Teens return with tales of high sea adventures

Joseph Brookes, 15, from Dardanup onboard the STS Leeuwin II in January.

A group of five local young people have returned from an adventure on the high seas as trainee crew aboard the sailing ship STS Leeuwin II after being awarded scholarships from the Shire of Dardanup and sponsors.

Joseph Brookes, 15, from Dardanup said it was an “experience of a lifetime” while Timothy Pilbeam, 16, from Eaton said he felt a great sense of achievement after completing the Youth Explorer Voyage with the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation.

The group sailed from Bunbury Port on January 20 and docked again in Fremantle on January 26.

During the voyage, the young people were involved in most aspects of ship operations and the experience is designed to help build life skills including self-confidence, teamwork, leadership and communication.

Awarded scholarships were:

  • Jarred Coleman – Henty
  • Agnes Monisse – Eaton
  • Joseph Brookes – Dardanup
  • Caelin Stuart – Henty
  • Timothy Pilbeam – Eaton

This is what some of the scholarship recipients had to say about their experience:

Agnes, 16

I had the best experience, a whole week filled with memorable experiences and meeting new people. Would definitely come back again.

My biggest highlight would be climbing the main mast, initially, I was scared of heights but overcoming this fear made me realise I am capable of much more than I allow myself to believe.  

The Leeuwin will help me make the most of other similar group situations, by helping me adapt quickly to my surroundings and give everything my very best effort.

 Joseph, 15

I would like to thank you for letting me be a part of the experience of a lifetime. I had lots of fun, climbing the mast and all the other fun activities while learning about the ship.

I made lots of new friends who helped me overcome challenges and make night watch and doing dishes more enjoyable.

My biggest highlight would be overcoming my fear of heights. When I climbed, I found that it wasn’t that bad, being that high on the mast. The experience will help in the future by preparing me for the workplace. Like when we woke up at different times just like doctors, firefighters and other on-call jobs. Overcoming my fear of heights also made me resilient for the next time I might have to climb something or do something out of my comfort zone.

Tim, 16

It’s very difficult to decide what the best part of the trip for me was. I loved the sense of achievement after climbing the main mast. I loved climbing the rigging and working in a team to loose and furl the sails.

This trip was a practical example of how the more you put in, the more you get out.

This trip has made me more self-confident, enabling me to tackle new challenges, knowing I can persevere and work out a solution. This trip will also help me fit in and work effectively in a team. 

The Shire of Dardanup scholarships are provided annually with support from our sponsors:

  • Dardanup Lions Club
  • Eaton Lions Club
  • J&P Group
  • Cleanaway