Two year 11 students will represent Cardinia Shire as they take on the adventure of a lifetime, conquering the Kokoda Trail next month.
Lucas Eades from Pakenham Secondary College and Brianna Sherry from Officer Secondary College were selected to take part in the Harold Bould Memorial Award late last year.
The award is an initiative of Alan Jameson, the current co-ordinator of the 39th Australian Infantry Battalion.
“Overall, the program has been a tremendous success,” Mr Jameson said.
“It’s a real community effort and we are thankful to have support from various members of the community.”
Member for Eastern Victoria Edward O’Donohue MLC helps to facilitate the sponsorship.
“The award aims to honour Harold Bould who died on Kokoda, he was from Cardinia, and so the idea is to honour his legacy and veterans who served in this area,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“It’s also about giving future leaders of the community a once in a lifetime opportunity to grow themselves, understand more about our history and also to honour those who have served.
“It’s a real community event. From my perspective, it’s great to be a part of the 39th Australian Infantry Battalion who were on Kokoda.”
After plenty of physical and mental training, the duo will begin the 10 day trek covering 100km on Monday 1 July.
Brianna Sherry applied for the award as she wanted to become more confident in herself while also learning about the history associated.
“I really wanted to challenge myself to push further, to show myself that I can achieve my goals,” Ms Sherry said.
“I think the biggest challenge for me will be pushing myself to walk and not wanting to stop when it comes to walking up the big hills.”
Fellow winner Lucas Eades shares Brianna’s sentiment, claiming mental toughness is what he’ll need most during the trek.
“I wanted to do it because it’s out of my comfort zone. I think the most difficult part will be the mental challenges but I’m really excited for the experience,” Mr Eades said.
“It’ll help the younger kids be more inclined to give worthy programs like this a shot, it’s an insight into what it was like for those who served us.”
The Harold Bould Memorial Award is available each year to Year 10 students enrolled in schools within Cardinia Shire.
“All those who have won in the past have gone on to be great representatives of this community and their schools, we’re very proud of all of them,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“We wish Lucas and Brianna well on their journey.”