The following article was published in the PNG National newspaper on Friday, 15 June 2012:
OUTGOING Kokoda Tracking Authority chief executive officer Rod Hillman has been described as a visionary leader and a man of infinite wisdom.
Kokoda local level government president John Kivo said Hillman had done a lot for the authority and villages along the track.
Authority chairman Reuben Maleva said the organisation had gone through tough times for the past three years. But the government had shown confidence in the organisation after Hillman took over as CEO.
He said Hillman’s leadership had achieved many things including setting up the TPA constitution, setting up ward allocation fees and helping in enhancing tourism and conservation programmes.
Hillman, who will leave at the end of the month, said he was satisfied with his work in the country and he had to move on.
He said during his time as CEO, the authority had made over a million kina and invested back into the communities along the track.
Hillman, 52, from Canberra, Australia, said in the past, money had never being given back to the local people.
He said they had 80 licensed tourism operators affiliated with them and more than 3,000 tourists walked the track every year.
He urged the new management to continue the good work.