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RED-i on (Kokoda) trek » On the Track

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Our Kokoda Blog

This is an account of the lead up and journey to Kokoda in PNG. This trek has been on our dreams list and I know that Tanya and I will make it to the end. Stay tuned and visit regularly to see our progress.

‘On the Track’ category

There are a few cameos of us throughout these videos… enjoy!

Executive Excellence 2009 Promo Part One

Executive Excellence 2009 Promo Part Two

There are a few cameos of us throughout these videos… enjoy!
Executive Excellence 2009 Promo Part One
Executive Excellence 2009 Promo Part Two

Filed under: EE Women, On the Track | Comments (4)
July 2nd, 2009

Lots and lots of photos

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Filed under: On the Track | Comments (2)
June 2nd, 2009

The 3rd / 46th team

(to the tune of “I was only nineteen”)flag

 
Muzza and Dave and Python put in the yards with us at training
It was a long march from the pub
ANZAC Kokoda were the next to tour, and that meant we’d done our work.
We did Bowen Hills and Mt Coot-tha before we left.

 

Dog body bags lined our backpacks as we marched to Air PNG
These clippings from the web site show us looking smarter than we seem.
And there’s Belle with her shovel and chain down to her knees.
God help us, we are the 3rd / 46th team.

 

From Moresby, riding small planes, to the dust at Kokoda ‘strip
We’d been in and out of trek boots now for months.
But we made our tents a home, dreaming of SP and Big Rooster
But instead got a sloppy rice concoction in the scrub.

 

And can you tell me, doctor, why Justin still scratches his feet?
And night-time’s just a jungle dark and a barking mangy dog?
And what’s this smell that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help us, we are the 3rd / 46th team.

 

Nine days, of trekking, when every step could mean your last one on two legs
The porridge caused a war within your pants.
But you wouldn’t let your mates down ‘til they beat the Dalby Dogs
So you closed your eyes and made your impact felt.

 

Then someone yelled out “Bart!” and the bloke behind me swore
We walked on for hours, then a God-almighty roar
Johnnie Ribot kicked the mud the day that Maddie lost her spoon,
God help us, we were goin’ home real soon.

 

I can still see Glennie, drinking rumbo’s in the Crown Plaza
On his thirty-six hour bender, ‘til Kyle yelled, “We’re leavin’ now!”
And I can still hear Kerry, lying slurring in the foyer
‘Til the minibus came and we dragged his body out.

 

And we ANZAC Legends never mention the mud and blood and tears
And the stories about the Roosters and the Dogs never seemed quite real.
I saw some piccies when we got back - the emotion, I can feel
God help us, we are the 3rd / 46th team.

 

And can you tell me, doc Phil, why I smile when I go to sleep?
And why the thought of trekking gives me tingles in my feet?
And what’s this pride that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help us, we are the 3rd / 46th team.

(to the tune of “I was only nineteen”)

 
Muzza and Dave and Python put in the yards with us at training
It was a long march from the pub
ANZAC Kokoda were the next to tour, and that meant we’d done our work.
We did Bowen Hills and Mt Coot-tha before we left.
 
Dog body bags lined our backpacks as [...]

Filed under: On the Track | Comment (1)

awardsawards2awards3awards4awards5awards6awards7

Filed under: On the Track, Photo Out-Takes | Comment (1)

My experience of the Kokoda track was clearly one of the best things I have ever done in my life – the experience continues to amaze me at the impact it had on me in PNG and continues to have on me every day since my return.

 

Being the only girl in the 3/46th Battalion had me a little concerned initially, but after a few days, it was clear that I had been blessed with the finest band of brothers to share this fantastic experience, and I could not have hand-picked 45 more worthy people to share this journey with. I was encouraged and inspired to be my best - to test my courage and ability to adapt – and so allowing me to revel in and enjoy every minute of my time on the ‘bloody track’.

 

The 3/46th with Ovuru – one of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels

The 3/46th with Ovuru – one of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels

 

 

The whole trek was a highlight. From the emotional battle briefs and services, to being amongst such dense, lush jungle and meeting such a wonderfully friendly people - its impossible not to be moved by the bettle-nut stained smiles and all that has happened in such a beautiful place.

 

A few of the locals

A few of the locals

 

Thank you again to the 3/46th and also to the entire training group back in Brisbane – again I feel blessed to have met you all and to now call you my mates. 

 

‘Oh what a feeling!’

‘Oh what a feeling!’

My experience of the Kokoda track was clearly one of the best things I have ever done in my life – the experience continues to amaze me at the impact it had on me in PNG and continues to have on me every day since my return.
 
Being the only girl in the 3/46th Battalion had [...]

Filed under: On the Track | Comment (1)
May 8th, 2009

That Poor Banana Tree!

Well I am back to work on Monday not looking forward to it, had an extra
week off. 

 

One of Jye’s teachers is doing the trek later in the year so he is asking
lots of questions to Jye, he has also asked Jye to do a talk to the other
students. I can see a power point presentation coming. 

 

I have attached a picture of our 3rd day morning tea stop, the picture is
were I took a nose dive and wiped out a banana tree see it circled. All I
can remember is Jye saying wish I had a video of that. The village lost one
of their banana trees. 

 

See the poor circled banana tree that Pete fell on.

See the poor circled banana tree that Pete fell on.

 

One of the most memorable places was Brigade Hill it was just haunting for
me.

 
      
Peter Ferri

Well I am back to work on Monday not looking forward to it, had an extra
week off. 
 
One of Jye’s teachers is doing the trek later in the year so he is asking
lots of questions to Jye, he has also asked Jye to do a talk to the other
students. I can see a power point presentation [...]

Filed under: On the Track | Comments (4)

It is difficult to explain “Kokoda” to those that have not been there. I hope that those that have can make some sense out of the following.

 

When I set out for Kokoda, I knew that it was going to be physically demanding, and I knew that I needed to be mentally tough to get through the physical challenges. I was confident that I had done the training to achieve all of this. What I had not planned on was the emotional roller coaster of the trek.

 

To sit around as a group at Isurava and Brigade Hill where Diggers had fought and died was very emotional. To hear Kyle tell of their bravery and sacrifice, their determination and selflessness, were some of the saddest and proudest moments in my life. Sad for the Diggers who would never return to this beautiful Country of ours, proud to be able to call myself an Australian. 


Whilst the loss of young soldiers is tragic, I also related to the older Diggers in their 30’s and 40’s. These guys would have had wives and children, like myself. The thought of these kids growing up without a father really saddens me. I still get a lump in my throat just thinking about it. How strong were the families left behind? How did the kids get out of bed each morning knowing that their Dad was never coming home. I did struggle, and I am still struggling to process this incredible loss of life and the bravery required during the futility of war.

 

I believe Isurava and Brigade Hill help bind what was already a tight knit group into an even closer unit. No one cared where you were from, what car you drove, what job you did back in Australia; we were all mates, regardless. No task, whether trivial or large, was ever too much for someone to help you with. On a personal note, when I hurt my thigh, Eddie carried my sleeping bag and 2 litre water bottle, as well as gave me his walking pole to use – not because that was his job or I asked him to – he did it because he wanted to help a mate through a tough spot on the track. Robert S carried my ration pack for the same reason. When I finally got into camp, everyone was there to greet me. True mateship!

 

 

Rob and Dave at Isurava

Rob and Dave at Isurava

 

 

There are many other examples of similar instances that happened everyday. Graeme H and Kent come to mind. Both needed assistance, a helping hand or an encouraging word or two occasionally. Whoever was there to help did so, without a second thought. True mateship!

 

The word mate is used all the time, without any thought of its true meaning or inference. On the track, the true meaning and spirit of mateship was evident in abundance. One thing that I will always remember is the unconditional mateship shown by every single person of our group.

 

Courage, Endurance, Mateship, Sacrifice – four  simple words, but four words that evoke a deep emotional response every time I think of them and Kokoda. The Kokoda blues will pass, however the entire overall experience will never be forgotten – only possible because of the great people I was privileged enough to train with and to spend 9 days with on the track.

 

David Wainwright

It is difficult to explain “Kokoda” to those that have not been there. I hope that those that have can make some sense out of the following.
 
When I set out for Kokoda, I knew that it was going to be physically demanding, and I knew that I needed to be mentally tough to get through [...]

Filed under: On the Track | Comment (0)
May 3rd, 2009

Thanks Darren and Chris

Shortly after we arrived in Port Moresby we were surprised with a gift each waiting for us from Darren and Chris.  We were allowed to open the presents but had to wait until dinner to find out what they all meant.  How exciting.

 

Dinner couldn’t come quick enough and we all sat around and talked about our Kokoda experience.  Here is a shot of everyone with their gifts and explanation. This was such a spot on and memorable gift…  on behalf of our all of us… thank you.

 

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Pete - Wanted to get you some ‘fuzzy wuzzy’ hair but hoped you could borrow some from this guy!

Jye - Smash glass when you’re 18.

 

kokodablog5

 

‘The Chad’ - Big LOUD toy for a Big Loud Boy!

Anna - Better to spit the dummy rather than swallow it!

 
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Wade, Aaron, Deane, Jon - Boys enjoy you last night in Moresby. Couple of things to get the party started.

 
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Karly - While Clint was busy directing traffic on the track, you being his sister was directing Clint.

Clint - This is to go with your gaters. Thanks for doing a great job with directing traffic on the track.

 

kokodablog2

 

Lee-Anne - thanks for the great description of how a lady wears her skins. We hope these help!

Margarita - Some bettle nut, mustard stick and lime. Make sure you brush your teeth after use.

 
kokodablog

 

Tanya - Thought we would get you off to a flying start for the next thing on your 101 dreams list!

Marian - Hoping you don’t need this!!  :)  (it reads -  Hip Replacement Voucher. Issued to Marian Jowitt at the successful completion of Kokoda 09. This voucher entitles the holder to one additional replacement hip.  This voucher is only redeemable under the following conditions: 1. Replacement must take place prior to next trek  2.  Replacement must take place in Port Moresby  3. Replacement must take place my a Fuzzy Wuzzy Surgeon  4. Ideally the entire medical team should be on Beetle Nut.

 

kokodablog6

 

Matt - Strap this on and we are sure you will be a valid ‘ Matt Replacement’ and be initiated into the Gladstone Crew.

Belinda - We looked for a school girls uniform as you looked so ‘cute’ in the group photo, but settled for this, hope it numbs the pain for the few days a week you have to spend with Tanya!

Shortly after we arrived in Port Moresby we were surprised with a gift each waiting for us from Darren and Chris.  We were allowed to open the presents but had to wait until dinner to find out what they all meant.  How exciting.
 
Dinner couldn’t come quick enough and we all sat around and talked about [...]

Filed under: On the Track | Comments (8)
May 3rd, 2009

We made it to Kokoda

After a 13 hour day walking our team made it into Kokoda. The last part of the trek was done with our head torches on, as Wade had said some 5 hours earlier at Isurava ‘if the diggers could do it so could we’, so we weren’t going to let the darkness stop us.  The pain in my feet couldn’t get any worse and I was in full discussion with Chooka as to what would be the first meal I would have when we got back to Brisbane… then we heard the excited squeals and yells of the kids in Kokoda running through the trees to welcome us in.  There was nothing more special then the kids giving us high fives and welcoming us into Kokoda…. that was truely amazing.

 

Belinda, Tanya, Jye and Pete at the Kokoda Plaque. We had made it.

Belinda, Tanya, Jye and Pete at the Kokoda Plaque. We had made it.

Tanya and Belinda the next morning. Yes we are still smiling.

Tanya and Belinda the next morning. Yes we are still smiling.

After a 13 hour day walking our team made it into Kokoda. The last part of the trek was done with our head torches on, as Wade had said some 5 hours earlier at Isurava ‘if the diggers could do it so could we’, so we weren’t going to let the darkness stop us.  The [...]

Filed under: On the Track | Comment (1)
May 3rd, 2009

What an experience

We made it back safe and sound and the experience is hard to capture in words. We lost a member of our group the second day in and I can’t begin to explain the effect that had on all of us. We will always remember you Chris, thank you for being a part of our journey.

 

This is our group on the stairs at the Crown Plaza in PNG ready to leave for Owers Corner. Look how clean we are!

This is our group on the stairs at the Crown Plaza in PNG ready to leave for Owers Corner. Look how clean we are!

We made it back safe and sound and the experience is hard to capture in words. We lost a member of our group the second day in and I can’t begin to explain the effect that had on all of us. We will always remember you Chris, thank you for being a part of our [...]

Filed under: On the Track | Comment (0)