April 4, 2012

ClubsNSW is looking for two community driven young people to represent NSW in its annual Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge. Two people between the age of 16 and 22 will be chosen in the annual Challenge this year determined by their community spirit and contributions toward local issues.

The Challenge provides young people with the skills and confidence to develop leadership skills so they can make a significant contribution to their local community.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign fought between July and November of 1942.

ClubsNSW is sending the worthy recipients on the adventure of a lifetime, with the 10 day trek scheduled for the 24th of September to the 5th of October.

Physically, the participants will deal with trekking through mud and rain, across mountain ranges up to 7,000 feet above sea level while carrying a 15kg backpack. Mentally and emotionally they will learn about themselves and work as a team with a group of young people selected by local clubs from across the country.

The trekkers will also learn about the Kokoda Track, its significance to Australian military history and detailed stories of the young Australian soldiers who fought on the Track.

One of last year’s NSW participants, Narrandera resident Jason McKinnon, said he will always be grateful for having the opportunity to be part of the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge.

“This experience has helped me to grow as a person in many ways,’’ he said.
“I have learnt never to take anything for granted, and to always give 110 per cent.
“This is because those soldiers gave their today so that we could have a tomorrow. I will never forget this.’’

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said almost 500 young people have already completed the Challenge, now in its eighth year.  ‘’I strongly urge young people to apply for this amazing opportunity. It will be an extremely significant trek this year given it is the 70th anniversary of the battle along the Kokoda Track.

‘’Last year we had more than 1,000 people apply and this I expect even more.’’

At the completion of the ten day trek, the group will visit the Bomana War Cemetery. The cemetery contains 3,819 Commonwealth burials from WWII, 702 of them still unidentified.

Applications are open as of Sunday April 1 and close Monday May 14. Forms can be downloaded from

Media: Anita Balalovski 0422 390 501.