“If you want to inject meaning, passion and purpose into your long life then look no further than sailing a boat. Boats challenge you physically, intellectually, practically and philosophically. You’ll never ever stop learning and it won’t always be safe.

Boats will teach you the price of your impatience and impulsive workship. The more you venture, the more you’ll explore yourself – your courage, resilience and competency. The miles will ground you in the natural world.

So, throw off the lines, say yes to every opportunity, reach out for help, sail away, explore, dream and discover.” — Cathy Hawkins, Co-Founder of the AWBF

What exactly is #AWBFnextgen?

#AWBFnextgen is the Australian Wooden Boat Festival's first official social media campaign designed to highlight next generations of AWBF enthusiasts and the projects associated with them. For the AWBF, one of the main focuses is to reconnect the wooden boat community, and foster and inspire new generations of wooden and maritime lovers. 

For the AWBF, the 'next generation' is inclusive of any person under the age of 40 (or there about). We came to this figure from taking in the feedback given to us over the years by the "old sea dogs" and master mariners before us. Each expressed concern that more needed to be done to encourage and motivate the younger generations to get involved in not only the AWBF, but the wooden boat world. This could be involvement in many forms, such as wooden boat custodian, apprentice shipwright or project manager in AWBF. 


This social media campaign will start to highlight areas of interest to the next generation and demonstrate the many ways the next generation can be involved in our beloved world. 


What program activities or projects do we currently associate with #AWBFnext gen?


At our recent 2023 Festival, we saw several #AWBFnextgen campaigners:

If you have a story to share or an #AWBFnextgen idea, please share it with us via email - office@awbf.org.au

"I believe that the biggest challenge I have faced is the learning curve. Coming from a background with no sailing experience, it was difficult ‘learning the ropes’ in such a fast-paced and unfamiliar environment.

But that is when having such a supportive crew makes all the difference, because those challenges become exciting. Each day, I look forward to learning something new on the Lady Nelson, and while it can be tough, that just makes it all the more rewarding!"

- Chloe James, volunteer on Tall Ship Lady Nelson