Making young dreams come true – trekking the Kokoda Trail

Following the footsteps of our WWII Australian heroes through the depths of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is not a common feat – especially before the age of 17.

But that’s the reality for young Newman community members, Kevin and Cheyenne, who were recently sponsored by Roy Hill to complete The Y WA’s Kokoda Track program.

Aimed at developing young aspiring leaders for the future, The Y’s program offered 14 young people aged 15 to 25 the once in a lifetime opportunity to hike through 96km of tropical rainforest.

The brave participants hiked 12-19km per day for 10 days in early October, with The Y’s seasoned leaders teaching resilience, teamwork and a sense of community along the way.

Highlights of the trip for Kevin and Cheyenne included exchanging culture with the locals of PNG and discovering how different the landscape was to Newman.

“It was the first time out of Australia for both Kevin and Cheyenne,’ says Roy Hill’s Paige Mclean, Advisor Community and Indigenous Affairs, who attended the ‘welcome home’ party for the participants post-trek.

“It was a very emotional welcome back and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! They said they bonded well as a team and learned a lot about hiking and the PNG culture.”

The participants took six months to prepare for their adventure, including hikes and gym work, weekly nutrition planning and two team bootcamps held by The Y staff. Despite their training, both Kevin and Cheyenne agreed the gruelling route was incredibly challenging.

“It was uphill, walking through pouring rain on the edge of cliffs like mountain goats,” they said.

“The trip was very hard but great! We would definitely recommend it to other young people.”

Roy Hill’s sponsorship of Kevin and Cheyenne covered all costs associated with the trip, including flights, accommodation and equipment.

“We value the strong relationships we have with traditional owner groups and the local communities where we live and work. Roy Hill is very proud to give back to the residents of those communities and support groups like The Y in doing this important work,” says Manager Community and Indigenous Affairs, Bill Lamb.

“It’s fantastic to see such strong future leaders in Newman and I am looking forward to seeing what Kevin and Cheyenne achieve in the future.”

Learn more about our work in the communities in which we operate here.