Goodwill voyage brings Ashley back home
Thursday, 30 October 2008
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A former student at Challenger TAFE's WA Maritime Training Centre – Fremantle recently returned to his home port as Captain of the world’s oldest active ocean-going passenger ship.
Ashley McDonald skippers the MV Doulos, a ship dedicated to spreading “knowledge, help and hope” around the world by supplying books and promoting cultural understanding in the countries it visits.
Like all on board, Ashley serves as an unpaid volunteer on the ship and is part of an international crew from over 40 nations.
Prior to studying at the College, Ashley spent 10 years in the Royal Australian Navy and said the MV Doulos’ visit to Fremantle in 1999 motivated him to join the crew.
“I met the then Captain of the Doulos, who inspired me with stories of his experiences, and I joined up soon after finishing my maritime studies at Challenger TAFE” he said.
After six years on board with his wife and three daughters, two of which were born at sea, Ashley will leave his post in November with fond memories of what has been a “journey of a lifetime”.
The College’s Director of Maritime training, Kingsley Waterhouse, caught up with Ashley while in port and said he was pleased to see the former student putting the skills he gained toward making a positive impact in the world.
“Ashley was an outstanding student who is a credit to himself and the College through his selfless commitment to the charity-based work of the Doulos,” he said.