My name is Astrid Briggs, I am a school captain at Merrimac State High School on the Gold Coast. I recently spent 11 days on the STS Young Endeavour, and have gained a huge amount from the experience. Having recently turned 17 my life is full of commitments and challenges. I am studying hard to achieve a good OP, I recently passed my driving test, I work on the weekends, try to keep up with my friends, and in my spare time think about what I want to do once I leave school in only a few months. I have a passion for being outdoors and can’t imagine myself in a traditional 9-5 job, stuck in an office all day. My focus and passion for challenging myself has lead me to apply to the Royal Australian Navy, to study at ADFA and become a Maritime Warfare Officer. I have a steadfast commitment to this goal and strive every day to make my career goals a reality.
Experiencing life on the Young Endeavour was a life-changing experience that enabled me to not only meet current naval personnel, but I also began to develop the maritime skills necessary to succeed within the Royal Australian Navy. From my experiences upon the ship I have furthered my understanding of the importance of teamwork and critical thinking that can be applied to varied and unique situations. The Navy crew operated as a cohesive team, accomplishing tasks with speed and efficiency regardless of the circumstances. From working late night and early morning shifts, to operating within intense weather conditions, the personnel upon the vessel were consistently excellent. This did not only extend to their professional skills, the crewmembers were generous with their time offering career advice and providing an environment, that whilst challenging, was conducive to learning new skills.
The highlight of the trip for me was sailing into Sydney Harbour whilst on the topgallant yard. I held this position as we sailed past Fort Denison, the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Upon arriving the cannons were fired to signify the return of the Young Endeavour. I will remember this experience for the rest of my life. It fills me with pride for Australia, and gives me the drive to challenge myself so that I may be a part of the elite unit which protects this amazing country that we call home.
I would like to thank all of the people who made this experience possible. It has given me the confidence and clarity in my decisions to move forward and pursue my dreams and commit to a career in the Navy. In furthering this goal I have since travelled to Canberra for my Officer Selection board and I'm proud to say have been recommended. I’m sure that one day soon I'll sail again, as part of the awesome naval crew.