The Trust has gained and maintained a reputation in New Zealand as a highly respected youth development organisation providing a unique environment for youth development, where the focus of learning is on team-work, developing skills of communication, self-leadership, self-reliance, self-discipline, self-esteem, resilience, confidence and leadership. Learning to sail a tall ship is only a small part of the programmes offered.
We've taken tens of thousands of young New Zealanders on voyages of personal discovery on board our tall ship, Spirit of New Zealand. Although we're described as a sail training organisation, our main objective is to develop positive qualities in our young people.
Today, Spirit of New Zealand is believed to be the world's busiest youth ship, sailing around ten months of the year. Subject to stringent, on-going maintenance surveys, refits and audits, Spirit of New Zealand is expected to be able to continue operating youth voyages until around 2035.
"Since its inception in 1972, the Spirit has become an iconic expression of youth, ships, people, the sea and opportunity combining to create positive outcomes for the trainees nationally with ripples around the world.
Clearly demonstrated outcomes include leadership, independence and community spirit and are apparent in the trainees as they step ashore. This reflects our robustly reviewed belief that the Trust's youth development programme continues to be effective for today's young people.
Dedicated, qualified and competent crew ensure the challenge remains for each voyage and encourage individually with an understanding of co-operation, instilling discipline whilst providing a safe, friendly and enjoyable environment and retaining a sense of adventure.
The Trust strives to offer equal opportunity to all young New Zealanders to participate in our development voyages. This equal opportunity is provided by way of voyage subsidies and potential trainees are encouraged to apply. There is no reason why any young New Zealanders who are eligible for a voyage should miss this opportunity for financial reasons.
The Founder of this Trust, my late father Lou Fisher, would be as proud as I am, along with our Board, staff and supporters of the progress that has been made since 1973; progress that has and continues to deliver a world recognised life-changing experience that is accessible to all young New Zealanders."
This award was introduced in 1998 to recognise outstanding service over a period of more than ten years. Both volunteers and the Trust's permanent staff are considered eligible. Generally two are given annually.
This award was introduced in 2001 to honour outstanding service by a past participant who has contributed their time over a period of three years or more. Generally one is given each year.
Topgallant Award Winner - Nic Charrington
Topgallant Award Winner - Simon Graves
Topsail Award Winner - Phoebe Whittam