State agencies support Indigenous Kokoda walk

Indigenous youth leaders have completed a walk along the Kokoda trail thanks to state and federal government agencies and the private sector.

As part of the Jobs Australia Foundation’s Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, 21 indigenous youths were sponsored to walk a Papua New Guinea track made famous by Australian and New Zealand soldiers during World War Two.

The initiative was brought about through collaboration between the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the South Australian Aboriginal Sports and Training Academy, the South Australian Government National Chief Executive Group on Aboriginal Affairs, Azure Western Australia along with key sponsorship from telecommunications vendor Huawei.

The trip saw seven mentors and thirteen ‘mentees’ trek the Kokoda Track with Olympic hurdler and program patron Kyle Vander Kuyp and foundation director and CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Leah Armstrong.

The Indigenous Youth Leadership Program included a three-day pre-trek leadership training program in May and the 10-day trek of the Kokoda Trail in early August.

A three-day post-trek leadership training program was concluded with celebrations in Melbourne’s Albert Park on September 19.

Jobs Australia Foundation chair, David Thompson, said the aim of the trek was to help Indigenous youth develop their leadership skills.

The post-trek program provided the opportunity for participants to unpack and reflect on lessons learnt and plans for the future.

“We can all be truly proud of the achievements of all the people who completed the trek, and look forward to walking along-side them as they grow and develop their leadership skills,” Mr Thompson said.

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