After seven days on the high seas, the young Indigenous leaders returned proud, stronger and sad to be departing from their newly found friends. Stepping aboard the Leeuwin, I took some time to chat with a few students about their experience on the ship. Of course sea-sickness was a part of the package but they all said they had a life-changing experience.
Sixteen year old Angel Hayward said it is one of the most unique experiences she has ever had. “The best part was getting to know everyone…and who they are in such a different climate to what I’m usually used too.”
Kamurudin Hunter, 17, explained it was hard to say goodbye to land and unfortunately for him sailing meant that sea sickness in the early days was a common occurrence.
“The best part about the trip was getting into our teams, meeting new people, I’ve made some great friends…and getting to know them over the last seven days was pretty cool and working together with them.”
“I’ve learnt cooperation, team work skills, learnt how to do the hauling, the easing, learnt the names of the ships, sails, knots.”
“We did some cleaning…we hauled some sails up, took them down, got way up on the mast, the tallest I think was 33 metres…” he said.
For 16 year old Dana Anaru, it was about confronting her fear of heights and being out of her comfort zone. Socialising and meeting new people was a highlight for Dana. “…I come from a small country town in the middle of nowhere, there isn’t much water and I’ve never seen so much water before in my life.”
Dana said the important things that she will take back with her are“…communication skills, teamwork and knowledge that if you work together you can get more out of things.”
Dancing was even part of the trip, with all three students saying they learnt a new dance on board called the ‘Eskimo Dance’, something they wish to share with their friends, when they return home.
“I would recommend it to some friends at home because… it’s 7 days out at sea and learning some new skills, meeting new people and working together,” said Kamurudin.
Dana strongly agreed, “It’s an adventure, you don’t really get many experiences like this, especially not knowing anyone [when]…coming [aboard]…and then you’re leaving as friends and basically family because you’re living together and sharing experiences…”
“It was awesome, you might even say legendary,” said Angel.