January 27th, 2020Council youth grants
FEEL like ditching the homework, some time out from the olds, a break from the siblings?
Then do what Caelli Greenbank did and hit the high seas.
Hepburn Shire Council, under its Youth Development Fund, is offering one young person the change to take part in a Young Endeavour voyage. And they’re willing to foot the $4000 bill.
Former Creswick resident Caelli Greenbank, who is an ambassador for the Young Endeavour and helping spruik the trip for council, climbed aboard in 2010.
“I went as a trainee and had my 18th birthday onboard, which was pretty memorable. It was nothing like I expected but it was a huge challenge, particularly as I am terrified of heights and I had to climb a 20 metre mast in the dark, the rain…
“It is also physically and mentally exhausting, you get seasick, you get tired and wet and cold and grumpy, you have to live with all these strangers.”
(So far, not a great sell…)
“But the whole thing was a huge challenge and I loved it and I really loved sailing and I have been involved ever since.
“I guess I love the way the rest of world is locked away when you are at sea. Nothing else matters. You don’t care about homework, paying the rent, dramas with friends or family. Nothing matters except the wind and the waves and the sunshine and the ship. That is your whole world at that moment.
“And there is also that sense of accomplishment. Everyone hits the wall at some point, something gets to you, but the thing about being in the middle of the ocean is that you can’t just pull over and get out until you feel better. You have to keep going and push through, so when you get to shore and have that feeling that you stuck it out, that is incredible.
“It’s also the confidence. Sailing is something totally different to anything I had done in my life. I was at uni, working on my bachelor’s degree and then I was getting out, working with my hands and doing something that I couldn’t memorise or recite.
“I just had to start from the beginning and get good at it. I also like that sailing, while traditionally a masculine pursuit, welcomes everyone on board and if they can do the job, they do the job.”
Caelli said the main attribute needed to join a tall sailing trip was being able to “have a go”. “You will do a whole bunch of stuff you have never done before, you will face a few fears whether that is heights, water or strangers, and you need to be willing to have a go and overcome them. That’s the main thing. And everyone will get something out of it.
“For me, I work at Sovereign Hill at Ballarat and sail in my free time on the Enterprise in Melbourne and the James Craig in Sydney. I fly every month to Sydney to go sailing, that tells you how much I love it.”
Meanwhile, the council is also offering a young person a scholarship, also valued at $4000, for learning and development, through a state, national, or international conference, workshop or program of the applicant’s choice.
Applications for both the voyage and scholarship close on February 21.
Pictured: Caelli, back row, second from right, aboard the Young Endeavour
Words: Donna Kelly | Image: Contributed