Adventure Kokoda have high standards and high expectations for our trek leaders. We have to because we are committed to getting our trekkers safely across the Kokoda Trail and to ensuring they have a safe, informative and enjoyable journey.
Dave Sherry first trekked with us a few years ago then returned to trek it again on a further two occasions. We then offered him a position as a Trek 2IC which he accepted immediately. Since then he has trekked with each of our professional trek leaders – Major Chad Sherrin, Lieutenant-Colonel Rowan Tracey and Commodore Simon Hart. He was able to glean a great deal of information from them in regard to how we conduct our battlesite presentations, how we approach our duty of care to our trekkers, how we relate to our PNG guides and carriers and how we manage our philanthropic programs in the various villages along the Kokoda Trail. This allowed him to develop his own leadership style and gave him the confidence to step up a grade.
Last year we promoted Dave to trek leader and since then he has led four treks across Kokoda. The following testimonial regarding his last trek in July 2012 is a great indication of Dave’s ability to meet the standards we expect from our trek leaders:
I promised myself upon return from Kokoda I’d drop you guys a line and say thanks for an unforgettable experience.
It was a ‘bloody hard slog’ – but extremely rewarding.
Dave Sherry isn’t just a wonderful guide, he’s a wonderful bloke, a bloke the whole group took a liking to the minute we shook hands at Port Moresby.
Our journey across the trail with Dave was everything we’d hoped for and more, you guys really do have it sussed, I felt completely moved and safe the whole way.
I still can’t believe how they did it, in those conditions and terrain, I feel forever in our soldiers debt.
I was particularly impressed with AK’s contributions to the local economy: funding schools, developing villages and providing medical assistance to the ‘boys’ and their families.
You should be very proud of the difference AK has made thus far.
Trekking Kokoda really is something else, something that every capable Australian should do once in their lifetime, as words and photo’s do not, do it justice.
I’ll be back.
[aka Brad Salmon]
Sam Halvorsen, trekked Kokoda with us a few years ago – he has a great respect for our military history. His letter relates to our three commandos’ who were recently killed in Afghanistan.
One of the commando’s who accompanied the bodies home on the RAAF Hercules is the son of one of my army mates – he is just 24 years of age and has just completed his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. He has trekked Kokoda twice with us over the past couple of years – those who were fortunate enough to share the experience with him will agree you will never meet a finer young Australian. He was in the helicopter behind the one that went down on that fateful night. It was their last operation against the Taliban – they were three minues from their home base – and only three weks from their loved ones back home. It was incredibly traumatic for those in the second helicopter who tried their best to save their mates as they are such a close knit professional team. Next time you hear some chicken-heart bleating about our troops in Afghanistan you might refer them to Sam’s letter below: (more…)
Macleay Argus by Luke Horton
SIX days into walking Kokoda Olivia Pratley had had enough.
Physically she was being worked harder than ever before.
Mentally and emotionally, she was struggling being away from her beloved family in a foreign country amidst some of the most remote – and technologically isolated – terrain on earth. (more…)
I first met Heath Ducker as a young lad on a leadership program I used to run for Youth Insearch. He always impressed me with his sincerity and his willingness to learn.
Youth Insearch was established by a remarkable couple, Ron and Judith Barr. Over the years more than 30,000 troubled teenagers have passed through their programs and put their lives back on course. Many have achieved outstanding success within their families, their communities and their professions. Heath Ducker’s story, which includes his struggle on Kokoda, is the story of Youth Insearch. (more…)
You can almost taste the salt in the air this morning. Haze hangs in a heavy veil over the sea while the waves upsurge then dive into the sand with constant savagery. Crashing like my thoughts, one into another, blatant and uncontrollable. I feel the hardness of the park seat press my suit trousers against ageing bones, while fingers of cool air slip around my collar and I momentarily shiver. On the surface I appear as calm as the sea around the Long Reef headland up there in the distance. (more…)
Hi, my name is Renee Kennedy and I have recently conquered The Kokoda Trail.
Why would a mother of two and physically unfit choose to walk The Kokoda Trail? Well, it all began on 31st August 2005 when my daughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the age of 17 months old. I was devastated, I blamed myself as I suffered with depression throughout my pregnancy and after she was born my depression didn’t improve.
I honestly feel now that there is always a positive in a negative situation and my daughter and I now have a bond that we never had before. This feeling of always looking on the bright side and finding a positive was reinforced in me when I was walking The Kokoda Trail.
I decided to fundraise for The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, as they are helping save my daughter’s life, but I didn’t know how or where or when. Shortly after being discharged from hospital I was watching Getaway, they were doing a story on The Kokoda Trail by the end of it I knew how I was going to fundraise!
On the 7th August 2006 I flew out to Port Moresby and the next day I was on a bus to Ower’s Corner and my adventure was about to begin. I was very nervous because I suddenly thought I wasn’t fit enough, what if my children needed me, what if Hannah relapses, there were a lot of what if’s running around my head. I wasn’t going quit before I even started and the children world wide needed me to finish, as all the money I was raising was going to the Medical and Research Centre at Westmead. (more…)