Santa Maria Student Hits New Heights

ella-cross-santa-maria-2On the first sail of the season, Santa Maria College student Ella Cross (15) boarded the STS Leeuwin II, Western Australia’s own tall-ship, on a Youth Explorer voyage from Fremantle to Bunbury.

The Leeuwin Foundation is an award winning provider of personal development and leadership programs that provides key life skills for young people aged 14-25 though the unique medium of sailing an 1850’s style barquentine tall-ship.

Youth are able to remove themselves from their regular social group confinements on an intensive week-long voyage to build skills in leadership, teamwork, communication and confidence.

Coming from the town of Dampier and boarding at Santa Maria College, Ella was awarded Leeuwin’s Woodside Marine Scholarship, available to youth aged 14-25 who have an interest in a Marine Career or the Maritime Industry.

The scholarships are available to youth in the Karratha, Exmouth, Broome, Roebourne or Perth Metro area.

Ella speaks highly of her experience onboard the 55m vessel.

“It was an amazing experience to be able to witness 43 knot winds, build friendships…and of course I got to climb to the top of the mast to see the wonderful view of Bunbury,” said Ella.

“The experience definitely challenged me. It taught me many social, teamwork and leadership skills”.

The unique sailing experience saw Ella step outside of her comfort zone in a series of activities including climbing the 33-metre main mast, standing watch at night, taking the helm and steering the ship’s course.

“The voyage gave me a chance to develop fundamental leadership qualities, make new friends and learn how to better work in a team,” she said.

“I would love to be a Marine Biologist or something to do with marine conservation. The voyage has encouraged me to study Environmental Science next year,” said Ella.

Since 1986, the Leeuwin has provided exciting and life-changing programs to more than 40,000 young people across Australia.

The voyages aim to challenge and inspire young people to realise their personal potential and make a positive contribution to the wider community.

The Leeuwin has two Youth Explorer voyage left for 2016. The 1614 Geraldton to Fremantle voyage and the 1615 End of Year voyage. Download your application form today!