Author: Charlie

The Kokoda Track Foundation: 2003-2006

In 1992 Prime Minister Paul Keating opened a $2 million Kokoda Memorial Hospital along with a Backpacker’s Hostel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign.

It was also planned to open a new terminal at the Kokoda airfield but the locals burnt it down shortly before his visit. It turned out to be an omen of things to come with a well-intentioned aid policy inadvertently reinforcing a ‘cargo-cult’ mentality.

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CHAPTER 17: The Mark Nizette Era of Influence 2011 – 2023

‘There is overwhelming evidence that the term ‘Kokoda’ has been effectively hijacked to provide relevance to the engagement of environmentalists, anthropologists, archaeologists and social engineers in areas related to social mapping, village livelihoods, gender equity, ecosystems services options, capacity building, and mentoring beyond the gazetted borders of the Kokoda Trail.

‘But almost nothing has been invested in our shared military heritage across the Trail or the economic empowerment of traditional landowner communities.’

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