TRIP OF A LIFETIME: Lockyer District High School student Kyha Black recently sailed from Newcastle to Brisbane on board the Young Endeavour.
TRIP OF A LIFETIME: Lockyer District High School student Kyha Black recently sailed from Newcastle to Brisbane on board the Young Endeavour. CPL Nicci Freeman

Lockyer teen swaps classroom for the open ocean

IT'S not every day a deputy principal gives a Year 12 student the green light to skip school and go on an 11-day adventure at sea, but Lockyer District High School student Kyha Black was in luck.

The 17-year-old first heard about Young Endeavour's internationally recognised youth development program through school and, after applying and being drawn from the ballot, was excited to be accepted.

"All my teachers were really excited and happy to give me time off school to do the voyage,” Kyha said.

"I have a lot of assessments due when I get back, but I was able to get extensions to let me do the program.”

Travelling to Newcastle in New South Wales, Kyha joined 23 other young Australians on a voyage to Brisbane.

On board, the special trained Royal Australian Navy crew trained the 'youthies' how to sail a square-rigged tall ship, including how to navigate, keep watch, climb the mast to set and furl sails aloft, cook in the galley and take the helm.

Once the youth crew had met the challenge of learning to sail the tall ship, they elected a command team who took responsibility for sailing the Young Endeavour for 24 hours. The youth crew also had a digital detox with no phones or social media.

Instead they were encouraged to explore personal and team goals.

Kyha, who is a school house captain said she developed some life skills.

"I obviously learnt about sailing, knots and how to sail, but I also learnt personal stuff,” she said.

"At school, I have leadership roles and on Young Endeavour, I learnt about the different ways that people lead.

"I'm usually stepping forward at school, but on Young Endeavour, I learned to be involved in the team a bit more, how to communicate and appreciate people.”

The sail training voyage also presented plenty of fun moments, and Kyha said she got a lot out of the experience.

"I've made new friends, seen and experienced things that I've never done before,” she said.

"I'll push my brothers to go on Young Endeavour, as I feel they'd really enjoy it.”


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