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Support Needed for Wright of Passage in Sydney

We currently have an intake of 7 participants enjoying the Wright of Passage program in Sydney.  Please donate and help us support these young people.

In January, following their successful completion of a year in the Wright of Passage program, two of our participants – Nathan and Jacob (pictured above) – both gained shipwright’s apprenticeships with Buckingham Marine, also based at Woolwich Dockyard. Nathan said that when they were trialling “It was helpful that they we already knew how to do some of the stuff. There’s still quite a lot of things we can’t do yet but just with laminating and things like that he (their employer) could see that we had some ability and would be helpful in his business.”

Jacob came into the program thinking of becoming a marine diesel mechanic, but through the program realised that boat-building and maintenance are much more to his liking. Following Jacob’s experience in the program in 2023, his younger brother Callum is a member of our intake for 2024. Callum said the program provides experiences and opportunities that are in line with his hopes for employment, and he saw how much Jacob enjoyed and benefited from the program last year. “The fact that he has got an apprenticeship says it all.”

Last year their mother saw Jacob grow in independence, self-responsibility and in awareness of people around him. She appreciates the way he was valued and the patient, respectful ways that he was taught by our volunteers. She knows that Callum has similar interests and aspirations to Jacob and can already see that he is enjoying his own time with us.
The unique Wright of Passage program commenced in 2018 to support 15–18-year-olds who struggle to progress through school or have left school and have difficulty moving into further education or the workplace. The program develops core technical skills, essential work-ready attitudes, and the self-confidence needed to succeed.

Participants are coached and mentored as they undertake trade-based boat-building projects to gain workplace experience. Goals are set, and progress is monitored through regular check-ins and end-of-term evaluations. Participants are supported where possible to transition into further education, training, or employment. Past graduates have found apprenticeships in Boat Building, Carpentry, and Plumbing. Others have moved into employment as deckhands, office administrators, and sports coaches.

The program, free for participants, is run by a dedicated team of volunteers and operates two days per week (Wednesday/Thursday) during school terms. For up to four school terms, participation can be one or two days per week on a term-by-term basis.

Three days per fortnight are spent at the workshop at Woolwich Dockyard, working out of a container donated for our use by Sean Langman and the Dockyard management. One day per fortnight involves learning to sail on Sydney Harbour, based at the Concord Ryde Sailing Club (CRSC). CRSC generously supports the program through the use of their dinghy fleet and providing membership and dinghy training courses free of charge to our participants. Learning to sail offers growth in confidence, a greater understanding of boats, and possible opportunities for networking within the maritime sector.

Please give generously so that we can properly equip the workshop. These young people know that it is a charity run by volunteers, and they respond with a lot of gratitude and optimism when they are given a new chance in life like this.


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