Coat of arms

Senator for South Australia

Media Release
21 September 2019

Sailing Program To Help Veterans Set A New Course

Liberal Senator for South Australia, Senator the Hon David Fawcett joined with Premier Steven Marshall to launch a new sailing program this morning, called “Setting a New Course”. This program is designed to assist current and former Australian Defence Force personnel move beyond injuries sustained during their service.

South Australia’s ex-service organisation The Road Home has partnered with the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia to deliver this program pilot which offers an initial intake of 5 veterans the opportunity to enhance rehabilitation through the sport of sailing. The pilot course is possible because of sponsorship by defence industry firms, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Australia and Saab Australia, as well as sailing apparel producer Musto.

The program provides veterans the opportunity to work together in small teams in a new and challenging environment to achieve a qualification accredited by the Royal Yachting Association. Veterans will have the opportunity to build on this qualification in order to compete in local competitions, sail at the Invictus Games, and potentially race in, or be part of delivery crews after, destination races such as the Sydney to Hobart.

An experimental test pilot with over 20 years military service, Senator Fawcett is familiar with the experience of many veterans who have been impacted by their service. Having been involved in sailing since his teenage years, Senator Fawcett has seen first-hand the benefits of the mindfulness and team work experienced through operating and optimising the performance of a sailing vessel at sea.

“Sailing offers the small-team environment coupled with both the intellectual and physical challenges which will be familiar to veterans, and pairs it with benefits of being outdoors.” Senator Fawcett said. “The intention is to see this program adopted by partnerships between sailing clubs and ex-service organisations in other states of Australia. Based on the success of similar programs in the UK, I am hopeful this initiative will bring positive change for many veterans and their families”.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall officiated at the launch and was excited by the prospect of future growth in the program. “I can see this initiative becoming a turning point for many veterans in South Australian and beyond,” Premier Marshall said.

The Launch took place this morning at the CYCSA, North Haven.