Teens take STS Leeuwin challenge

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett, Grace Ieraci and Jorja Asplin all agreed the trip would have great benefits.Picture: Callum Hunter
Camera IconDardanup shire president Mick Bennett, Grace Ieraci and Jorja Asplin all agreed the trip would have great benefits.Picture: Callum Hunter Credit: Picture: Callum Hunter

Five Dardanup Shire teenagers will set sail today from Albany to Fremantle aboard the STS Leeuwin II.

Eaton’s Kynen Neill, Grace Ieraci and Jorja Asplin along with Dardanup’s Chloe Horton and Jayden Meek were all selected to sail on the Youth Explorer Voyage by the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation after successfully applying for Shire of Dardanup Scholarships.

The scholarships are sponsored each year by various community groups, with the 2019 batch sponsored by Doral and the Lions clubs of Eaton and Dardanup.

Grace Ieraci said the trip was a fantastic opportunity and she had been packing furiously over the past week. “I heard about the Leeuwin a while ago through school and thought it just looked like a fantastic experience, a great opportunity for growth, learning and stepping out of your comfort zone,” Grace said.

“I was really excited when I saw the shire was offering scholarships so I decided to jump in and apply.”

Jorja applied for the scholarship after her older sister completed the trip several times and told her how much she enjoyed it.

“I decided that I wanted to go to push myself out of my comfort zone, make new friends and become a role model,” she said.

During the voyage, the group will be involved in most of the ship’s operation, something Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett said was designed to build the participants’ leadership skills.

“It helps with the leadership of these young people,” he said.

“They have to do that on the ship, they have to lead, they have to help and do the stuff that the usual crew would do.”

The ship will dock in Fremantle on January 24 with the group to debrief with the council at a function in the coming months.

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