Knox students take on Kokoda


Leaches, stifling heat and rugged terrain were among the challenges faced by students from Knox Grammar School when they took on the Kokoda Trail in the school holidays.

A group of eight students from Years 9 to 11 and two staff members tackled the 96 kilometre Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea over eight days.

Tom Lee, Year 11 of St Ives, was one of the students who took part in the trip. 

“My great grandfather was deployed to Kokoda three times and I was really eager to understand his experience,” said Tom.

 “I personally found the mental struggle, especially during the long hikes, to be one of the toughest elements of the experience. Having so much time to contemplate my life and all its conveniences, in comparison to what it would have been like back in 1942 when the war took place,” he said.

“The memorial and remembrance services were a very special part of the trip,” said Knox teacher Adam Shaw, who led the trip. “The boys spoke beautifully in reciting poems and citations of various diggers, as well as belting out a couple of John Williamson classics.”

The highlights of the trip for Tom included building friendships with other Knox students, the porters and local villagers, especially the kids. 

“Upon completion of the 96 kilometre, 8-day trek, walking through the arches at Kokoda village, I think we all felt a rush of jubilation having accomplished such a challenging journey.”