Stacey's Story

I trekked Kokoda with Mick O’Malley – Australian Kokoda tours in September 2014. This is one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have always had an interest in the history of Australia at war and to be able to walk the same track in which our soldiers did to protect our country and give us the freedom and lives we have today is just absolutely incredible.

Days were tough but in my mind I tried to imagine myself in their footsteps. What they achieved was absolutely heroic. We had laughs, tears, falls, rolls, slips and slides.

The battle of Isurava and seeing those four pillars was one of my highlights of the trip. Courage endurance mateship sacrifice. We played the last post and had a minute silence in respect of those that had fallen. And I cannot forget the moment I met the fuzzy wuzzy’s. What they done for our soldiers was absolutely selfless and I was honoured to be able to meet them.

One of the toughest days on my trip was day 6. We walked for 12 hours. The last 6 hours we did not stop. Rain fell down, the track was slippery and we arrived in camp just before nightfall. This is was still nothing compared to what our soldiers experienced and that is what I reminded myself of.

The last uphill to owers corner and through those Kokoda arches with my friends and fellow Trekkers was truly truly amazing. It was a proud moment for us all and quite emotional. We had finally made it.

The history learnt along the track is like no other experience. To stand where they stood and hear their stories will stay with me forever.

I was lucky enough to be asked to read the ode at the Bomana War Cemetery. This was such an honour. I read as tears streamed down my face. I could not contain them. All the bodies buried were there to give us the lives we live today.

I also want to mention the porters that were with us every step of the way. They were a godsend. I would have fallen over many more times if it weren’t for them. And the food was fantastic.

The Kokoda trek was honestly life changing for me. I have so much more appreciation for those who fought for our country and those who still are. I also appreciate those little things in life a little more and am grateful for the life I have today. I will always have the memory of the Kokoda track and am so lucky to have experienced it with my friends. I will cherish it forever.

Lest we forget.

SEP 2014