Seven Scotch College students tackling the Kokoda Track

Year 7 Coordinator Karen Woods and Headmaster Alec O'Connell with Y11s from Scotch College who have been selected to take on the Kokoda Track in July. Photo: Andrew Ritchie
Year 7 Coordinator Karen Woods and Headmaster Alec O'Connell with Y11s from Scotch College who have been selected to take on the Kokoda Track in July. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

SEVEN students from Scotch College are set to tackle the Kokoda Track.

The challenge forms part of their ‘adventurous journey’ component of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

The Scotch students, along with their volunteer supervisors, will join students from Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School on the trek, and are one of only six Award groups from around Australia to be funded to take on the journey to learn more about Australian and Kokoda history during World War II.

Scotch College headmaster Alec O’Connell said the trip would give students the chance to experience a beautiful country and an Australian legend.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

“It’s a bucket list experience, you don’t expect to do it.”

Year 11 student Kane Kennedy said he thought the experience would strengthen his and his classmates’ resilience and values and help them build stronger friendships.

“The challenge is to keep pushing through and keep going,” he said.

The delegation departs on July 27 and will spend nine days in the mountains, with memorial services at Brigade Hill and Isurava Memorial.

Each day involves seven to 10 hours hiking with 20kg packs, camping, school visits and spending time with locals, with the trip ending on a visit to Port Moresby and the Bomana War Cemetery, where 3000 servicemen are buried.

The Kokoda sponsorship, supported by Flight Centre Foundation funding, has been sending participants and volunteers to Papua New Guinea every year since 2012.

Awards WA chief executive Katie Brown said the organisation was extremely grateful for the experience to be offered to 12 WA participants.

“It allows them the opportunity to experience a challenge that will develop strong team skills and push them to their limits,” she said.