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"Once in a lifetime, one I am so grateful to have been given and one that will forever be kept in my memory. I can honestly say this has been the most rewarding, informative and emotional experience of my life".


23rd September – 4th October

and is available for young people 16-25 years old.  The trek will be run during the NSW September and October School holidays.

Nominated Trekkers MUST attend a KYLC Trek Workshop being held at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club in Sydney on Saturday 20th May, from 12.00 noon – 4.00pm. This workshop assists trekkers and their families to understand the enormity of the challenge they are to undertake and to assist with their plans.

Being selected for the trek is a privileged opportunity to develop personal leadership skills based on the values our Kokoda veterans held dearly. These include personal discipline, mutual respect, trust, mateship, courage and self-sacrifice. Successful candidates should be prepared to act as a community volunteer in some way after they return.

The opportunity to participate in a trek across the Kokoda Trail is a privilege akin to a $6,750+ scholarship. Participants should therefore understand that it is not a prize, a gift or a right – it is a privileged opportunity to develop personal leadership skills based on the values our Kokoda veterans held dearly – these include personal discipline, mutual respect, trust, mateship, courage and self-sacrifice.

The trek itself is a physically demanding challenge. You will be required to be in adequate physical and medical shape and free of any medical conditions that may prevent them from completing such an arduous personal challenge. You will need to alert us of any potential health problems prior to the trek.

The most important qualities for a successful pilgrimage are a sense of adventure, a positive attitude, a healthy body, an inquiring mind, an abundance of common sense and a good sense of humour.

The Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge (KYLC) involves an arduous 10 day trek across the original Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, presentations at significant battle sites and discussions on sacrifice, courage, mateship, endurance and leadership. It provides participants with a practical leadership experience based on the achievements and sacrifice of our diggers during the Kokoda campaign. 

KYLC Manager, Brad Smith, said the leadership program provides a major contribution to the community by:

  • Encouraging these young leaders to help motivate their friends to take a positive role in their community and, among other things, reduce youth crime rates;

  • Creating a source of young leaders coming back into their community; and,

  • Encouraging participants to work with local community leaders on a range of projects.

The leadership program aims to create a greater awareness of the sacrifices of the diggers on the Kokoda campaign among our young people to ensure the traditions live on. At the same time, it instils in participants a commitment to community service, enhances their personal development by providing an opportunity for them to experience the same conditions under which our diggers fought and hopefully transform them for future leadership roles back in the community.



Selection Criteria

Applicants should be able to fulfil the follow:

  • Appreciate the privilege of being chosen and who are willing to learn about the Kokoda campaign prior to their departure

  • Willing to commit to a rigorous physical training program to ensure they are physically capable of completing the program

  • Applicants should therefore demonstrate a strong desire to participate in the program. This desire can be measured by a willingness to conduct personal research in order to gain an understanding of the Kokoda campaign prior to the final selection of the participants

  • Ability to attend an OESC interview with our Sports & Community committee on Tuesday 11th April 2023 (this can be via zoom)

  • Ability to attend a KYLC workshop on Saturday 20th May 2023, at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club, 20 Canterbury Road, Hurlstone Park. THIS IS COMPULSORY.

  • Be able to travel during the September/October 2023 NSW School Holidays (23rd September to 4th October 2023)

  • Currently have or be able to obtain a passport

  • Obtain relevant vaccinations

  • Cover out of pocket expenses


Please read the 2023 Trekkers guide and complete the application form which can be submitted online via the form below or in person at Orange Ex-Services' Club.



Please submit your application below

Upload Application
Please tick all boxes (please enure you have completed these steps before submitting your application)

Thank you for your submission.We will be in touch.

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