Friday, June 25, 2010

Jessica Watson for Australian of the Year.

Not just “Young Australian of the Year”, but “Australian of the Year”.

Once in a while we have the unique experience of encountering extraordinary human beings who are prepared to depart from “accepted orthodoxies”, such as, “16 year old girls should not be sailing around the world”. Jess is not only a beautiful human being, inwardly and outwardly, but a role model for all of us. Here were her words, as recorded by the LATimes:

"I wanted to challenge myself and achieve something to be proud of. And yes, I wanted to inspire people. I hated being judged by my appearance and other people's expectations of what a 'little girl' was capable of. It's no longer just my dream or voyage. Every milestone out here isn't just my achievement, but an achievement for everyone who has put so much time and effort into helping getting me here."

“I wanted to inspire people.”

It’s almost as if Divine Providence oversaw all of Jess’ incredible journey around the world. Wherever she went, though Mother Nature and the oceans were not always kind to her, and could never relieve the trials and personal deprivations of being alone at sea for 210 days, dolphins comforted her, and Mother Nature seemed to assure her that all was indeed well. No one in their wildest imagination could have written a more perfect script, right down to the perfect weather for her arrival in Sydney Harbour (and Mooloolaba), on a very special day that will live in the memory of the thousands who witnessed it.

I salute Jessica Watson, and her now incredible, amazing and famous yacht, “Ella’s Pink Lady”. Jess always referred to “we”, and had a very special bond with Ella’s Pink Lady. After docking at Man-of War berth, look at the expression on Jess’ face as she looked at Ella’s Pink Lady after disembarking, with the wind-generator still going, and Pink Lady finally berthed after 23,000 nautical miles around the globe. Jess knew she would never have made it without the resilience and strength of this 10 metre yacht. And the most chilling thought of all, is that she accomplished this feat when just 16 years of age.

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