Funding proposal for a Military Heritage Interpretation Plan for the Kokoda Trail ….Kokoda-75-Funding-Proposal
About The Author
Charlie Lynn is a former army major and former Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs in the New South Wales Parliament. In 2015 he was inducted as an 'Officer of the Logohu' by the PNG Government in their New Years’ Honours List ‘for service to the bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and Australia and especially in the development of the Kokoda Trail and its honoured place in the history of both nations’ over the past 25 years'. In 2018 he was inducted as a 'Member of the Order of Australia' for his services to the NSW Parliament. He has led 99 expeditions across the Kokoda Trail since 1991.
PNG – a difficult place to help!
January 10, 2007
png – Wouldn’t it be great if . . .
September 30, 2008
Australia salutes Corporal Les Cook on his 100th birthday today
January 10, 2023
Kokoda comes to Sydney . . .
December 29, 2013
Brilliant proposal with great detail!
I’ve always been very concerned at the almost complete lack of engagement that is evident with key PNG landowners and stakeholders when it comes to both management of the trail and commemoration or indeed other infrastructure projects. It seems surprisingly rare that the villagers themselves along the trail, reputable trekking companies, leading Kokoda historians or indeed key Australian military specialists such as the Australian War Memorial and Returned Services League are included in such discussions. It’s not therefore terribly surprising that project after project end up derelict, abandoned or are essentially abject failures.
One aspect that I have been shocked to see in my 4 years of trekking the trail is the deterioration of facilities, campsites and the increased disinterest and disengagement with the villagers along the trail. Few, if any of the currently suggested projects, new signage and ‘upgrades’ in the pipeline are going to be of any lasting benefit if this disengagement is not addressed as a priority.
However, this proposal seems to go a long way to address this with stakeholder engagement and consultation with reputable military historians emphasized during every step of the process. I hope there is enough support for this proposal to receive the attention it deserves. Such a project would be invaluable in stimulating interest and in encouraging trekkers back to the trail – esp in the upcoming post-covid seasons.
Walking the Kokoda Trail with Charlie and a father and son school group in 2014 gave me a great appreciation of the ruggedness of the terrain and the hardship, sacrifice and courage of the soldiers defending Australia during WWII. The experience for our 15 yo sons was incredible and I would recommend the Kokoda Trail to anyone with a spirit of adventure and an interest in the sacrifice of those who have gone before them. I think it is a very valuable rights of passage pilgrimage for any young (or not so young) Australian. It is astounding that Australia doesn’t have a coherent plan to preserve this important part of our history, to make the trail accessible for future generations and to maintain and enhance the relationships with the local people which were forged in battle and over the subsequent decades. This is a matter of national importance and I commend the work of Charlie Lynn, Andrew Tracy and Network Kokoda in promoting this vision.