Kokoda Trek 2017

May 2017

In 2017, seven NSW Police Legacy Legatees challenged themselves both physically and mentally and set off to Papua New Guinea to complete the arduous journey across The Kokoda Track. The famous 96 kilometre trail not only holds international significance in terms of the allied combat effort during WWII but also serves as a symbol of traversing adversity and finding strength in oneself through camaraderie with others.

One of our police legatees, Annette Robinson, completed the trek to mark her successful battle against cancer. “It was so hard but totally worthwhile! I don’t think you can truly appreciate how hard it is until you do it, but I am so glad that I did the training and the preparation as it really helped,” she said. Having gotten the all-clear from her doctors, Annette courageously went about preparing for this brave personal challenge. “I set it as my goal. I found a few hills around my local area and I would walk them every day, gradually increasing my speed and distance. I joined the bushwalking club and a gym and the whole experience has taught me that you don’t know how far you can push your body until you really try.

“However, I wouldn’t have made this commitment unless NSW Police Legacy had given me this wonderful opportunity. I actually got the idea in my head after attending the NSW Police Legacy Christmas lunch where one of the other Legatees who had completed the Kokoda Trek really encouraged me and convinced me that I could do it! Since I returned from the trip, I have been trying to persuade my daughter, Caitlin to do it too,” she reflects. “There were young people there from the Australian Federal Police and the Northern Territory Police and its great! There are no showers and you do go a bit ‘feral’ but you just stop caring about stuff like that. There are no mirrors and nobody cares about what anyone else looks like. You just tell someone if they have mud on their forehead,” she laughed.

Inspector Ricky Aguis from Campsie LAC generously volunteered to act as our supervisor of the young police legatees on the trek when Inspector Paul Martin had to withdraw due to injury. He commented, “You couldn’t ask for a better group of people than who we had this year. Everyone really got on well and really helped each other out whenever they needed it. I was really impressed with the way everyone had prepared for the trek in the six months leading up to it and how they took on the challenge. There were really young people as well as older Legatees but everyone showed a lot of determination and strength and pushed one another to complete the trek successfully.”

We thank Inspector Ricky Aguis for taking on the Supervisor role at such short notice and also thank Inspector Paul Martin who still made it for the Anzac Day ceremony to assist with the protocol required with the Governor’s attendance.