In January 2018, Luke Roser (15) of Port School and Zane Strawbridge (16) of Fremantle College joined a Leeuwin Youth Explorer voyage to develop key life skills in teamwork, communication and leadership.

In early 2017, the Engagement Forum WA offered two part-sponsorships to encourage student engagement at high school. This voyage was an incentive for students to focus on their studies and be rewarded for their work ethic.

Bruce Sherborne from the Engagement Forum WA explains the importance of these scholarships for youth.

“We are excited to have had the opportunity to provide something practical in supporting the engagement of these two students and believe that the skills, challenges and experiences they gained will have a lasting impact on their engagement with education and overall future,” said Bruce.

“Luke and Zane successfully undertook the voyage and wrote to our committee to thank us for the opportunity and highlight some of the challenges and positive experiences they both had on Board and how the opportunity has impacted them.”

Throughout the week both students challenged and immersed themselves in the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure’s Youth Development program.

Participants are part of all onboard activities including setting and furling the sails, taking the helm or climbing the 33m main mast.

Orelia local, Luke Roser, mentions that he learned new soft skills that he did not see in himself prior to his week onboard.

“I learnt things about myself I didn’t even know, like having a voice of encouragement which will help me with my life skills,” Luke says.

“I was a bit nervous to begin with but the amount of fun I had was unbelievable. Thanks to the Engagement Forum WA for sponsoring my voyage. My journey began when I stepped onboard and this gave me the opportunity to seek greatness,” says Luke.

Both students were nominated by their teachers to sail from 19-25 January from Bunbury to Fremantle.

“The best part was climbing the foremast on the yards. It put me way out of my comfort zone which was good,” says Luke.

Zane Strawbridge of Coolbellup explains how he overcame these challenges.

“I learnt how scared I am of heights but working with others definitely helped me get through the days,” says Zane.

The Engagement Forum WA is a partnership event organised by a planning committee from Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Department of Education, Youth Futures Inc and is held at ECU Mount Lawley in December each year.

Leeuwin Ocean Adventure aims to enrich the lives of young people through adventure, participation and challenge and is funded through a combination of grants, corporate sponsorships and donations by organisations and the general public.

Leeuwin is an award winning provider of personal development and leadership programs providing key life skills for young people aged 14-25 to take into their studies, careers and communities.

The new Leeuwin Voyage program has now been released, with a whole new suite of voyages right up until mid-2019.