Between March 26th and April 4th, 2012, 12 students and 2 teachers from Geelong College in Victoria endured the mighty Kokoda track and paid homage to our brave soldiers from WW2.
After a few hiccups with flights from Australia, the group hit the ground running in Port Moresby and headed straight onto their charter flights to Kokoda.
After spending their first night in the beautiful village of Hoi, they trekked their way to the Isurava battle site where they conducted a moving ceremony at the stunning memorial. It was then onto Alola and Templetons Crossing before enjoying the generous hospitality of Mr Guy and the villagers at Kagi. Following a typically hardy Kokoda Brothers dinner, the group was blessed to be treated to a magnificent singing display from the local women and children.
Saturday saw the College arrive in the village of Efogi 1 where our local porter Bart, set everyone up comfortably in his very well maintained and appointed guest house, before organising an amazing flower ceremony and singing session with the local kids. The students were not to be outdone and reciprocated with raucous versions of "It's not an easy road", "Advance Australia Fair", "We are one" and of course the Geelong Football Club theme song !
After engaging in a kick to kick with 100 local kids on the Sunday, it was then onto Menari, Nauro, Ua Ule Creek and finally Owers Corner for a well earned chicken roll and soft drink. Perhaps the most emotional and moving experience for all the students and teachers was the culminating visit to the Bomana War Cemetery where the devasting result of this brutal campaign is on full display.
Although many agreed this trip was one of the hardest experiences of their lives, by experiencing the terrain and hearing about all the incredible acts of bravery and sacrifice by our Australian soldiers, not one person left the Track without giving thanks to those who served on our behalf and gave so much.