The Kokoda Trail is one of many jungle shrines littered with relics of desperate battles fought between Australian and Japanese soldiers in Papua New Guinea in 1942. The Papua New Guinean government officially proclaimed the 130 kilometre native track across the Owen Stanley Ranges between Owers Corner in Central Province and Kokoda in Oro Province as the Kokoda Trail in 1972.
The Trail lay dormant in the minds of many Australians until the Hon Paul Keating became the first Prime Minister to visit the battle site on the 50th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign.
After falling to his knees and kissing the ground, Keating remarked:
This was the place where I believe the depth and soul of the Australian nation was confirmed. If it was founded at Gallipoli it was certainly confirmed in the defence of our homeland here.
Now just ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign, Network Kokoda invites you to join us at our Gala Dinner in Sydney on Kokoda Day.
Network Kokoda was established by The Hon. Charlie Lynn as a charity that honours the legacy of our World War II Kokoda veterans and the Papua New Guinean wartime carriers, the fuzzy-wuzzy angels.
For three decades Charlie has continually lobbied the Australian government to protect the wartime integrity of the sacred Kokoda Trail and to seek official recognition for the fuzzy-wuzzy angels who carried hundreds of wounded Australians to safety.
The fuzzy-wuzzy angels were widely praised for their tenderness and strength in adverse conditions and although their contribution was an essential part of the Australian victory on Kokoda they have never been officially acknowledged.
Network Kokoda is committed to strengthening ties between Australia and Papua New Guinea to repay this debt.
This week, Charlie completed leading his 82nd trek across the Trail, and estimates he has spent over two and a half years full time on the Trail and has shared our wartime history with thousands of Australians.
Our Patron is The Hon Barry O'Farrell and the PNG Consul General, Sumasy Singin has joined our board.