Reference Manual

What We Do

For more than 28 years, MWF have provided unique, life changing opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged young Australians through the medium of sailing. A successful life starts with believing in yourself and your abilities; our goal is to empower our participants to develop an optimistic outlook on life. With a reach from Mackay to Hobart, over 55,000 participants have benefited from our volunteer run programs.

Winds of Joy Program

The aim of Winds of Joy is to create optimism by providing fun, memorable and rewarding experiences for our participants as they come on board a sailing boat for approximately 2 hours. MWF believes that encouraging participants to step outside their comfort zones enables them to better meet life’s challenges with confidence, optimism and an “I can” attitude. The program seeks to support disabled and disadvantaged people to reframe what is possible with an open and curious mindset whilst actively participating in sailing a racing yacht. MWF has a skilled and motivated crew who are passionate, empathetic and look beyond society’s preconceptions. MWF  also works collaboratively with teachers and carers to meet the particular needs of the participants.

Preparing For Your Sail

What to wear

Dress for comfort and prepare for all weather! If students are required to wear uniforms, we would recommend shorts or long pants. Please note that 2 straps go between the legs to hold the lifejacket securely and may cause a dress to sit awkwardly. A hat, sunglasses and a jacket or jumper are also recommended. It is colder on the water than on land. A pair of sneakers or converse style shoes are suitable as long as the soles are non-marking.

What to bring

Bring a hat, a jacket and something to eat and drink. If you want to bring your phone to take photos, you are welcome to. However, be mindful that it is almost impossible to retrieve something if it falls in the water, so be smart about your valuables and keep a tight hold of your belongings. A bum bag is a great way to do so while you are on board.

We have space onboard to store your bags where they should be protected from the elements, however, we do not take any responsibility for the loss or damage of any personal items you bring onboard.


As sailing is a water sport, our programs sometimes go ahead if it rains. However, safety is our top priority, so sometimes we have to cancel a sail due to strong winds and/or rain. Generally, we will endeavour to cancel by 6 pm the evening prior, although in some cases, a decision will be made on the morning of the sail. Please ensure that you are contactable on the contact number provided. Should the weather be particularly adverse on the morning of your sail day and you have doubts about the ability of your clients to handle changed conditions, you can contact your skipper to discuss


While we understand that unforeseen circumstances occur occasionally, please be mindful of our volunteer crews and the costs associated with operating the programs when cancelling your sail. We ask that cancellations are made at least three weeks before your sail date so we can organise for another group to attend in your place and that you provide us with the reason for your cancellation. Please note that groups who make last-minute cancellations without providing a valid reason will not be prioritised for future sails with MWF.

Photographs and filming

If you want to take your photos or videos during your sail, you are more than welcome to. If you post anything on social media, please use the hashtag #makingwavesfoundation as well as #tagging us in your posts.

Facebook: @making.waves.foundation.aus
Instagram: @making.waves.foundation


Feedback from visitor groups is absolutely vital for the continuation of MWF’s programs
and in ensuring that we are meeting our program aims. After your sail, you will be sent an email with a link to an online feedback form. You must complete this form within 7 days of your sail. Any additional feedback you would like to share such as drawings, letters and photographs are greatly appreciated. Please note that these items may be shared on our social media or website, so please advise us if you are not comfortable with this.