Youth Development

“Enabling young people to realise their own potential as a person while helping combat suicide, depression and drug use”.

Waypoint; 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’. 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 Mission of the Alma Doepel is  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 Alma Doepel programs draw from 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.


This is truly a rare learning experience…



When 36 young people join together for 9 days and collectively sail a traditional tall ship teamwork is the first outcome. No task can be done as an individual. The crew must work cohesively to assign roles, delegate and collaborate in order to sail the ship.


Sail training requires participants to work in teams to successfully sail a traditional tall ship. Through both structured and non-structured learning opportunities young people explore what leadership is and the skills required to lead and motivate others.


Through the key concepts of challenge by choice, teamwork and reflection, young people explore their own identity and how they cope with stress and work with team-members.


Suicide is the number one killer of young people in Australia and is linked to depression and life satisfaction. Youth Sail Training Programs engage young people with each other, themselves and the medium of sailing. Giving them access to support networks, life satisfaction and something to be passionate about. All of these factors are proven to reduce the likelihood of suicide.


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.


Our mission is to challenge and inspire young 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;


“Young trainees who participate in off-shore sail training programs 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”


The Alma Doepel Youth Sail Training Program in the 1980s and ’90s assisted many of Victoria’s youth to learn more about themselves, others and the se, helping them to overcome adversity, challenge themselves and reach their own goals and ambitions.


Youth Development Programs are scheduled to recommence in 2022.



Getting Back in the Water