Network Kokoda was established by Adventure Kokoda who specialise in the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign. Their trek leaders have a combined total of 160 years professional military experience ranging from the Vietnam war to Iraq and Afghanistan. They have worn the uniform and are committed to the legacy of our Kokoda military heritage.

Our community projects across the Kokoda Trail continue to improve the livelihoods of the  subsistence villages who live along it.

Our objective, as the major philanthropic organization on the trail today, is to earn the respect of local landowners who are the custodians of land sacred to our shared wartime heritage.

We exist to honour the legacy of our Kokoda veterans the PNG wartime carriers.

As a result we have a different approach to normal civilian NGOs in PNG in that we use our networks to establish local partnerships. We don’t hand out funds on behalf of Government or other well-intentioned individuals as this inevitably leads to an attitude of Aid dependency.

Network Kokoda was established by Adventure Kokoda who specialise in the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign. Their trek leaders have a combined total of 160 years professional military experience ranging from the Vietnam war to Iraq and Afghanistan. They have worn the uniform and are committed to the legacy of our Kokoda military heritage.

They understand that a major objective of modern military operations is to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of local communities by earning their trust and respect.

We have applied this principle to villages along the trail by assisting with agricultural production; local health needs at the village level; by empowering local community groups through the literacy programs; and providing long term education programs for village students.

Our major achievements to date include the construction of:

  • a TB Isolation Ward at the Popondetta Hospital;
  • a Community Learning Centre at Abuari Village;
  • a Women’s Learning Centre at Sogeri;
  • Market gardens at Sogeri and Iaowari High Schools;
  • Two fish farms in Menari village;
  • A commercial fish farm at Iaowari High School; and
  • Donations of school supplies and sporting to the value of $50,000 along the trail each year.

During our treks across the trail we are often presented with urgent calls for medical assistance from local villagers. As a result we have evacuated a number of adults and children to the Pacific International Hospital for treatment, covered their rehabilitation and assisted them to return to their village.

One of the most touching moments happened in Alola village last year. I was asked to check one of the elders who I had known for more than 20 years. He had a badly infected cut from a rusty machete on his leg. I had a nurse with me who dressed the wound and we left him with a course of antibiotics. The nurse explained that he should be in hospital on a drip but that was out of the question. I doubted very much that he would survive.

On my next trek a couple of months later I noticed him sitting in the shade under his hut watching our trekkers as they took a break. After they had afternoon tea they saddled up and walked past him without noticing – but I saw him sitting there quietly clapping his hands as they walked past. It was his way of saluting them because if it was not for trekkers passing though he would have died. Small things that make a big difference in their lives.

As a result on our partnership with Iaowari High School, which has approximately 600 boarding students, it is now being redesignated as an Agricultural College.

In 2020, with the assistance of the Richmond Rotary Club, we are building a new kitchen and refurbishing the dining facilities for the college. We also plan to stock their new library – they currently have a building but no books!

Our Directors include our Chairman, Andrew Tracy and a fellow stockbroker from JBWere, Tom Hayward; Colonel Kimberlea Juchniewicz; Colonel David Knaggs; Heather Crichton; Lucy Broad and Gerard McSpadden. Our supporting crew in Victoria include Gary Blackwood MP; Tim Bull MP and the dynamic Mary-Jo Cochrane.

We look forward to extending our programs in 2020 with the help of our wonderful network of supporters and wish you, and our dear friends in PNG a Meri Krismas and a Hepi Nu Yia.

If you would like to make a Christmas donation to Network Kokoda please click on this link: Network Kokoda Donate.

Our guides and carriers enjoy the festive spirit during their final trek each year
Early Christmas at Bombers Campsite
Iarowari High School students developing market gardens
Network Kokoda market gardens at Iaowari High School
Iaowari High School students at work in our Network Kokoda market gardens at the school
Sogeri youth employed to dig out the old dam at Iaowari High School in preparation for a fish farm
Iaowari High School students on the completed dam wall for their school’s fish farm
First of 8 pontoon cages for our Network Kokoda fish farm at Iaowari High School
Vegetable garden beds at our Network Kokoda Agriculture Centre at Sogeri
Bilums purchased from Menari Village for resale in Australia
Sewing machines presented to Abuari Community Learning Centre by Network Kokoda
Community Learning Centre at Abuari funded by Network Kokoda
Sewing course conducted at the Network Kokoda Koiari Women’s Centre
Participants in our Sewing Class at the Koiari Women’s Centre at Sogeri
Sogeri women participating in our Floraculture Course at the Koiari Women’s Centre at Sogeri
Koiari Women’s Centre graduating class in Financial Literacy conducted by ME Bank
Young boy from Abuari (Allan Ben) in Port Moresby Hospital after being evacuated by Network Kokoda for an operation on his fractured femur
Matthew Billy evacuated from Hoi for an emergency operation in Port Moresby
Billy with Bob Howarth, former General Manager of the Post Courier Newspaper
Matthew Billy back in his village of Hoi all patched up