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Army July 7, 2011
By Cfn Max Bree
A SLEEPLESS two-day trek
through the Gold Coast hinter-
land may not be everyone's ideal
weekend activity, but six Army
teams are taking up the charity
Teams from 6RAR, Army HQ
and two each from 20STA and 41
Bty will take on contenders from
around Australia in traversing
the 96km Kokoda Challenge on
Teams are limited to four
members and must raise a mini-
mum of $1500 for the Kokoda
Challenge Youth Program before
the starting date.
The race goal is to finish as a
complete team of four in honour
of the spirit forged on the Kokoda
Trail in 1942 and the values of
mateship, endurance, courage and
Army HQ team leader Col
Christopher Mills said the event's
values were similar to the Army's
"It's a tremendously popular
event, promoting a very wor-
thy cause," Col Mills said. "It's
important for Army to be repre-
Col Mills said the Army HQ
team was aiming to raise more
than $5000 for the event.
Teams must finish within 39
hours in honour of the 39th Bn,
the first Australian troops on the
Kokoda Trail in World War II.
Leader of the 6RAR team,
LCpl Craig Gresham, said his
troops were inspired to take part
as Kokoda Challenge founder
Doug Henderson was a 6RAR
The 96km course from
Mudgeeraba to Nerang is the
distance of the Kokoda Trail in
Papua New Guinea. It traverses 12
creeks and climbs over 5000m of
Mr Henderson said the event
recognised the contribution of
Australian soldiers in PNG and
used the spirit of Kokoda to help
Australian teenagers through
the Kokoda Challenge Youth
The program is a develop-
ment course for teenagers, which
includes team building, physical
training, walking the Kokoda Trail
and volunteer work.
Other goals of the program
include raising public awareness
of the importance of the 1942
Kokoda campaign and support-
ing Kokoda communities and the
descendants of the fuzzy wuzzy
Mr Henderson said a flood of
entries crashed the computer sys-
tem on the day places opened and
all positions filled about 90 min-
utes after the system was restored.
Many Kokoda youth program
participants go on to join the
To donate and support the Army teams
go to www.kokodachallenge.com
for 96km trek
Ready for anything: Kokoda Challenge participants, left to right,
WO2 Joanne Cook, Lt-Col Mal Wells, Col Chris Mills, Maj Andrew
Donaldson, Maj John Anderson and Lt-Col Jim McGann.
Photo by LS Paul Berry
Sappers plan to
take on the trail
By Cpl Melanie Schinkel
UP TO 17 rehabilitating soldiers from
Brisbane-based 2CER will battle the
96km Kokoda Trail to raise awareness
for ADF personnel engaged in active
service worldwide from July 13.
Initiated by independent adventure
company Adventure1000, Soldiers
Kokoda 2011 involves communities and
businesses from across Australia spon-
soring recovering soldiers from 2CER
and other ADF units to complete the
arduous trail in just eight days.
Joined by Soldier Kokoda 2011's
ambassador, Gen Peter Cosgove (retd),
prominent business and community
leaders, and 2 Cdo Regt's Pte Damien
Thomlinson, who lost both legs to an
IED in Afghanistan in April last year,
the soldiers will begin their journey at
Ower's Corner, trek the trail to Owen
Stanley Range and then visit the village
Sprs Jason Andrewartha, Sean
Mulqueen and Chris Parker-Benton,
2CER, are recovering from being
wounded in Afghanistan last year, but
said they were excited to be going on
They agreed the trip was a great
opportunity for the Australian public
to demonstrate their support for ser-
vicemen and women as well as raise
awareness for the rehabilitation and
well-being of personnel wounded during
Deployed to Afghanistan with
Mentoring Task Force 1, Spr
Andrewartha, 26, was involved in two
mounted IED strikes in a Bushmaster
on March 5 and 16 last year. As a result
of the blast on March 16, he suffered
three fractures to his thoracic vertebrae,
a fractured hip and internal wounds.
Spr Andrewartha said he was looking
forward to participating in the once-in-a-
"We were wounded during our tours
but we are home now and going through
good rehabilitation programs so we
can get on with our lives. I think the
Australian people need to know the ADF
is supporting us," Spr Andrewartha said.
"This trip has really improved my
motivation by giving me a goal to work
towards. At times you can get compla-
cent during the recovery process, but
this has made me push myself harder."
Spr Mulqueen, 29, deployed
to Afghanistan with MTF 1. He was
involved in numerous mounted and dis-
mounted IED strikes on May 18 last
year and suffered shoulder wounds.
When he returned to Australia, his wife
gave birth to their first son, who they
named after Spr Jacob Moerland, who,
along with Spr Darren Smith, was killed
in Afghanistan last year.
Spr Mulqueen said preparing for the
trail had assisted with his rehabilitation
and he was eager to share another jour-
ney with his 2CER mates.
"We started training specifically for
Kokoda in May and we've been encour-
aging each other the whole way to make
sure we all get through it together," Spr
"For me, completing the trail will
mean we are capable of moving past
personal obstacles. It's also a way of
finishing off our tours, which were cut
Spr Parker-Benton, 22, was
involved in the same incidents as Spr
Andrewartha on March 5 and 16 last
year. He suffered two fractures to his
thoracic vertebrae and internal wounds.
"Training for Kokoda has been real-
ly good for us mentally because we're
interacting with a lot of the civilians,"
Spr Parker-Benton said.
"Normally, we would be worlds apart
from executives, but this trip has given
us a common ground. I think they have
gained a much greater appreciation of
what it means to serve in the ADF."
The Soldiers Kokoda 2011 trip is open to anyone.
The program costs $6250 a person. For more
information visit www.adventure1000.com.au
and click on the link to Soldiers Kokoda 2011.
July 14 -- Transfer to Ower's
Corner via Bomana Cemetery,
commence trek from Ower's
Corner, overnight vicinity Uberi
July 15 -- Continue trek, over-
night vicinity Ioribaiwa Village.
July 16 -- Continue trek, over-
night vicinity Brown River.
July 17 -- Continue trek, over-
night vicinity Efogi Village.
July 18 -- Continue trek, over-
night, Templeton's Crossing.
July 19 -- Continue trek, over-
night vicinity Alola Village.
July 20 -- Continue trek, com-
memorative service at Isurava
Memorial, overnight at Kokoda
July 21 -- Return flights to Port
Moresby, attend the Soldiers
Kokoda 2011 awards dinner.
July 22 -- Return flight from
Port Moresby to Brisbane.
Remembering the fallen: Recovering Sprs Jason Andrewartha, Sean Mulqueen
and Chris Parker-Benton, 2CER, who will trek the Kokoda Trail, visit the memorial to
fallen soldiers at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera.
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