Making an impact

The Helmsman project


The Helmsman Project was founded on the belief that all young people should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Our cofounders, Andrew Stainer and John Naylor, met on a yacht in 2010. As well as a passion for sailing, they shared a strong belief that young people should be able to reach their full potential, regardless of their socioeconomic status or cultural background. Their long conversations on the water planted the seed of an idea: what if adventure education and personal coaching were combined, to create positive and long-lasting change in the lives of young people?

Inspired by the thought, the duo began reviewing research in the fields of coaching psychology and adventure education. The evidence they uncovered showed that a program which taught young people hope, self-regulation and resilience could transform their lives and improve the future of their schools, families and communities. And so, The Helmsman Project was born.

Since we set sail on our journey, The Helmsman Project has given more than 439 young people the chance to develop the skills they need to reach their potential and enjoy a brighter future. We now partner with a growing number of high schools across Sydney to deliver innovative programs that support young people when they need it most. What started as a conversation between friends is now a thriving organisation that’s making a real difference.

In 2022 The Helmsman Project joined forces with leading Australian social enterprise Creating Chances to continue giving young people the opportunity to reach their full potential.