RSL & Services Clubs

Sophie Smith October 2009

Everyday I realise that I walked the Kokoda Track. I feel so proud of myself, my fellow trekkers, and those who have walked before me and those who will after me. Every step, every tear, every laugh and smile was possible because of the sacrifice the Diggers gave during the Second World War. I am still finding ways that the Track has changed my life. It has inspired me to challenge myself further, push that little harder, because I know I can make it over that mountain, it has opened my eyes to the world, so much is happening that I don’t know or appreciate. The track was a remarkable experience that challenged me physically and mentally. I was challenged to face my true self, how prepared I am to push myself past the limits and the astounding things I can achieve.

I can't imagine having a better group of people to experience the track with. All of you encouraged me, every step of the way, from words of encouragement to the occasional push behind my pack; it helped me achieve what I'm so proud of today. We shared laughs and plenty of tears, from the first awkward and repetitive question day to waiting around the luggage collection not wanting or knowing how to say goodbye, each and every one of you have a permanent place in my heart.

The track showed me a different view of the world, of how breath-taking beautiful parts of the world are and the way in which other people live. Watching and playing with the kids in Efogi village was an absolutely amazing experience. Just the simple game of soccer was one of the best moments on the track, sharing something great with the kids that didn’t need words or a complicated computer game. Isurava was another place where the entire campaign came into view. Another amazing place with a beautiful morning service made the track mean so much more than a past battle ground. It brought a connection to the track of the past, present and future. One of the greatest changes I noticed in our group was the change in our singing of the National Anthem. From the feeble singing at Isurava to the proud and strong singing at the lodge, the track had clearly touched us all.

Meeting Ovuru was so amazing. I couldn’t believe that meeting just one man would evoke so many emotions. I cried, contemplated, smiled and immediately started preserving the magical moment. To be able to look into his eyes, shake his hand and kiss him on the cheek for me was my chance to show my gratefulness for his and his people's contribution that would have saved the lives of countless Australians. The bond of our carriers was so strong I could feel the connection between our countries. To all our carriers a very big thankyou! There were so many times which they stopped me from falling, helped me up a steep incline and provided encouragement and great conversation. They allowed me to see into their lives, and experience their culture, thankyou so much.

Everyday I realise that I walked the Kokoda Track. I feel so proud of myself, my fellow trekkers, and those who have walked before me and those who will after me. Every step, every tear, every laugh and smile was possible because of the sacrifice the Diggers gave during the Second World War. I am still finding ways that the Track has changed my life. It has inspired me to challenge myself further, push that little harder, because I know I can make it over that mountain, it has opened my eyes to the world, so much is happening that I don’t know or appreciate. The track was a remarkable experience that challenged me physically and mentally. I was challenged to face my true self, how prepared I am to push myself past the limits and the astounding things I can achieve.

I can't imagine having a better group of people to experience the track with. All of you encouraged me, every step of the way, from words of encouragement to the occasional push behind my pack; it helped me achieve what I'm so proud of today. We shared laughs and plenty of tears, from the first awkward and repetitive question day to waiting around the luggage collection not wanting or knowing how to say goodbye, each and every one of you have a permanent place in my heart.

The track showed me a different view of the world, of how breath-taking beautiful parts of the world are and the way in which other people live. Watching and playing with the kids in Efogi village was an absolutely amazing experience. Just the simple game of soccer was one of the best moments on the track, sharing something great with the kids that didn’t need words or a complicated computer game. Isurava was another place where the entire campaign came into view. Another amazing place with a beautiful morning service made the track mean so much more than a past battle ground. It brought a connection to the track of the past, present and future. One of the greatest changes I noticed in our group was the change in our singing of the National Anthem. From the feeble singing at Isurava to the proud and strong singing at the lodge, the track had clearly touched us all.

Meeting Ovuru was so amazing. I couldn’t believe that meeting just one man would evoke so many emotions. I cried, contemplated, smiled and immediately started preserving the magical moment. To be able to look into his eyes, shake his hand and kiss him on the cheek for me was my chance to show my gratefulness for his and his people's contribution that would have saved the lives of countless Australians. The bond of our carriers was so strong I could feel the connection between our countries. To all our carriers a very big thankyou! There were so many times which they stopped me from falling, helped me up a steep incline and provided encouragement and great conversation. They allowed me to see into their lives, and experience their culture, thankyou so much.

I would like to extend a very big thankyou to Clubs WA for selecting and supporting me in my Kokoda Experience. I am confident in the way it changes young people's lives and how important it is for further trekkers. Its apart of our Australian heritage, an innate understanding at the heart of every person who carries the Australian spirit, I just wish more