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Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge

Each year St Marys Rugby League Club give two young local students the opportunity of a lifetime… to participate in the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge, trekking through mud and rain, across mountain ranges up to 2,200m above sea level with a 20kg pack strapped to their back.

Here’s what this year’s Trekkers had to say on their return…

“Now that my time in Kokoda is over, I feel that anything is possible. Ensuring that I live life to the fullest taking hold of any opportunities that may come my way that may help to shape my future”. Connor Burke

“Trekking Kokoda has been an absolute honour and privilege and something I will carry with me for the rest of my days. It has taught me that I have to take every opportunity head on and do the best I can as well as learn and grow and to give back for everything that I have been provided with”. Katie Dal Santo

The Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge is designed to give participants:

  • An appreciation of our military history
  • A respect for the sacrifice made by young Australians of a previous generation
  • An appreciation of a culture whose values are not based on materialism
  • An appreciation of the qualities necessary for teamwork
  • An appreciation of the characteristics of leadership and
  • An understanding of the purpose and value of community service

Information on the 2020 Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge will be posted here in February.

Watch what previous Trekkers have to say about how Kokoda changed their lives.



Past Participants Sponsored by Saints

2011 – Laura Mitchell – St Marys Senior High School
2011 – Benjamin Snelgrove – Kingswood High School
2012 – Isabel Tibbles – St Marys Senior High School
2012 – Madelyn Smith – St Marys Senior High School
2013 – Grace Shalders – Penrith Academic Selective High School
2013 – Jordan Ruchalski – Penrith Academic Selective High School
2014 – Kayley James – Jamison High School
2014 – Robert Vukovich – Erskine Park High School
2016 – Brianna Raymond – St Agnes Catholic High School
2016 – James Ombina – St Marys Senior High School
2017 – Grace Faulder – Penrith Academic Selective High School
2017 – Callum Meney – Penrith Christian School
2018 – Anastasia Ellis – St Marys Senior High School
2018 – Annalise Della Libera – St Marys Senior High School
2019 – Katie Dal Santo – Penrith Christian School
2019 – Connor Burke – Jamison High School