL Club, here is her first person account of her adventure:
“Thank you to the Balgowlah RSL Sub Branch for the opportunity to be the 1st recipient of the R A Miller Commemorative scholarship for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme Program.
On the 27th March 2023, I with 23 other young Australians (youthies) sailed aboard the Young Endeavour from Geelong, Victoria then back to Sydney, arriving on April 6.
This was a 11-day journey, first stopping at Flinders Island in Bass Straight to gain our sea legs, and training on how to sail the square-rigged tall ship.
After our second night aboard, we sailed up the East Coast of Victoria to our first land stop at Bermagui, NSW. This was a testing time for the youth crew and the Navy staff crew, as we experienced 5 to 6 metre swells during this passage.
Over the next few days we worked within our watches, developing relationships, building teamwork skills and supporting our fellow youth crew, not to mention, further learning how to sail a square-rigged ship.
In my application process I was asked about why I thought I should be selected for a voyage in 2023. I think that I was willing to venture outside my comfort zone. The sponsorship from the Sub Branch plus taking this journey has given me the opportunity to challenge myself, to experience something different from everyday life, and given me a new opportunity in preparation for possibly entering the Navy in the future.
I have formed lifelong friendships, acquired a variety of sailing and life skills, developed discipline and created an incredible tale to share for the rest of my life.
It was one of the toughest things I’ve done in my 17 years of living. I urge anyone who is interested in pushing themselves out of their comfort zone to apply to the Young Endeavour Program as it has changed my life”.