2012 Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge
Youth Leader selected to represent WA and Clubs WA!
Thank you to all the clubs that encouraged your junior members and family members to apply for the Clubs WA Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge. 6 applicants were short listed from the extensive number of high calibre applications that came in:
- Samuel McKeon, Albany
- Vivien Mathews , Geraldton
- Brendon Scott, Seville Grove
- Benjamin Jerez, Bunbury
- Campbell Simpson, Yerecoin
- Philip Clegg, Mosman Park
Clubs WA is proud to announce that 16 year old Benjamin Jerez will be representing Western Australia and Clubs WA in the 2012 Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge.
Below is an introduction to Benjamin :
My name is Ben. I turn 17 this August. I am in Year 12 at Bunbury Catholic College and heavily involved in their leadership groups. Ever since the age of 12, I have been a part of my community’s Youth Advisory Council, where we always are volunteering for community events, other groups such as the Over 50’s, other youth groups, the surf life club and local schools.
I volunteered to coach a junior team at my local South Bunbury Football Club and where I have played for 9 years and I love it. In 2009, I was one of 6 candidates for West Australian Youth of the Year. In 2010, I received the Long Tan Defence Force Leadership award from my school Principal. I am heavily involved in sport and love to volunteer anywhere in my community. I hope to stay involved in my clubs for as long as I can.
Every year I put my hand up to help out in any way on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day because I am and always have been fascinated and appreciative of these men who went to war. My great grandfather was enrolled during the months of Kokoda, stationed somewhere in Northern Queensland. I would love to walk the track in memory of him but also for self fulfilment. I am at a stage of my life where I don’t know what exactly I want to do with my future and the kind of person I’m going to be as an adult. I have many ambitions to travel to countries such as Cambodia and assist and help the children suffering there, which is where my cousin is now and is doing.
I believe through conquering the track, I will learn even more about my cultural and historical context and also grow tremendously as a person. I continue to strive in everything I do and one day dream to make an impact in this world, and what better way to start that journey than by tackling the Kokoda track on its 70th Anniversary!
Read for our full interview with Benjamin here!
17 year old Jaymee Naughton represented Western Australia in the challenge last year. “There are no words to describe the feeling I had when I had finished the Kokoda track. I knew the trek would be physically challenging, but I didn’t quite fully understand how emotionally difficult it would be. I learnt so much about myself. Ultimately, it was the first hand feel of all that has been sacrificed, that truly made a difference to my life,” she expressed.
Read Jaymee's personal and very emotional experience at Kokoda here.
Jaymee's photos from Kokoda are also up for viewing on our Clubs WA Facebook page, here.