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Uplifting stories to restore Alma

30 Aug 2018

Uplifting stories to restore Alma Image

Another $50,000 was raised towards the restoration of tall ship Alma Doepel at a gala lunch the Hotel Windsor on August 24.

Some 120 guests heard a number of inspiring stories about why Alma needs to be completed so she can resume her role as a youth sail training ship.

Nearly three decades after experiencing a life-changing voyage thanks to her social workers in 1991, Joanne Liddell (pictured right) explained the benefits.

“I was born to two alcoholic parents and removed by the Department of Human Services at age three from a violent and neglectful environment,” she began.

“I was then shuffled around a series of foster homes, which left me feeling emotionally unbalanced, not trusting myself or others.”

About her time on Alma Doepel, she said: “It was during the voyage that, for the first time as a young adult, I was treated as an equal and encouraged to feel good about being myself.”

“A magical bond occurs between you, the ship and all on board. You need each other to survive, everyone is valued.”

“Until this day I have drawn on the encouraging and uplifting experience onboard. I remember one piece of advice in particular given to me from an experienced crew member: ‘You are good enough just the way you are and you can make your life a great one’.”

“It should not be underestimated how powerful one unique, positive experience of sailing on the Alma can be in the life of a young person.”

“I can testify to the fact that, an inspired youth with new found confidence and self-belief is one that is far less likely to go down the path of drug/alcohol addiction, self-harm, or worst case, suicide.”

“This is why we need Alma back in the water now. Alma brings the best out of people,” Ms Liddell said.

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