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August 9, 2013

The accessible 55-metre square rigger, operated by UK charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, was designed and built to be sailed by disabled and able bodied crew. Tomorrow she will be transformed into a pirate ship for a visit by the children from Lady Lawley Cottage by the Sea, Cottesloe.

Among those joining the mini pirates on board will be a patron of the Australian Red Cross, which operates Lady Lawley Cottage, Mrs Tonya McClusker, and her husband, the Governor of Western Australia, His Excellency Malcolm McClusker. With encouragement from the permanent crew of Lord Nelson, Mrs McClusker will be climbing one of the ship’s three masts.

Lord Nelson is in Australia at the invitation of the Royal Australian Navy and will represent British tall ships in the RAN International Fleet Review in Sydney in October. As well as Fremantle and Sydney, Lord Nelson will also call in to Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart.

The visit Down Under is part of a wider project: the Norton Rose Fulbright Sail the World Challenge, a 50,000-mile, two-year circumnavigation, designed to promote the message of equality and inclusion in every port of call.

The man in charge of Lord Nelson, Captain Chris Phillips, said, “It was wonderful to hear of the work that Lady Lawley Cottage does, and you can see the parallels with our own organisation, albeit with a different age group. They improve the lives of many children and their families and carers and give them the opportunity to participate more fully in their community.

“Both of Jubilee Sailing Trust’s ships, Lord Nelson and her sister ship, Tenacious, are the only accessible tall ships in the world that offer the opportunity for disabled and able bodied crew to sail together as equals. It gives everyone, no matter their ability, the opportunity to challenge themselves, discovering they are capable of more than they thought possible and, in doing so, widening their horizons.”

Cheryl Holland, Senior Manager of Lady Lawley Cottage, also noted further similarities, commenting, “In all organisations, it is the people that make the difference: I can see that the Jubilee Sailing Trust is not formulaic in what it does and that there are literally generations of people who pass on their earlier positive experiences to newcomers – showing what is possible by example. I think both organisations are unusually blessed to be staffed and supported by volunteers who show such common humanity and respect for others, free of prejudice and perhaps because they see each other’s different abilities, not their disabilities.”

Ms Holland adds, “Red Cross has operated Lady Lawley Cottage for the last 70 of its 110 years. It provides planned and emergency respite accommodation for up to 27 children at a time who have disabilities, or have specialist medical care needs, and for many more in their homes or communities. Red Cross has been providing the service as part of our work towards an inclusive society where all people are valued, their differences are respected and their basic needs are met. We work with vulnerable people to overcome social exclusion by providing bridges back into the community. We promote inclusion through our initiatives and programs, such as those at Lady Lawley Cottage.”

Norton Rose Fulbright, which has five offices in Australia, including one in Perth, is supporting this unique global voyage under their banner of “All abilities. All aboard.” The global legal practice supports the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s values of diversity, inclusion and integration.

Over the course of the 23-month voyage, the Lord Nelson will make four Equator crossings, log 50,000 nautical miles and visit 30 countries on seven continents. The journey is unique due to the people who make up the voyage crew: all of them have stepped out of their everyday lives to participate, all of them refusing to be limited by disability or self-imposed comfort zones to become part of a round the world crew. Design features including hearing loop, braille signage, speaking compass, wheelchair lifts and a bowsprit wide enough for a wheelchair ensure that many different physical disabilities can be accommodated. Crew are paired up in a buddy system, working together and supporting each other throughout the voyage.

A few berths are available to sail on the ship on the voyage from Melbourne to Adelaide. As all the other coastal voyages in Australia have sold out, this is the final opportunity for Australians to sail on the ship in home waters before she departs for New Zealand and on across the Southern Ocean. The berth price has been reduced to $2,325 from $3,095. For more information call Jubilee Sailing Trust on 03 9981 3312 or email info@jst.org.uk.

Lord Nelson will be open to the public next to C Shed, Victoria Quay, Fremantle, on Thursday and Friday 15 and 16 August.

The ship will set sail from Fremantle on Sunday 18 August and is due to arrive in Adelaide on Friday 30 August.


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