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Facebook tag leads to trip of a lifetime for young Sophie - The Daily Examiner

by By Jarrard Potter | March 14, 2016

If not for a chance Facebook tag from a friend, Sophie Attwater might have missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime to go sailing on the Young Endeavour tall ship.

There were only two days left for Ms Attwater to get her application in for the epic journey.

"If it wasn't for my friend telling me about it, I wouldn't have applied," Ms Attwater said.

"I'm so glad I did, I'm very excited and honoured to be selected."

Her leadership qualities and commitment to the SES have earned her selection to become one of 21 young Australians taking part in the adventure, and the first from the Clarence Nambucca SES region to be a part of the Young Endeavour.

Ms Attwater volunteers for the Grafton SES unit, and is one of three young NSW SES volunteers who will take part in the 10-day sailing adventure along the NSW South Coast when it departs on March 20.

Despite knowing nothing about boats or sailing, Ms Attwater is keen to find her sea legs and make the most of the opportunity.

"The only things I know about boats are the front, the back, the left and the right, so it'll be a big learning experience but I'm ready for the challenge," she said.

"I'm not the best of friends with heights, so that will be a massive challenge going up the sails and the mast.

"And while the boat is swaying, it'll be tough, but that's what the Young Endeavour is all about, facing those fears and learning about yourself."

Ms Attwater said she was looking forward to building on her teamwork and leadership skills, which she hoped to take back to her SES Youth Development Program.

Clarence Nambucca region controller Caroline Ortel said Ms Attwater was a deserving winner with a strong passion for volunteering.

"We have quite an active youth program developing our SES volunteers at the local level, and Sophie is a strong contributor to that group, so the skills she learns on the Young Endeavour we hope she will be able to bring back and share with the youth for the whole Clarence Nambucca region," she said.

"It's a fabulous opportunity for Sophie. She is a tremendous young lady. Everyone who meets Sophie has a lot of respect for her, and she does great things in our organisation so we are really proud to hear she got selected."

The trip is sponsored by the NSW SES Volunteers Association, the NSW SES and Origin Energy.

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