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Aussie who became the youngest person to sail around the world solo at 16 reveals career change 

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Ten years on: Aussie who became the youngest person to sail around the world solo at 16 reveals her unexpected career change

  • Jessica Watson became youngest person to sail solo around the world at 16 
  • Ms Watson, now 26, is remembering her sailing journey a decade later 
  • She now works as a management consultant for a Melbourne accounting firm

An Australian woman who became the youngest person to sail around the world at 16 has revealed her unexpected career change 10 years on. 

Jessica Watson made history when she steered Ella’s Pink Lady out of Sydney Harbour in October 2009, embarking on a 210-day and 23,000 nautical mile journey. 

The teenager became the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world when she returned on May 15, 2010, to the cheers of more than 75,000 people, including then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Jessica Watson made history when she steered Ella's Pink Lady out of Sydney Harbour in October 2009, embarking on a 210-day and 23,000 nautical mile journey

Jessica Watson made history when she steered Ella’s Pink Lady out of Sydney Harbour in October 2009, embarking on a 210-day and 23,000 nautical mile journey

Ms Watson, now 26 years old, has revealed she faces new challenges while chasing career goals outside of the water

Ms Watson, now 26 years old, has revealed she faces new challenges while chasing career goals outside of the water

‘I don’t know if I have ever come down from that high,’ Ms Watson told WHO. 

But Ms Watson, now 26 years old, has revealed she faces new challenges while chasing career goals outside of the water. 

The Queenslander, who has a Master of Business Administration, is currently working as a management consultant for a Melbourne accounting firm.

‘People don’t realise that as much as I absolutely love sailing, I wanted it to be a hobby for life, rather than a career,’ she said.

‘My job is exactly what I was looking for. A different challenge.’ 

Ms Watson enjoys sailing on the weekend with her boyfriend Cameron Dale, who she met through their shared love of sailing. 

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Ms Watson enjoys sailing on the weekend with her boyfriend Cameron Dale, who she met through sailing circles

Ms Watson enjoys sailing on the weekend with her boyfriend Cameron Dale, who she met through sailing circles

The 2011 Young Australian of the Year also published a children’s adventure novel last year. 

Ms Watson was inspired to write the book after battling dyslexia.  

‘Books have had a huge impact on me. They gave me a reason to push through my early struggles with dyslexia, and it was a book that inspired me to sail around the world,’ she wrote on her website.   

‘Being given the opportunity to write a book about my voyage taught me a huge amount and gave me an appetite to write more.’ 

Ms Watson said she is often asked whether she would sail around the world again.

The 26-year-old said it’s definitely something she wants to do again but would stop along the way to visit all the ‘beautiful places’ she sailed past a decade ago. 

The 2011 Young Australian of the Year also published a children's adventure novel last year

The 2011 Young Australian of the Year also published a children’s adventure novel last year

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