First female CO on STS Young Endeavour

Sail Training Ship (STS) Young Endeavour has welcomed a new Commanding Officer with Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Newman taking command of the Navy’s tall ship.

CAPTIONDeparting Commanding Officer Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour, Lieutenant Commander Adam Farley, left, hands over the ‘Weight’ to incoming Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Newman. Story by Eliza Jay. Photo by Leading Seaman David Cox.

Lieutenant Commander Newman, now known as ‘Captain Libby’ to the youth crew on board, assumes the position after a rigorous training period, including sea time with departing Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Adam Farley and the dedicated team of Navy officers and sailors who crew the ship.

The posting marks a significant milestone for the Young Endeavour Program, making Lieutenant Commander Newman the first female Commanding Officer of STS Young Endeavour in its 35-year history.

“This posting is a career highlight for me,” Lieutenant Commander Newman said.

“It’s incredibly rare to have the privilege to work on such a beautiful ship and to deliver a program that improves the lives of young Australians.”

Lieutenant Commander Newman’s first voyage as Commanding Officer embarked from her home port of Brisbane, with 24 youth on board ready to set sail on the adventure of a lifetime.

“Taking command of STS Young Endeavour in my home port was a moment I won’t forget,” she said.

“My first youth crew came together to form a strong bond and worked together brilliantly to overcome challenges. We also explored some amazing parts of the Queensland coastline together –  it’s been a fantastic start.”

CAPTIONYouth ambassadors conduct sail rigging on board Young Endeavour during a voyage from Sydney to Newcastle. Photo by Leading Seaman David Cox.

Lieutenant Commander Farley has now completed his third posting to STS Young Endeavour and departs with fond memories of his time on board.

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to command STS Young Endeavour for the past two years,” Lieutenant Commander Farley.

“Youth crew leave Young Endeavour after 11 days with pride, confidence, and the knowledge that they can overcome challenges. It’s been a phenomenal experience to play a small part in the lives of the future leaders of this great nation.”

Since 1988, more than 14,000 young Australians have taken part in the inspiring youth development program.

A voyage in Young Endeavour is a unique experience for young Australians aged 16-23.

CAPTIONChief Petty Officer Bosun Matthew Jarvis (middle) instructs team-building activities onboard Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour during a voyage from Sydney to Newcastle, NSW. Photo by Leading Seaman David Cox.

Lieutenant Commander Newman and the Navy crew teach participants how to sail the ship, as well as develop their teamwork, leadership and communication skills. This in turn helps them become better leaders and team players, and better equipped to make an active contribution to their schools, workplaces and communities.

During her 35 years, Young Endeavour has sailed more than 500,000 nautical miles, and delivered over 600 voyages, including two world voyages and four circumnavigations of Australia.

In 2024, Young Endeavour will circumnavigate Australia for the final time before being replaced by a state-of-the-art barquentine rig, designed by the team at Dykstra Naval Architects.

Australian youth aged 16-23 can apply online at: 

CAPTIONYouth ambassadors onboard Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour during a voyage from Sydney to Newcastle, NSW. Photo by Leading Seaman David Cox.








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