Waypoint Foundation

Waypoint (sic); The point or place on a line of travel at which a course is changed

For centuries, Navigators have explored our oceans and discovered new lands, in doing so they have drawn lines on maps to indicate the course or direction of travel. The point at which the course changes direction is a ‘waypoint’. In many cases throughout history, the map may not have been created or ‘discovered’. On these voyages of discovery, little information existed about what lies beyond the horizon. In many ways our lives are voyages of discovery and the waypoints determine our life voyage and ultimate destination.

The Waypoint Foundation has been established to support our life voyages. In the belief that our life course is determined through experiences or decisions which consciously or unconsciously change the course of our lives. These decisions are a waypoints.

In the tradition of the ancient mariners, the Waypoint Foundation believes that the ocean and the medium of Traditional Tall Ship Sailing can provide the conditions and environment in which life changing experiences can occur. Tall Ship Sailing provides participants with the opportunity to learn about themselves, leadership, teamwork, resilience and provides an immersive experience which can develop passion, empathy and life skills. Elements that are pivotal in any change in life course.. or Waypoint.

Young people

The following are the issues currently affecting young people in Australia:

  • One in 16 young Australians is currently experiencing depression
  • One in six young Australians is currently experiencing an anxiety condition
  • Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for the deaths of more young

people than car accidents

  • Young people are most concerned about coping with stress, school or study problems and

body image in that order

  • Young people see mental health as a more important issue than things such as the

environment, bullying, education and employment

  • A quarter of young Australians say they are unhappy with their lives

The current focus on addressing these issues in Australia is through medical and psychological support programs. These programs are necessary to prevent suicide and combat mental illness, however little efforts are being put into programs that actually give young people the tools to combat mental issues before they take hold. At the Waypoint Foundation we believe in giving young people the skills and abilities to tackle life’s challenges and to have something in life that gives them passion and a reason to live life to the full.

But the problems are not just young people.

10-15% of society experience anxiety or depression, with many being challenged by many of life’s simple tasks.  Outside of these people, there are ways in which we can improve our lives even without underlying mental health challenges.

Why Tall Ship Sailing?“Much of the personal development today is contrived to replicate real world scenarios such as ‘team building’ exercises. However, on a tall ship there are no ‘exercises’ there is only the real world of sailing the ship. The crew are a team and their task is to sail the ship, its a formula that has worked for thousands of years”. Tall Ship Sail training requires participants to confront many demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and the acceptance of personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. For most who undertake sail training on Tall Ships it is a positive life-changing experience.  Tall ship sailing also creates challenges from ‘learning the ropes’ to dealing with the challenges of life at sea (including seasickness).

Our mission is to challenge and inspire, to enable people to realise their personal potential and make a positive contribution to the wider community, through the unique medium of a tall sailing ship.

According to a study by the University of Edinburgh;“Trainees who participate in sail training programmes show measurable improvements in social confidence and their ability to work with others … and the benefits are sustained over time after the voyage experience”…

“The positive value of the sail training experience transcends national and cultural boundaries”

For thousands of years, humans have gone to sea in sailing ships, they have learnt the traditional arts of celestial navigation, sailing, teamwork and how to overcome adversity. The life was tough but satisfying through achieving skills, building resilience and leadership and ultimately getting home safely. The Waypoint Foundation is working to give our community the chance to participate in these traditions, to learn about themselves and others while building the wellbeing of themselves and those around them.

The Historic Tall Ship ‘Alma Doepel’ is the platform by which we will deliver the activities that will be central to achieving the WayPoint Foundation’s mission.