Young Leader Scholarship winners return from high seas adventure


The two winners of the 2019 NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Young Leader Scholarship have today returned from an 11-day voyage as part of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons congratulated the Scholarship winners, Jessie McMaster (20) from the Faulconbridge Brigade in the Blue Mountains and Kieran McGrath (22) of the Kentucky Brigade in the New England area.

“The Scholarship recognises the contribution to their brigades and local communities, along with their leadership roles in the NSW RFS,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“The experience on board the STS Young Endeavour has further challenged both Jessie and Kieran to increase self-awareness and develop teamwork and leadership skills through participating in personal and team challenges.

“This is the third year the Scholarship has been offered to support the development of our young volunteers and I’m sure like previous winners, this voyage has seen them acquire new skills and a confidence that they will take back to their brigades.”

Coinciding with NSW Youth Week, Jessie, Kieran and 22 other youth crew from around Australia departed Sydney on 15 April aboard the Young Endeavour, a scheme that is run in partnership with the Royal Australian Navy.

The 11-day voyage provides an opportunity to participate in the challenges of sailing a tall ship, learning skills such as how to navigate, keep watch, set and furl sails, climb a 30 metre mast, take the helm and cook in the galley.

Both Kieran and Jessie look forward to being able to share their experiences on board with young members across their Districts.

“Through this experience I’ve gained insights in how to build my resilience for coping with changing and challenging situations,” Ms McMaster said.

The 2019 NSW RFS Young Leader Scholarship is sponsored by commercial partner Jemena, whose General Manager Corporate Affairs Ian Isrealsohn said were delighted to be involved.

“It is great to give young members of the NSW RFS the opportunity to develop their skills and give back to the Service and their communities,” Mr Israelsohn said.

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