Australia’s national sail training ship STS Young Endeavour has arrived at the Gallipoli Peninsula to participate in Anzac Centenary Commemorations, four months after setting sail from Sydney.
Twenty-four youth from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey joined the Royal Australian Navy crew in Spain for the 21-day voyage across the Mediterranean Sea, which included passages through the Messina Strait in Italy and the Corinth Canal in Greece.
They are the third of nine youth crews which will participate in the Young Endeavour 2015 World Voyage.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Darren Chester said the voyage presented a unique opportunity for the next generation to commemorate the lives of those who have died serving their country.
“Visiting the places where Australian servicemen and women have fought and died provides an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made across the generations in defence of our country. To do so while participating in a youth program that reflects the values and ethos of the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli is a very unique experience and one that will resonate with all Australians,” Mr Chester said.
“Many of the crew on board Young Endeavour have a family connection to Australian, New Zealand or British personnel who served in Gallipoli and the Somme during World War I.
“For these individuals the voyage, and the opportunity to visit the battlefields near Anzac Cove, is particularly significant,” said Mr Chester.
Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe OAM RAN, Captain of STS Young Endeavour, said the Anzac Centenary would be a momentous event for those on board.
“The journey from Australia has been demanding and inspiring. To see three crews of young Australians, many of whom had never sailed before, rise to the challenge of sailing across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, rounding Cape Horn, and facing gale force conditions at the Straits of Gibraltar has been a highlight of my career.
“To join the international Navy fleet off Anzac Cove at dawn on 25 April 2015 as we mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign will be an honour, and a privilege for the 65 people embarked in STS Young Endeavour,” said LCDR Dawe.
The crew that sailed Young Endeavour across the Mediterranean will be joined by the fourth World Voyage crew on 24 April 2015 at Gallipoli, where Young Endeavour will sail in company with an international Navy fleet off Anzac Cove and North Beach for the Joint Dawn Service on Anzac Day.
More than 200 youth will join one of nine voyage crews during the 12 month circumnavigation. During each voyage, they will complete the Young Endeavour Youth Development Program under the guidance of a specially trained Royal Australian Navy crew. They participate in all aspects of sailing a tall ship, including learning to set the sails, take the helm, navigate using the ship’s charts, and climb to the top of the 30 metre mast.
Young Endeavour will remain in Europe for six months and will represent Australia in the Sail Training International Tall Ships' Races - promoting international friendship, and furthering education and development for young people of all nationalities. The ship will return to Australia in December 2015.
For more information or to apply for voyages visit www.youngendeavour.gov.au
Jennifer Reilly, Young Endeavour Youth Scheme: 0447 401 677