"Kokoda is not a walk. It is certainly not a holiday. It is a pilgrimage." Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
The Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge is an annual program administered by ClubsAustralia and Clubs WA which offers young people between the age of 16 and 22 the opportunity to walk the Kokoda Track.
The program was originally developed by the NSW RSL & Services Clubs Association and involved NSW RSL clubs sending a young person from their local community to walk the Track.
Since 2008 the program has now been adopted nationally, with state club associations in NSW, Victoria, the ACT and South Australia all funding the cost of at least one young person to walk the Kokoda Track. Expenses covered by Clubs WA include the cost of flying to Kokoda, as well as accommodation, food, camping equipment, boots and track permits. The intention of the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge is to identify young people within the West Australian community who are potential leaders, and who have an ability to both inspire and educate other young people within their local communities.
Candidates are expected to walk the entire Kokoda Track, which at 155km is 59kms longer than the more popular eco-tourist track. Clubs WA believes that by walking the entire wartime track, young people have an opportunity to gain a greater understanding about a campaign that is rarely discussed in the classroom. More than 2,000 Australian soldiers are buried at the Bomana War Cemetery near Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Each group visits the cemetery at the conclusion of their ten day trip, an experience that is as emotionally draining as the walk is physically.
Applications are open in May every year. For those currently in school, it would not require you missing any school as the trek is conducted during the third term school holidays.Should you be interested in applying then email firstname.lastname@example.org
Media interested in speaking with former participants of The Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge should contact Clubs WA Executive Director Peter Seaman on 1300 640 616 or 0417 236 638.
The trek is conducted by Adventure Kokoda. For further information about Adventure Kokoda, which was established by Major Charlie Lynn in 1991, please click here. Adventure Kokoda is acknowledged as the most professional operator on the Kokoda Track and requires candidates pass a full medical by a GP before accepting their nomination.
Applications can be submitted by Fax: 1300 503 907, Email: email@example.com or Post: PO BOX 5101, South Lake WA 6164.
Like to know more about the Kokoda Track from last year's winner? Then visit our Facebook site by clicking here!