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January 29, 2015

A Traralgon naval officer is helping to give young Australians the experience of a lifetime by guiding them through some of the world’s most formidable oceans aboard the Young Endeavour.

Lieutenant Matt McGrath is one of 12 RAN staff that will sail the Young Endeavour around the world – the first time in 20 years the vessel has attempted such a route.

More than 200 young Australians will join the square-rigged tall ship for voyages between 18 and 60 days’ duration.

Federal Member for Gippsland and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Darren Chester, was on hand to farewell the ship from Sydney’s Garden Island prior to it setting sail, where he met Lieutenant McGrath and his family.

“Matt is an excellent example of the many talented and dedicated officers and sailors we have in the Royal Australian Navy,” Mr Chester said.

“He will be part of a RAN team helping young Australians to gain valuable life skills in teamwork, leadership, communication and resilience during their time aboard the vessel.”

Mr Chester, who has parliamentary responsibility for the Young Endeavour Scheme, said the ship had recently undergone a comprehensive re-fit, maintenance and work-up program, and was ready to undertake the exciting and challenging deployment.

The Young Endeavour will sail some of the world’s most challenging routes, including the Roaring Forties, Atlantic Ocean, through the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel, into the North Sea, and return via the Cape of Good Hope and Indian Ocean.

The tour will include a stop at Gallipoli during the ANZAC Centenary Commemorations.

Lieutenant McGrath is currently on board Young Endeavour and will remain with the ship until arrival in the Netherlands in August.

The Young Endeavour rounded Cape Horn on Monday and arrived in Argentina early Tuesday morning.

CAPTION 1: Lieutenant Matt McGrath hugs his partner Erika Lelkes goodbye at the farewell ceremony held for STS Young Endeavour before she departs on a 12 month circumnavigation of the world. Photo courtesy Department of Defence.

CAPTION 2: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester (far right) with (L-R) Victoria McGrath, Bruce McGrath, Lieutenant Matt McGrath and his partner Erika Lelkes at Garden Island before Lieutenant McGrath set sail on the Young Endeavour global voyage.


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