FORMER chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett (retired) has addressed a fundraiser for the tall ship Alma Doepel at the historic Windsor Hotel in Melbourne.

Admiral Barrett spoke about the crucial role played by the Navy in defending Australia’s sea lanes.

He noted examples such as the 1970s oil crisis and going right back to 1914 when the German raider Emden forced British commercial shipping away from Australia.

He also talked of the value of sail training on board ships for those who ultimately chose a career in the Navy.

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“There’s a reason, there’s a purpose, there’s a benefit to what I do here,” Admiral Barrett said,

“Testing yourself, but also testing the reason why you would choose to do something that is difficult to achieve.”

Also speaking at the event was Shae White, a young person who sailed on another tall ship, the Young Endeavour, and who talked about her experiences on board and how she had gained as a consequence.

The Alma Doepel is moored at Docklands, Melbourne, and is being gradually restored.

Fundraising occurred via auction (under the hammer and silent) with various gifts and holiday packages among those up for grabs.

In total about $50,000 was raised.

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