A voyage on Leeuwin can help you achieve your higher education and career goals. Hear from our past and present Woodside Energy-Leeuwin Maritime Cadets below – learn about their journey with Leeuwin and the goals they have achieved.
For more information on the Cadetship Program, click here.
Click here to learn more about Woodside Energy.
Click here to learn more about Riverwijs.
Leeuwin Cadet Alumni
1st Voyage on the STS Leeuwin II:
April 2011 (age 17). Fremantle to Monkey Mia voyage, sponsored by the Company of Master Mariners.
- Bachelor of Science, double major in: Aquaculture Science and Technology, and Marine Biology.
- Diploma of Marine Science and Maritime Operations
- Master <24m NC
- Marine Engine Driver grade 2 (MED2) NC
- STCW Certificate of Safety Training (CoST)
- Long Range Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP)
- AMSA Certificate of Medical Fitness
- Navigational watch rating
- Certificate of Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats
- Steering certificate
- STCW Certificates in crowd management, crisis management, and human behavior for passenger ships.
After completing a diploma of Marine Science and Maritime Operations at the Fremantle maritime Tafe, I moved to Townsville in Queensland to undertake a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and Aquaculture Science. Following my studies, I moved to the small town of Bremer Bay on the south coast of WA, where I was employed as a hatchery technician on an abalone farm, and quickly worked my way up to hatchery manager. In 2020, I decided that it was time for a bit of a sea change and moved back to Fremantle to upskill and pursue my first maritime qualifications.
I was successful in applying to become a Leeuwin/Woodside maritime cadet, and so began my seagoing career. During the undertaking our first set of voyages of the cadetship from Fremantle down to Albany we were struck with COVID. The ship had to be delivered back to Fremantle, and the crew had to come up with new and creative ideas to continue our education as cadets. The Leeuwin’s board room was quickly converted into a classroom, and the crew went from seafaring to lecturing. We spent several months studying the rules of the road, navigation, radar operations, and weather every morning, and every afternoon was spent maintaining the ship and preparing for refit. As often as the weather would permit, we launched the ships boats for excursions up river to conduct practical exercises in small boat handling.
In June we moved the ship to the Australian Maritime Complex in Henderson, where the ship was lifted out of the water for her biannual refit and survey. This was a very hands-on affair as a cadet, and we spent the next two months cleaning and repainting the hull, and conducting maintenance that could only be completed out of the water. During this time, we also started attending college with sea school Australia.
In August, our woodside sponsors organised for us to travel to Dampier to join a platform support vessel. I was placed on the Solstad ship Normand Leader, an 89 meter, 5000-ton platform support vessel. During our three weeks of work experience, we conducted cargo operations to the northwest shelf oil project as well as engineering and bridge watchkeeping tasks onboard.
By the end of September, we were back at sea onboard the Leeuwin and well on our way to completing our qualifications.
In February we were presented with yet another opportunity to travel to Dampier, this time to join the Riverwijs tug boats. For ten days we had the experience of working onboard a tug boat, and pushing in the enormous gas ships supplying the northwest, the largest being 300m and 141 000 tons. We were given the opportunity to learn about towage operations and have a hand at driving an ASD tug.
Just prior to completing my cadetship I was offered a position with the expedition cruise line Coral Expeditions. To date, I have worked as a General Purpose Hand and Navigational Watch Rating on two of their three vessels, the largest being 93 meters and 5500 tons. I have travelled to three states, completed several more certificates and gained a wealth of experience.
My plans for the future are to pursue higher maritime qualifications and continue my maritime career.
Words of encouragement:
A Leeuwin/Woodside cadetship is an amazing way to get your foot in the door to a maritime career. You will get valuable sea time and the knowledge of an experienced crew. I can guarantee that when you leave and start your first job in the industry you will realise that you have learnt more and gained more from the cadetship than you thought. It is an excellent experience and a great way to start your career.
1st Voyage on the STS Leeuwin II: December 2015 (age 17)
Qualifications: Med 2, Master <24m, COST, LROCP, RSA, Food Hygiene Safety One, Construction Induction (White Card), Confined Space and Working at Heights
Career Journey: Even as a child, I always knew that I wanted to join the Navy. After a day-sail on board Windward Bound, with my family in Hobart, I dreamt of going on a longer voyage on a tall ship. I started saving up pocket money for a future trip. When my dad got a new job, and we moved to Western Australia, I found out about the STS Leeuwin II, and their sail training program, and I applied for it. My initial voyage took place in December 2015, and I received a rating of Cook’s Mate. My first crew voyage was in April 2016, followed by a year of volunteering when I finished High School. In 2019, I was successful in applying for the Leeuwin Woodside Cadetship Program, and I received my first Marine Qualification as NS. In 2020, I was the Runner Up for the Nautical Institute WA Branch Annual Award. I applied for the Navy when the global pandemic started, and continued to be involved with Leeuwin through the 2020 refit. I was enlisted in the Navy in May 2021.
The Leeuwin gave me a solid base to start my marine career, either in the commercial industry or the military. I learnt the skills required to be a good seafarer.
Words of encouragement:
If you want to do something different, something which might be a once in a life time experience: then go sailing on a tall ship. The environment and the people are so unique that you can’t predict what will happen until you try.
1St Voyage on the STS Leeuwin ll: October 2016 (Age: 18)
Qualifications: Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal) and Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 meters Near Coastal)
Career Journey: Else was born in Australia before moving to Singapore with her family when she was very young. She has always sailed, taking part in the school sailing team while living in Singapore. She returned to Australia in 2015 to complete year 11 and 12 and undertake her Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) exams.
During the October school holidays before her final exams, Else joined a voyage as part of a Leeuwin youth development program which is an Endorsed Program with the School Curriculum and Standards Authority and achieved all the ratings possible from the Captain to be enabled to return as a volunteer. Else also had the voyage recognised on her Western Australian Statement of Students Achievement (WASSA) and WACE for graduation.
Else took a gap year after graduating in 2016 and started volunteering on day sails on board the STS Leeuwin ll in January 2017, and before she knew it she was on nearly all of them as well as voyages. The crew advised her to start recording in the Certificate lll Maritime Operations task books and to record the sea time. With the encouragement of the Woodside Leeuwin Cadets Brad, Callum and Scott, Else successfully applied for the 2018 Woodside Leeuwin Cadetship and decided that a Maritime career was something she wanted to pursue.
Else spent 2018 completing her Cadetship, an experience she described as “a lot of hard work, in a good sort of way.” She could see herself becoming more confident and gaining more soft and hard skills as the year continued.
A highlight was when Woodside flew the Cadets up to Karratha to spend 5 days on the platform supply vessel Siem Thiima, an environmentally friendly vessel built in 2016 with a focus on dual fuel consumption, MDO and LNG which services a few Woodside platforms in the region. This experience consolidated her choice to continue her maritime studies. Else completed the Cadetship in February 2019 with a Certificate lll in Maritime Operations; Master <24m and MED2 Near Coastal, Certificate in Safety Training, AMSA Certificate in Medical Fitness and a Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency.
Else was one of two 2018 recipients of a TANZ Medallion, awarded to young people who have shown outstanding personal achievement whilst either undertaking a voyage, or in their support of an organisation’s vessel.
In 2019 Elsemieke Marren was the winner of The Nautical Institute Western Australia Branch Annual Award.
In May 2019 Else successfully applied for a Cadetship with Go Offshore, an energy services company specialising in providing Marine and Logistics services to the offshore Oil and Gas industry. The Go Offshore cadetship involves studying for 3-4 years at the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania as well as spending sea time up in Darwin. At the end of this Else will achieve a Bachelor Applied Science (Nautical Science) which will be an AMSA certified Deck Officer which will enable her to work on any Australian registered vessel operating in international waters for any size ship anywhere in the world. http://www.utas.edu.au/courses/cse/courses/23q-bachelor-of-applied-science-nautical-science
It’s an opportunity that’s increasingly competitive and hard to come by due to the economic climate and one she doesn’t believe she would have gotten without her extraordinary experience on board the Leeuwin. For now Else continues to volunteer on the ship until semester starts in Tasmania where she will live on campus.
Reflection: “It basically turned my life around because I didn’t know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. It was through volunteering here [at the Leeuwin] that I figured out which path I wanted to take, that being a maritime one. Throughout the couple of years I’ve been around the Leeuwin they’ve allowed me to not only develop my skills, but grow as a person.”
Words of encouragement: “Definitely go for it. You don’t know what it’s going to do for you. A lot of people come on board a little bit hesitant and not sure what to expect, but they always get something out of it. Even if you’re a little bit scared that’s the point, to take you out of your comfort zone. Take that step.”
“You just don’t know until you try.”
1st Voyage on the STS Leeuwin II: March 2016, age 16
Qualifications: Working with Children Check Card
Commercial Fishing License
Master <24m Near Coastal & Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal (Certificate III in Maritime Operations)
Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC)
Enter & Work In Confined Spaces
Work Safely At Heights
AMSA Certificate of Medical Fitness
STCW95 Certificate of Safety Training
Construction White Card
Responsible Service of Alcohol
Diploma of Marine Studies
Coxswain Grade 1 Near Coastal (Certificate II in Maritime Operations)
Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP)
Elements of Shipboard Safety
Provide First Aid
PADI Open Water Diver
Career Journey: Lachy’s Grandad took him out to sea near Dongara, WA and taught him how to fish, maintain and drive a boat. He knew back then at 8 years of age that being on the ocean made him happy and that was where he saw his future belonging.
As a 15 year old he started a part time job with BCF in 2015 and rapidly developed product knowledge and customer service skills which he is still involved with currently. Lachy was also proactive with Baldivis Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services as a volunteer firefighter 2015-2019. He was actively involved in fire containment, advanced bush and structural firefighting as well as on and off road driving. The training and community events for fundraising and promotions were all valuable skills to transfer into the maritime industry.
Lachy graduated Year 12 in 2016 from Tranby College. He was the Prefect Sports Captain and was heavily involved with organising camps, carnivals, umpiring and participating in all outdoor activities. Lachlan was recognised with two Academic Excellence Awards for the Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation and for Certificate ll in Outdoor Education.
He decided to complete The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and chose the Leeuwin as his Adventurous Journey in 2016, as he had heard so much about the voyage from others at school who had gone on it. It ended up being the highlight of his year and inspired his decision that he definitely wanted a career in the maritime industry. Lachy volunteered with Leeuwin with a “Bosun’s rating” from the voyage and commenced a Diploma of Marine studies at Fremantle South Metropolitan TAFE in 2017. Lachy’s favourite quote is: “Find a job you enjoy doing and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”-Mark Twain.
Lachlan was successful in his application to become a Woodside Leeuwin Cadet in 2018. Towards the end of the cadetship he was flown to Karratha with the other Woodside Cadets to gain insight into work on the Siem Thiima Platform Supply Vessel for a week. His experience on the Platform Supply Vessel was nothing short of amazing and gave him the inspiration to keep working towards a maritime career. The technology and design of the vessel, expertise of Captain Andrew Phillips and how helpful everyone on board was, really honed his focus and passion to aspire to become a Captain himself in the future. The work place exposure consolidated his belief that if you work hard and are motivated to achieve your goals there are jobs out there like on the Siem Thiima.
Lachy was recognised by The Nautical Institute WA as Runner Up for Outstanding Youth Volunteer Member in 2019. The annual award is for a students studying a nautical science subject at South Metropolitan TAFE for demonstrating outstanding interpersonal skills as a role model along with academic achievement. The overall winner was another Woodside Leeuwin Cadet-Elsemieke Marren.
After completing the cadetship Lachy worked as a First Mate on-board a Whale Watching Boat March to April 2019 down in Esperance, before starting with TAMS at Cape Preston in the Pilbara as a General-Purpose Deck-hand. His duties include assisting tugs and pilots in harbour towage, engage in mooring and berthing activities of 150m barges, splicing, deckhand support, assist with crew transfer vessel driver training, cargo transferring and assist with general maintenance (mechanical and on deck). He is certainly covered a large section of the WA coast!
Reflections: At the age of 20 I am in a position in my life that I would never have though possible when I was 16. I have obtained qualifications, experience and knowledge in the maritime industry that I may never have gained had I not undertaken that first voyage on the Leeuwin II at the age of 16. This then sparked a chain of events with me being successful in gaining a Woodside Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Marine Cadetship in 2018.
The marine cadetship has been invaluable and has fast tracked my career progression in the maritime industry. I gained valuable contacts in the marine industry and with industry partners and I worked with some truly inspirational maritime mentors on the Leeuwin II, and built many strong friendships. Without the Leeuwin II’s and Woodside’s encouragement and support, I wouldn’t be where I am today working for TAMS in a job I love. The Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation changes lives, allows people to dream and believes in them. I will forever be grateful that they took a chance on me and believed in me, they instilled in me the confidence to achieve my dreams and to keep dreaming and achieving my goals. I’m excited for my future. For that, I will always be grateful to Woodside and the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation.
Words of Encouragement: If you have never sailed on a tall ship or been on the ocean, take the first step and go on a voyage or a day sail with the Leeuwin II. It will be the best thing you ever do. The sense of freedom you get from sailing on the ocean and operating a tall ship is like none other. And once you have completed a voyage or a day sail, volunteer on the Leeuwin II so you get to experience that same feeling over and over again, only next time you enable someone else to experience the joy as well. I’m so glad I took that first step, I have never looked back.
If you want to work in the maritime industry, apply for a marine cadetship with Woodside and the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation. It will be the best 12 months of your life. I’m excited for the future of the youth of WA with the Leeuwin II, the more young people that can go on the ship and experience tall ship sailing, the more lives that will be positively impacted. And the more people who can support the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation will mean it will be around for many more years to come.
1st Voyage on the STS Leeuwin II: November 2014 (Age: 24)
Qualifications: Bachelor in Commerce: Major in Finance, Minor Statistics
Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal)
Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 meters Near Coastal)
Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) open water
Career Journey: In 2011 Brad started a degree in Commerce at Murdoch University. After going on exchange as part of the degree spending 6 months studying in Germany, he needed a new and exciting challenge whilst continuing his studies when he returned. He saw a poster to sail on the Leeuwin as part of the University career challenge and went on the Fremantle to Fremantle voyage in 2014. Brad thrived and was rated Trainee Watch Leader and Boson’s Mate to be able to return as a volunteer.
While Brad had gone small boat sailing with his parents and grandparents, it was never something he had considered as a career. He loved the experience on the Sail Training Ship Leeuwin ll so much that while completing his final year of study in 2015, he started volunteering on day sails.
After graduating from Murdoch University he started volunteering on voyages in 2016. To celebrate the 400 years since Dirk Hartog discovered the Island in 1616, there were voyages from Fremantle to Dirk Hartog Island, then to Geraldton and returning to Fremantle on which Brad consolidated his enthusiasm for the maritime industry.
Describing the experience as “awesome”, Brad gained a wealth of knowledge and experience completing those voyages. Having sailed for nearly two years on the ship Brad leapt at the opportunity to make a commitment to become a 2017 Woodside Leeuwin Cadet gaining such experience and qualifications in Certificate lll in Maritime Operations; Master <24m and MED2 Near Coastal, Certificate in Safety Training, AMSA Certificate in Medical Fitness and a Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency. Brad continued to upskill by completing his PADI in 2018.
Undertaking around 20 voyages for the year during the Cadetship Brad described it as an intense and full on 12 months that set him up perfectly to take the next step in his career.
It covered every role both above and below the deck, and after finishing his Cadetship he submitted an application in November 2018 to pursue a career with the Australian Government.
The recruitment process is on average a yearlong. Brad continued to be involved with Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation as well as working as a skipper in the fishing boat harbour for Alpha Environmental Management and as a Deckhand with SeaLink Rottnest Island, until he was notified of his success and commenced his new career in February 2020.
Reflection: “It has given me an opportunity to advance my maritime career. Although the qualifications are entry level, it gives you a great headstart over other students studying similar courses. Within 12 months you get your qualifications and experience, then you can go off and do your own thing. It’s a really great opportunity.”
“Personally, it definitely improved my leadership and communication skills. You can’t come out of a year of volunteering on board without vastly developing those skills. That’s a given.”
Words of Encouragement: “Do it. No one regrets it, that’s the thing. Everybody that comes on board walks away not wanting to leave. It’s hard to explain it to someone, they have to experience it. You get to meet other people and have a great time. I guarantee it, you will have fun.”
For more information on Maritime Operations and Engineering study pathways at South Metropolitan TAFE, click here.
1st voyage on the STS Leeuwin II: 2016
Qualifications: Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal)
Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 meters Near Coastal)
Career Journey: Callum was from Chester, North England, before moving to Australia aged 11.
He first sailed in Sydney and decided he wished to get as much sailing experience as possible while still at school. During the School holidays of 2012, Callum made the trip over to Western Australia to take a voyage on STS Leeuwin II at the age of 16. He loved every second of his experience and only grew his passion for sailing further. Callum also volunteered on STS Young Endeavour and James Craig over in Sydney, expanding his skill set and experience of life at sea.
After completing his schooling in 2013, Callum continued to volunteer on as many tall ships as possible, broadening his experiences and growing his resume. Having volunteered on training vessels around Australia for three years, Callum was successful in applying for the Woodside Leeuwin Cadetship in 2017.
Callum described it as a whirlwind 12 months, and a period where he gained so much experience from fellow crew members and mentors. Showing resilience through the tough times and overcoming challenges, he assured it was all worth it for the overall wealth of knowledge and qualifications gained during the duration of the course such as Certificate lll in Maritime Operations; Master <24m and MED2 Near Coastal, Certificate in Safety Training, AMSA Certificate in Medical Fitness and a Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency.
Following the completion of the Cadetship, Callum went straight back into volunteering while he searched for a job. Although the job he landed at the time was not the job for him, Callum described it as more valuable experience and an opportunity he wouldn’t have gotten without his Cadetship on the Leeuwin.
Callum spent 2018 working on South Molle Island in the Whitsundays, North Queensland before returning to Sydney to become a HMB Endeavour Replica where he currently works full time.
Callum insists that all these opportunities came directly from the qualifications he received from completing his Woodside Leeuwin Cadetship, and he intends on having a long career in the Maritime industry.
1st Voyage on the STS Leeuwin II: April 2014 (Age: 24)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Media
Certificate IV in Maritime Operations (Master up to 35 meters Near Coastal)
Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal)
STCW95/Certificate of Safety Training
Working at Heights and Confined Spaces
Career Journey: Scott has always been more comfortable outdoors than indoors. His father owned and operated a kayaking company and Scott joined 1st Canning Sea Scouts at age 10, where he grew a passion for sailing and seamanship. He considered these activities as purely recreational, and after high school he went to Murdoch University to study a Bachelor of Media, Double Major in Screen and Sound along with Theatre and Drama.
His degree took 5 years, and as time went on Scott realised that the passion wasn’t really there as a lot of digital media production involved long hours spent indoors in front of a computer. Towards the latter stages of his degree he got more into the performing arts, and worked at a boating and camping store for a couple of years after graduating.
It wasn’t until a friend, Heather Denham, who was a Watch Leader on STS Leeuwin ll,(Cadet in 2016) encouraged him to sail on the Leeuwin that his maritime career began. Scott saved up the cash for a voyage to sail from Fremantle to Monkey Mia in April 2014 where he discovered that a lot of the skills he learnt through Scouts turned out to be very useful at sea. He achieved a rating as a Bosun’s Mate and Trainee Watch Leader enabling him to volunteer. Right after his first voyage Scott got a call from the ship saying they needed a Bosun’s Mate. He ended up volunteering for most of the year and was upgraded to Watch Leader by the end of 2015 and assisted with the ship’s refit in 2016. Although Scott was not a cadet he took the initiative and opportunity to complete the Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 meters Near Coastal) without sponsorship.
Scott’s commitment towards attaining his commercial qualifications was noticed, and he was approached to apply for the 2017 Woodside Leeuwin Cadetship and arrangements were made to progress his career to the next level to complete the Certificate lV in Maritime Operations (Master up to 35 meters Near Coastal) and Certificate lll (Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal).
Now working full time with Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation as the Second Mate and Bosun, as well as relief Engineer, Scott helps to maintain and operate the Leeuwin while having the privilege and responsibility to help train future Woodside Leeuwin Cadets.
Reflection: “Having not considered a Maritime pathway until sailing on the Leeuwin, it has shaped my career. It has also taught me a bit of patience, people skills, and to become more methodical.”
“It’s a fun environment and it’s not too strict. But everyone’s really switched on and professional. It teaches you to be self-disciplined.”
“My training voyage is still one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. Sailing a ship is hard work but it’s immensely fulfilling, I’ve had some of the most honest sleep of my life on the ship.”
Words of Encouragement: “Just do it. Give it your all. You can’t try too hard, and if you hold back you just cheat yourself. On a ship, every bit of work you don’t do, your mate has to, so it encourages you to work hard and be selfless, and what’s nice is you can see the difference your effort makes straight away. Go nuts.”
1st experience on the STS Leeuwin II: Day sail (2004) Age: 12
Qualifications: BSc Majoring in Marine Biology and Zoology
Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Master upto 24m Near Coastal and MED2 Near Coastal)
PADI – Open Water Scuba Instructor
Career Journey: Heather grew up in Perth and enjoyed a day sail on the Leeuwin at the age of 12 and was eager to go back on the ship, describing it as something she was “dying to do because it was really cool.”
That opportunity arrived in her final year of school in 2009 as part of a 5 day adventure camp with her Scout group on board the STS Leeuwin ll. Heather was involved in 1st Secret Harbour, Rockingham, 2nd Bunbury, Canning Sea Scouts and 1st Kamerunga over the years.
In 2010 she started a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Biology and Zoology at the University of Western Australia. Having graduated at the end of 2012, Heather volunteered with Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation during the summer of 2013/14, gaining valuable experience.
In 2015 Heather worked as a qualified scuba diving instructor on the Great Barrier Reef with Ocean Free & Ocean Freedom. It seemed like a natural progression from her degree, and she loved her experience and the next logical step was to become a skipper.
Heather made the decision to return to Perth in 2016 to continue developing her marine career and was successful in her application for the Woodside-Leeuwin Cadetship which is a yearlong commitment. It does take a bit longer than going directly to TAFE to achieve the qualifications but she insists it was the right way to go thanks to how well Leeuwin trains people. The hands on experience and step by step training is invaluable.
During her year at sea the Cadetship helped her learn every facet of maritime work on board the ship. That includes the work above deck such as navigation, below deck like engineering and even washing the dishes. Heather completed the Cadetship with a Certificate lll in Maritime Operations (Master upto 24m Near Coastal and Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal) which sets you up really well to get a foothold in the maritime industry.
She feels that kind of exposure to fulfil every role and learn every component of the vessel creates a work ethic that will hold her in good stead for any job. The sense of community you experience on the ship is not something you can find anywhere else. So much so that the CEO of Leeuwin was approached by the Jubilee Sailing Trust in the UK to recommend volunteers to sail on the Sail Training Ship Tenacious, for ten days in New Zealand with 50% of the airfare being subsidised. Heather sailed around the Bay of Islands, Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf and the Coromandel Peninsula assisting the trainees on board.
In 2017 Heather travelled up to the most western part of Australia to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Shark Bay area to become a shark diver, an aquarium tour guide and run tours for a season.
In 2017 she worked on a dive boat as a deck hand, before commencing her career at UWA. Heather is a research assistant with Dr Thomas Wernberg, working in a laboratory and doing field work on how coastal habitats are responding to stressors such as climate change, invasive species and eutrophication.
Reflection: “It’s given me qualifications to get me in the door of where I want to be. It’s also given me the attitude. A good work ethic, an ability to solve problems outside the box, an ability to work well in challenging situations with pretty much anybody. An ability to solve problems creatively.”
“It has definitely influenced my personality. I know I came out with so much more confidence in myself and my abilities.”
Words of Encouragement: “Give it a go. Throw yourself into it and do your best. You’ll realise you have a lot more potential than you think you did. You’ll be able to do a lot more than you thought you could.”
1st Voyage on the STS Leeuwin II: January 2012 – Youth Explorer. Fremantle to Busselton. Age:18
Qualifications: Diploma of Marketing
Certificate lll Maritime Operations (Master under 24m Near Coastal and Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal)
Career Journey: Like many high school students, Koby came out of Year 12 with very little idea of what he wanted to do as a career. He started studying a bridging course for Engineering at Curtin University in 2011, but quickly found out he wasn’t interested in just academic studies thanks to Chemistry.
Koby’s friend recommend him to take a voyage on the STS Leeuwin II which he had never heard of, had no sailing experience or any inclination towards a maritime career. Koby discovered an instant passion while sailing from Fremantle to Busselton. He described his first experience as “brilliant”, the comradery that was developed on board certainly stood out to him. Koby had “caught the bug”.
For the next three years Koby volunteered at the Leeuwin, whilst studying a Diploma of Marketing, Certificate lV Marketing, Certificate 1 Leadership and a Certificate lll in Maritime Operations Coxswain, all whilst working towards achieving a watch leader rating before successfully becoming a Woodside Leeuwin Cadet in 2016.
During this time he also went interstate to gain experience sailing on the Tall Ships One and All and Young Endeavour (where he returned for a volunteer stint as Trainee Watch Leader in 2017). Leeuwin also sent Koby on a Rotary Youth Leadership Award Camp in 2016 and the Rotary Leader Extension Advanced Program in 2017.
The experience he gained from the 12 month Cadetship was invaluable focussing on learning the navigation and engineering skills. Working with a range of relief captains, crew and people from different ships, industries and diverse backgrounds developed crucial soft skills in communication, leadership, resilience and teamwork. For his outstanding achievements Koby was recognised by Tall Ships Australian and New Zealand with a Medallion in 2018 for his contribution to the Sail Training Ship Leeuwin ll.
The Cadetship gave Koby a lot of perspective into the opportunities available in the industry and he returned to volunteering full time with Leeuwin Ocean Adventure while he figured out his next step would be. Since November 2018 Koby is now the Volunteer Co-ordinator at Leeuwin Ocean Adventure responsible for coordinating over 200 volunteers. Watching the volunteers start as trainees and develop their skills has been extremely rewarding, and it’s a job he’s thriving in.
In this role with Leeuwin Ocean Adventure, Koby had the opportunity to attend Sail Training International Conferences in Spain (2018 supported by a STI bursary) and Belgium in 2019. Whilst he was in Europe in 2019 he seized the opportunity to apply to sail on board the Tall Ships Atyla from Denmark to Germany and from Germany to Holland on the Gulden Leeuw, further expanding his personal and professional international networks.
“The Leeuwin has influenced my career path”
“At high school, I was pushed towards engineering, but the voyage opened my eyes up to the fact that there are more career pathways and options than just going straight from High School into University.”
“The voyage changed my trajectory from trying to follow an engineering pathway to something more people-oriented.”
“It has given me a lot of confidence. I started a lot shyer, nervous and a lot more anxious. It has changed my life.”
Words of Encouragement:
“Go into your voyage with an open mind.”
“You’ve got to push yourself. If you don’t open yourself up to take the challenges, take the risks, then there’s not much point.”
“The whole ship is based around training, leadership building your confidence, but that has got to start with you.”
1st Voyage on the STS Leeuwin II: April 2014. Age: 21
Qualifications: Mate less than 80M Near Coastal (Certificate IV in Maritime Operations)
Master <24m Near Coastal and Marine Engine Driver 2 Near Coastal (Certificate lll in Maritime Operations)
Career Journey: Rachel attended primary schools in Bayulu Remote Community School in the Kimberly, and Sandstone Primary School in the Midwest of WA, before graduating high school in 2010 at Kolbe Catholic College in Rockingham.
Straight after high school Rachel enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at The University of Notre Dame. She completed a six month bridging course before completing two and a half years of the four year degree. After three years of study she felt it was time for a break from studies.
Her first journey on the Leeuwin was in April 2014, sailing from Fremantle to Monkey Mia. At the time she was just looking for a bit of an escape and an adventure, but it quickly grew into a passion thanks to her fantastic experience on board and she wished she had known about the voyage years earlier!
Rachel started volunteering immediately, spending a large majority of the next two years with the STS Leeuwin II. It became clear to her that she was heading down the maritime pathway and she received a scholarship from the Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development as part of a program to support women in non-traditional industries, and completed her Certificate lll in Maritime Operation Master less than 24m Near Coastal in 2015.
Leeuwin organised in appreciation for all of her dedication to volunteering to do an exchange program aboard the Young Endeavour sailing from Fremantle to Adelaide. Rachel then successfully applied for one of the three Woodside-Leeuwin Cadetships commencing in March 2016.
Rachel enjoyed the intense learning aspect of the Cadetship just as much as the hands on experience and was able to gain an extra qualification during the cadetship, completing Certificate IV as a Mate less than 80 metres Near Coastal qualification on top of the Certificate III in Maritime Operations MED grade 2 Near Coastal course.
A number of other certifications are needed to be achieved to attain competency for the Certificates to meet the AMSA requirements such as Record of Sea Service signed by a qualified person, Certificate of Medical Fitness for a Maritime Qualification, Eyesight Test Certificates, Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency, Apply First Aid qualification along with supplementary task books.
In a big year in 2016 Rachel’s commitment was deservedly recognised locally, nationally and internationally and is to be congratulated for achieving:
- Leeuwin Volunteer Recognition Award
- Sail Trainer of the Year Award for Volunteers aged less than 25 years with Tall Ships Australian and New Zealand
- Sail Training International-Young Sail Training Volunteer of the Year Award at the Tall Ship Conference in Sweden
Rachel is currently working as a relief Bosun, Engineer and Second Officer on board the STS Leeuwin II. She often still volunteers as a Deck Hand or helps out at refit along with completing maintenance whilst the ship is dockside at Fremantle Port.
Rachel is aiming to enrol in a Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck) course to ultimately work as a Master or Chief on vessels less than 500 gross tonnage in any operating area and as Watchkeeper deck officer on vessels of any tonnage in any operating area.
“It has not only given me a love for sailing, but sail training as well. It’s so rewarding seeing how new trainees progress and the influence you can have on others”
“I’ve always been a quiet, shy, timid person, however now I can project my voice and have become more out-going and confident.”
Words of Encouragement:
“Often people will come on board and find their leadership, teamwork and communication skills have developed. For many of us though it goes way beyond that. Since my first moment aboard I have felt an overwhelming sense of belonging. I have found passion, dedication and meaning in my work and I encourage others to also find their passion.”