Hello and thank you for visiting the Student Sail Training Initiative.

My name is Murray and I am a sail trainer and a science teacher at a local high school in Sydney's south west. I work with some lovely students and I'm always looking to provide opportunities for them to expand their horizons, push their personal limits and develop the skills necessary to help them succeed in life.

For the last 13 years I have been involved with an experiential learning activity known as sail training. In Australia sail training involves taking either young people or adults to sea and teaching them how to sail a tall ship. But its not just teaching them the ropes, the process of instruction helps them build their teamwork, leadership and communication skills as well as builds their confidence and ability to generate new social networks.

It is not just a fun experience, although fun is certainly had. The principle is firmly based on the experiential learning model where the activities they undertake are set in the real world and their actions and decisions have real consequences. Back up with targeted and facilitated debriefs those who participate gain a better understanding of what it all means and how the lessons learned can be applied back to everyday life.

The reason I am seeking your support is that recently I was given an opportunity to take up to 30 students and teachers from my school on a 1-day sail training experience in Australia's own Windeward Bound. This is a limited opportunity as the ship is up in Sydney for a limited time and will return to Hobart shortly after. Once she has left the opportunities for the students to experience this type of program become more expensive and logistically more difficult.

Most of my students are from a lower socio-economic background, many are refugees and many have english as an additional language and we have found raising funds to date difficult. This is why we are seeking your support.

While we have managed to raise some of the funds required I am seeking to raise the remaining funds required to pay for the use of the vessel, the food for the day and the cost of the sail training program.

This is a unique experience for the students, and one they may never again have the chance to undertake. The benefits of increased leadership and teamwork skills along with building their inter-peer communication and personal confidence has been shown by a number of studies from the University of Edinburgh, University of Sydney, University of Otago to have great long lasting benefits for the individuals and their communities. My own research through the University of Western Sydney indicates they are likely to become more engaged with education and ongoing learning as well.

This particular activity will see both students and teachers take part, working together and forming lasting positive bonds that will both inspire encourage greater commitment to achieving the most out of life. The teachers who take part will come back more inspired and will have more tools and techniques to create engaging lessons further inspiring the students to achieve.

Those who support us will receive a formal note of thanks from both myself and those who take part. This letter will highlight what the students have gained from the experience and how you have helped them achieve their goals.

Due to the time frame of the opportunity, I have until the 7th October to raise the remaining funds. Any additional funds will go towards further reducing the cost for each student and covering transport costs to and from the vessel.

Thank you once again for your support. Together we can provide opportunities like these for our students and help them become the best they can be.

More information on Windeward Bound can be found here

More information on sail training can be found at the Australian Sail Training Association's website


Sail Training International's website

Please note the video behind me is taken from Sail Training International and can be viewed ... here
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Murray Henstock 
Rydalmere NSW
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