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Winds of Joy

Extraordinary experiences for extraordinary young people
The Winds of Joy Program

Big, exciting & safe.

Provides a unique opportunity for young people with disability

The Winds of Joy program provides a unique opportunity for young people with disability to sail a large racing yacht that has been modified to ensure easy accessibility and accommodate wheelchair users.

Program Overview

The Winds of Joy is an inclusive, safe space, designed to give young people with disabilities an empowering and uplifting experience on the water. Participants are supported by skilled volunteer sailors, who will give students the opportunity to have hands-on experience with a large high performance yacht, specially fitted to accommodate wheelchairs.

We currently have permanent ports in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Geelong, and Brisbane that operate on  various weekdays depending on location.

We visit Mackay, Rosslyn Bay, Southport, Coffs Harbour, and Bundaberg during our annual Northern Campaign.

We operate during school terms 1, 2, and 4. Brisbane operates year-round during school terms.

The Northern Campaign operates once per year during August and September.

The boats we use for our programs allows up to 15 guests on board and up to 3 wheelchairs, depending on location. Teachers and support workers must supervise participants with a student-to-teacher ratio of at least 3:1. We do not sail with less than eight guests.

We offer 2-hour slots, one in the morning at 10:00-12:00 and one in the afternoon at 12:30-2:30. Sailing is usually 1.5 hours in duration.

Due to limitations of the boat’s toilet, please allow enough time for students to toilet prior to joining the boat. After you secure your booking, we provide information on where accessible toilets are available nearby.

A crew member will meet your group at the entrance to the marina or pier and direct the group to the boat. More information is available in the Contact page of the website.

Support from generous donors and Government grants enable us to provide our programs free of charge to schools and students

This program has been designed for young people with disability or those experiencing disadvantages to attend with their school as a group.

Guests should wear comfortable clothing and closed toes shoes. We suggest you bring a jumper, secure wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen.

There is no food to be consumed on the boat unless required for medical reasons. Please bring a water bottle to stay hydrated.

Your skipper will call the nominated contact before the sail if they have any concerns over the sailing conditions.

Contact your skipper with the number you have been provided with or call the office at 0421-725-170.

The program gives young people with a disability the opportunity to feel nature’s Winds of Joy blow over them. They can engage with crew who are mentors and role models, some with a disability themselves.

Yacht in a Box

The fun and interactive game Yacht in a Box is free to schools participating in this program. Follow the instructions or invent your own for your school curriculum.

All schools that have booked a program sail with us should receive a Yacht in A Box Game. If you have booked a sail and not received a game, please send us an email at info@makingwavesfoundation.com.au to get yours delivered.

Making Waves Foundation works collaboratively with teachers to ensure that each Winds of Change program meets the needs of the participants. 

Within the structured framework students actively participate in the learning process, moving from observation to guided practice, then independence. Each week they make decisions, with guidance from teachers and the Making Waves Foundation crew, about their growth journeys.

This game is part of Making Waves Foundation’s sailing programs. It helps students prepare to sail with us and is a fun way to explore the nautical environment.

Yacht in a Box is a board game that can be set up on the classroom floor. It is designed to help orient students to sailing with elements incorporating science, the natural environment, maths, and indigenous culture. The game comes with simple instructions; however, it won’t be long before you can start making up your own Yacht in a Box challenges.

Winds of Change

School students spend eight weeks actively progressing from observation to guided practice to independent control of a large sailing yacht.

Winds of Change

Young Adult Empowerment Opportunity

The Winds of Change program has been created for young people displaying challenging behaviours, diverse learning abilities and is tailored for those ‘at-risk’.

Program Overview

In partnership with schools, the sailing course is delivered 1 day per week, over an 8 week period. Developed to support 8 to 10 participants carefully chosen by the school, this program enables young people to learn new skills, in a safe and inclusive environment. Consistent attendance by students is expected and will maximise the program’s benefits.

A specially trained crew are committed to providing the best possible developmental experience for all participants. Our role models have created a fun, energetic, respectful framework, encouraging teamwork in a safe setting.

This program is currently available in Sydney and Newcastle, and is starting in Geelong soon.

This program is offered year-round in Sydney and during terms 1, 2, and 4 in Newcastle.

Support from generous donors and Government grants enable us to provide our programs free of charge to schools and students

Empowering for students, outcomes include working well in teams, engaging in a positive manner with adults, and developing confidence in an optimistic, yet challenging and demanding on-water environment.

The Winds of Change program has been created for young people displaying challenging behaviours, diverse learning abilities and is tailored for those ‘at-risk’.

Your skipper will call the nominated contact before the sail if they have any concerns over the sailing conditions.

Please contact the office at 0421-725-170 if you are interested in the program.

Jessie’s self-confidence has vastly improved, and a realisation of his potential, through putting himself in the unfamiliar territory on the boat, has been a major benefit of this program.

Teacher

Sarah really benefited from the challenges and tasks presented to her during the 8 weeks of sailing. Her growth in self-confidence has seen her begin to contribute positively to the classroom without being coached or forced to.

Teacher

Luke was very reluctant to take on the role of steering the boat in the first few weeks, even though he showed natural skill for it. Major improvements in his self-confidence saw him not only be happy to steer the boat when asked, but also guide others in the task – this is something Luke would never have been comfortable in doing previously.

Making Waves Foundation An image of a mountain with a white background.
Teacher

Wright of Passage

School students spend two days per week on the dock learning maritime trade skills.

The Wright of Passage

Opportunities for Personal Growth

Making Waves Foundation Wright of Passage program is for young people between the ages of 15 to 18 who are looking for learning options outside of the classroom.

Program Overview

Participants work with our volunteer mentors in a stable workshop environment to construct sailing dinghies, kayaks, and similar projects. Through this process they build confidence, consistency and develop the positive attitudes and skills needed for their journey through education, training, and employment. 

The program runs on Wednesdays and Thursdays across the school terms. Alternate Thursdays involve sailing training out on the harbour.

Intake to the program is ongoing. For more information, please email Matt at msmyth@makingwavesfoundation.com.au

The program runs year-round and is currently only available in Sydney. The program will be open soon in Brisbane.

Wright of Passage is designed for young people aged 15 to 18 who have disengaged from school (or are at risk of doing so) and are looking for alternative learning spaces.  Participants may have invisible disabilities such as Autism or ADHD, or they may be experiencing challenges due to poor decision making or social disadvantage.

All participants need to commit to Wednesdays and Thursdays during school weeks and should be willing to work and to learn how to sail.

The program aims to increase participants practical, life, personal, and inter-personal skills that sets them up for apprenticeships and employment after their involvement with the program.

In February 2019 the original program looked quite different. The five trainees were joined by other ocean sailing veterans on the journey south to the Tasmania’s MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart.

Yacht Racing

Opportunities for people to challenge themselves and continue building their sailing skills further than any of our other programs.

Yacht Racing

A Long History of Competing

The Making Waves Foundation, formerly Sailors with Disabilities, started in February 1994 during the 50th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It was the first time a crew of people with disability had sailed in an ocean race. It was supposed to be the last, but a not-for-profit community organisation was formed.

The Racing Program provides opportunities for people to challenge themselves and continue building their sailing experience further than our other programs allow. Racing incentivises our members to aim higher, gain a renewed sense of self and achievement, and discover additional coping mechanisms within the shared experience of sailing at a higher level.

View Our Racing Achievements

Racing Achievemants

1996 - 2020

Winds of Care

The Winds of Care

A Chance to Take a Break

By providing unpaid care for the valued people in their lives with disability, mental illness, chronic conditions, terminal illness and more, carers are an integral part of the health system and the foundation for disability, aged and community care networks. 

It’s a big job with small rewards, and the importance of the role deserves acknowledgement and at times, respite. Making Waves Winds of Care program offers these dedicated, devoted individuals an opportunity to receive some rest from their busy, day-to-day lives by coming sailing.

The Winds of Care program offers half a day of respite, relaxation, networking, and celebration of the invaluable care that they provide. It is offered as a 2-3 hour sail on Sydney Harbour on a Saturday or Sunday. The time is negotiable and subject to availability. Please get in touch with the Sydney office to find out if your community group can join.

Division
Event
Dates

66th Line Honours

 

9th PHS Division 1 & 18th PHS Overall Rolex Sydney to Hobart

2019

8th Division A

CYCA Winter Series

2019

7th TP52 class

Sailfest Newcastle Regatta

2019

2nd TP52 class

MHYC Sydney Short Ocean Championship

2019

7th TP52 class

Sail Port Stephens

2019

14th Overall

CYCA Twilight Series

2018/2019

6th Performance Racing

Sail Port Stephens

2018

11th Division A

CYCA Winter Series

2018

4th Division A

CYCA Winter Series

2017

42nd Line Honours

5th PHS Division 1 & 11th PHS Overall Rolex Sydney to Hobart

2016

6th Division A

CYCA Winter Series

2016

26th Place Overall

Rolex Sydney to Hobart

2012

1st PHS Division 1 & 1st PHS Overall

Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race

2011

4th IRC Overall

Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race

2011

3rd Division A

Audi Winter Series

2010

2nd PHS Division 1

Rolex Sydney to Hobart

2009

1st PHS Overall

Rolex Sydney to Hobart

2007

3rd PHS Division       

Audi Sydney - Southport Race

2007

1st PHS Division

Audi Sydney - Mooloolaba Race      

2006

2nd PHS Division

Audi Sydney - Mackay Race

2006

1st Division A

BMW Winter Series; Non-point score Race 2           

2006

5th PHS Division

61st Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race    

2006

5th PHS Division

Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race

2005

2nd PHS Division

2005 Savills Regatta   2005

2005

3rd PHS Division

Linderman Island Race

2005

4th PHS Division

2003 Sydney - Mooloolaba Race

2003

9th PHS Division

Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race

2002

6th PHS Division

Hahn Premium Race Week - Hamilton Island           

2002

4th Line Honours

Mooloolaba - Airlie Beach Race

2002

9th Line Honours

Sydney - Southport Race

2002

1st Overall PHS

Pittwater - Coffs Harbour Race

2001

2nd PHS Division

Sydney to Hobart Race

2001

1st Overall PHS

Pittwater - Coffs Harbour Race

2001

1st on Handicap

Hayman Island Big Boat Regatta

2000

1st on Handicap

85 nm Coral Sea Race

1999

1st Overall

Yalumba Southport Regatta

1999

1st Over the Line

Hog's Breath Cafe Mooloolaba/Airlie Beach

1999

4th on Handicap

Hamilton Island Race Week - Big Boat Div.

1999

2nd on Handicap

CYCA Tasman Performance Series

1998

1st PHS Division A

Telstra Sydney to Hobart, 9th Over the Line

1998

2nd on Handicap

Mooloolaba to Airlie Beach - CPHS Div

1998

1st Overall

Clipper Cup - Cairns/Pt Douglas

1997

2nd on Handicap

Airlie Beach Regatta

1997

8th on Handicap

Hamilton Island Race Week  

1997

1st on Handicap

XXXX SCOR Series - Southport

1997

1st on Handicap

Cabbage Tree Island Race

1996