General

Leeuwin keen to stay afloat

JASMIN STUART

“THE Leeuwin is much more than a sailing ship, it is a life experience in every sense of the word,” current coordinator of the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation, Chris Blake, said.

The Leeuwin II is WA’s own tall sailing ship based in Fremantle Port.

This unique vessel is the largest sail training tall ship in Australia, with over 810m² of sails and an overall length of 55m.

It is a working ship used for training purposes and is operated by local volunteers consisting of mainly young people between the ages of 14 and 25.

The business is a non-profit organisation with three main sponsors: Woodside Energy, Lotterywest and the State Government of Western Australia.

The Leeuwin could face serious financial difficulties if the support of any of these sponsors were withdrawn.

“Woodside is our major sponsor and has been for several years now. We wouldn’t be here without them so we are very grateful and hope we can continue to count on their support,” Chris said.

“We wish to be an organisation of choice where communities, governments and the corporate sector consult with and engage the foundation, as a partner for positive youth development.

Voyages and activities on the ship are designed to encourage teamwork, communication, goal setting, problem solving and leadership.

The voyages are primarily aimed at young people but can also support corporate team-building activities. Companies, such as Woodside, have been able to utilise this service on several occasions in previous years.

The Leeuwin’s voyage program sails along most of WA’s coastline from Esperance to Albany, Bunbury and Fremantle in the south, and further north to Geraldton, Monkey Mia, Exmouth, Dampier and Broome.

The business hopes to expand the range of ocean voyage options and training programs available in the future.

“Since we established in 1986, around 30, 000 people have sailed with us on the ship and we have had very positive feedback,” Chris said.

“Leeuwin’s success is credited to past and sustained community, government and corporate support.”

The contribution and involvement of Leeuwin supporters and volunteers continues to define the foundation as a unique community asset.

Categories: General

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