School Groups

Days
8
From
$3,695
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

Our Adventure Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge was voted as the most outstanding youth leadership program at the Clubs NSW Annual Awards Dinner in 2017.

More than 450 young Australians from all walks of life have graduated from this program over the past decade.  According to the judges of the award this program is without peer in the development of personal leadership qualities based on the enduring values of Kokoda.

Other organisations who have used our programs for leadership development are Kings School, Parramatta; Riverina Anglican College, Wagga Wagga; combined schools from the Hills District in Sydney; Penrith Panthers on the Prowl; Canberra PCYC and Lomandra School, Campbelltown.

Our leadership programs for schools are based on lessons learned from our own experience as graduates of the army Officer Cadet School, the Royal Military College and the Australian Command and Staff College.  We draw upon the experiences of our Adventure Kokoda trek leaders who have a combined total of 130 years professional military service that includes combat experience in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

During our 10-day treks students are disconnected from the travails of social media and reconnect with themselves, their fellow trekkers, the environment, the culture of the Koiari and Orokaiva villagers along the trail, and the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign.

We de-clutter the theory of leadership and get back to basics in a physically challenging isolated foreign environment where risk is real, personal commitment is required and teamwork is essential. And no matter how hard the going gets we are constantly able to reflect on the difficulties our young troops had in fighting their way across the trail against all the odds in 1942.

We stress that the relevance of the Kokoda pilgrimage is not about the glorification of war - it's about the commemoration of sacrifice.  It's also a realistic demonstration of the ability of the human spirit to conquer adversity.

But most of all It's about Australian leadership!

Our leaders in 1942 were not the inheritors of family and military title along the lines of the British Officer Training School at Sandhurst or the descendants of American military dynasties that started with the War of Independence and progressed through wars against the Indians, the Mexicans and finally themselves in the Civil War - and manifested at the West Point Military College as Captain Yankee Doodle the 3rd - or 4th and so on.
 
Our Australian military leaders were from a different stock in 1942.  When the clarion call to arms was sounded they came off the land, they came out of the public service, they left their jobs in banks, insurance companies and local businesses to enlist.
 
Our army was not big enough to have an elite officer corps - so many of our battlefield commanders emerged as a result of their performance in the field of battle.  And they emerged because they earned the respect of their mates as a result of their personal courage, their ability to think under duress, their loyalty to their commanders and their compassion for those they led.
 
Military Leadership in those days wasn't rocket science. In fact it was defined as:
 

'the art of influencing and directing men to achieve an assigned goal in such a way as to obtain their obedience, confidence, respect and loyal co-operation'.

Essential military leadership characteristics include:

  • Loyalty:
    faithfulness to country, corps and unit, and to your seniors and subordinates.
     
  • Sense of Honour
    (Integrity): Uprightness of character and soundness of moral principles, absolute truthfulness and honesty; fairness and impartiality in exercising command.

  • Sense of Responsibility:
    Consistent endeavour to discharge the responsibilities accepted as an officer.
     
  • Knowledge:
    Acquired information, including professional knowledge and an understanding of your men.
     
  • Courage:
    A mental quality that recognises fear of danger or criticism, but enables a man to proceed in the face of it with calmness and firmness.
     
  • Initiative:
    Seeing what has to be done, and commencing a course of action, even in the absence of orders.
     
  • Decisiveness:
    Ability to reach decisions promptly and to announce them in a clear, forceful manner.
     
  • Tact: 
    The ability to deal with others without creating offence, and show respect for individuals
    .
  • Dependability:
    The certainty of the proper performance of duty.
     
  • Endurance:  The mental and physical stamina measured by the ability to stand pain, fatigue, distress and hardship.
     
  • Enthusiasm:
    The display of sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of duty.
     
  • Unselfishness:
    Avoidance of providing for one's comfort and personal advancement at the expense of others.
     
  • Bearing:
    Creating a favourable impression in carriage, appearance and personal conduct at all times.
     

The Aims of Military Leadership are:

  • Primary Aim: Accomplishment of the mission.
  • Secondary Aim: Welfare of the men.

Military Leadership Principles are guides for the proper exercise of command:

  • Be technically and tactically proficient.
  • Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
  • Know your men and lookout for their welfare.
  • Keep your men informed.
  • Set the example by deeds, not words.
  • Ensure that the task is understood, supervised and accomplished.
  • Train your men as a team.
  • Make sound and timely decisions.
  • Develop a sense of responsibility amongs subordinates.
  • Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.
  • Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
  • Make the primary mission the combat efficiency of your command.

Military Leadership Techniques are actions given by the leader.  Each technique should:

  • Be guided by the leadership principles.
  • Exhibit the characteristics of a leader.
  • Be consistent with the situation.
  • Contribute towards achieving the goal.

Combat Efficiency was described as the ability of the unit to accomplish an assigned mission in the shortest possible time with the minimum loss of life and waste of material.

Indications of Military Leadership are:
  • Morale:
    an attitude of confidence in the mind of an individual when he identifies himself with a group, accepts group goals and works hard to achieve them.
     
  • Discipline:
    the prompt obedience to orders and, in the absence of orders, the initiation of appropriate action.
     
  • Esprit De Corps:
    the loyalty to, pride in, and enthusiasm for a unit shown by the members of that unit.
     
  • Proficiency:
    the technical, tactical and physical ability to do a job well.

Some 50 years on the gender of our language has changed but the principles and techniques remain the same.

By day 5 . . .

After five of the hardest days our young trekkers will ever have experienced we take time out to reflect on what we have learned about ourselves, our fellow trekkers, our PNG guides and carriers, the villagers we have met and the history we have learned thus far.
 
By this stage they have an empathetic understanding of the writings of Sir Daniel Aarons, author of 'Amateur Solder' where he wrote:
 

'The years I spent in war were the happiest I ever spent.  I shared a task with men of every type and every social station and was admitted to a fellowship so rare as to almost justify the beastliness that made it possible.  There is this to be said of war: you live simply if at all, and you do it in the company of men at their very best, spurred to a passionate unselfishness by a common purpose which at all other times is lacking'.

Around the campfire our trek leaders will discuss the '3+1 Rules of Survival' and various theories of leadership based on our own experiences: the army 'Group' theory based on the premise that he or she who wears the rank is not necessarily the leader; 'Command' leadership relevant to combat situations; 'Situational Leadership' which is the ability to shift behaviour according to the demands of the situation.  We discuss the characteristics of effective team leadership which encompasses the natural mix of decisive action people, thinkers and carers. 

By this stage the group are no longer strangers and are beginning to develop strong bonds of friendship.  They now have an appreciation of the term 'Esprit de Corps' which wartime historian, Dudley McCarthy, attributed to another young group of strangers, the 39th Militia Battalion:

'Although possessing no permanent site, having neither roof nor walls, no unchanging form, it yet becomes home for those who serve in it.  Away from it, each of its members can revert to being homeless individuals, lost uncertain, without proper identity.  Because of this it calls to life in a man, rounded into fullness through shared battle, suffering and death, each other will always feel some sense of brotherhood for each other man of his battalion.  Through this thing the strong lift the weak to efforts and achievements beyond their own strength and their conscious wills, and the dependence of the weak gives greater strength and endurance to the strong.  For every individual human part of this battalion who is killed, this thing changes something in those who survive and calls to life something new that never was there before'.

Students then retire to think about a leader who has inspired them in their lives thus far - a parent, a teacher, a coach, a friend.  Later in the day they return to the group and tell us about that person and the values they have and the qualities they exhibit that inspires them as a role model.

We then share a view on leadership from an old mentor:

‘From long experience I have learned the importance of knowing the capacities of my people.  I view each person as an individual with strong and weak points.  I have considered opinion about the strengths and limitations of each person and the responsibilities each will probably be able to handle best.  In a general way I know when it will be safe to let a person ‘have his or her lead’ and when to ‘tighten the reins’.  I consider it is part of my job to provide conditions that will allow my people to perform at their best.

‘I have learned to watch for signs that a person may be reaching breaking point, particularly during prolonged periods of stress.  When I sense a person to be reaching breaking point I arrange for their relief as tactfully as possible.

‘I follow the practice of pushing decision making as far down the organization as it should reasonably go.  For example, I give most of the problems that come to my desk to people who I think should handle them.  Usually I do not comment on these problems in advance even though I usually have my ideas on how they should work.

‘I try to avoid making commitments that involve my people without their knowledge.  I recognize it is tempting to promise people they will get everything they ask for.  Instead I take note and promise that their request will be looked into, and that they will get it unless a good reason exists.

‘I have learned to be especially careful in one aspect of my actions.  I have found that people are highly sensitive to anything a boss says or does.  I have found that even the most vague speculations about possible actions can cause my entire organization to shift into high gear. Accordingly, I learned long ago not to throw off any chance remarks which might be construed to be subtle directives.

‘Despite my calculated reserve I am constantly tempted to tell employees how things should be done.  I have a reputation for getting to the root of problems and, of course, I like seeing things done according to my own preferences.  However, I am convinced that much of my effectiveness depends upon resisting this temptation. I have found that this restraint has resulted in my people getting high satisfaction from their own jobs.  I believe that this is also why I have developed a reputation for always having my people ‘behind me’.

‘I have learned to use my people as a team.  I encourage ideas and suggestions from everyone concerned, not only by saying so, but also by making sure that those who ‘stick their necks out’ do not feel threatened by their or others’; comments.

‘I insist that my people clear their ideas with each other before coming to me.  I recognize that most problems will involve the activities of more than one branch or section.

‘I am concerned about the development of my entire organization and I make effort in this direction.  I make it a specific responsibility of supervisors to bring on their employees.  I encourage supervisors, for example, to invite selected employees to conferences where the latter can make a contribution or learn something relevant to their own work.

‘I believe that written directions or memoranda are most useful when they summarize or record concepts that have already been discussed.

‘I have found that the idea within which employees can act on their own initiative needs defining.  I therefore keep in touch with my people so that I can show them where they are in over their heads.  I don’t hesitate to tell them when they have failed – I do so plainly but in a way which stresses how such mistakes can be avoided in the future and how they can profit from them.’

 

What's included

  • Meals
  • All transportation
  • All accommodation
  • All trek fees
  • Mosquito-proof tents

Dates & Availability for School Groups

Date
Status Price  
29 Jun - 8 Jul 2019
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Reg Yates Taking Bookings $4,795 $4,395 $4,495 $3,695 $4,445
10 Jul - 21 Jul 2019
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Rod Foster Private group only Private group
12 Aug - 23 Aug 2019
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Charlie Lynn Private group only Private group
16 Sep - 27 Sep 2019
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Private group only Private group
16 Nov - 26 Nov 2019
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Taking Bookings
27 Jun - 7 Jul 2020
Kokoda to Owers Corner
Taking Bookings $4,795 $4,395 $4,495 $3,695 $4,445
5 Jul - 15 Jul 2020
Owers Corner to Kokoda
Peter Davis Taking Bookings $5,595 $4,495 $4,795 $3,695 $4,445

Load all dates

Photos from the School Groups

FAQs about this trek

You should not have any worries if you are travelling with a reputable trek operator who utilizes a secure hotel and pre-arranged transport in Port Moresby.

Our trek leaders meet you on arrival at the Port Moresby airport; accompany you to your accommodation; provide detailed pre-trek briefings and equipment checks; lead you safely across the trail; and escort you back to the Port Moresby airport at the end of your trek.  We are with you the entire time you are in PNG.

Our relationships with local villagers along the trail is based on mutual respect because of the employment we provide to their local Koiari and Orokaiva guides; the money we have invested into their local campsites; and the community benefits we provide through our not-for-profit company, Network Kokoda.

 

 

The VHF radio net along the Kokoda Trail has improved however there is only one channel and it is sometimes difficult to break into the chatter.  The system does not have a base station with a 24/7 listening watch which could be critical in an emergency.

Adventure Kokoda are equipped with satellite phones for use in emergencies.

Operators who do not have a satellite phone with an active account fall into the 'dodgy' category - unfortunately they exist and the only protection trekkers have is the old caveat emptor of 'Let the buyer beware'.

Trekking without a satellite phone in your group is classified as 'unnecessary risk'.

 

Most trekkers bring some of their favourite snacks to nibble on between meals during the day.  These include biscuits, chocolate bars, jelly beans, etc.

Try and avoid too many dried fruit and nut mixes as they are heavy and can be a bit hard on the digestive system.

Your daily snack pack should not exceed 150 grams.

Charlie Lynn served in the Australian Army for 21 years.  He is a Vietnam Veteran, a qualified military free-fall parachutist and a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College.

During his time as an exchange instructor with the United States Army he completed their Special Forces HALO parachute program which involved high altitude jumps from 20,000 feet at night with full combat equipment.  He was appointed Captain of the Parachute Display Team at Fort Lee in Virginia and completed 200 jumps during his tour of duty.

After leaving the army Charlie specialised in organising ultra-marathon events and ran outback survival programs for mining companies in remote areas.

In 1986 he held the NSW Ultra-marathon record by running a distance of 213 km in 24 hours.

Charlie was elected to the NSW Parliament in 1995 and served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs under Premiers’ Barry O’Farrell and Mike Baird. He retired in 2015 after almost 20 years’ service in the NSW Legislative Council.

Over the past 27 years he has led 90 treks across the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.

Prior to his first trek in 1991 only a small number of hardy adventurers trekked across the trail each year.

At this time the combined income of all the villagers along the trail was estimated to be approximately $30,000 per year.

In 1992 Charlie organised and led a group of 20 trekkers across the trail to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign.  His trek featured as a cover story in the Bulletin magazine.

The publicity sparked enough interest in the trek for Charlie to organise another trek later in the year with a group of journalists.  This trek led to national stories in the Australian newspaper, the Canberra Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Sunday Age.

The interest generated by these treks led to more treks the following year and this led to more media stories in national newspapers and magazines.

Around this time Charlie began to lobby the Australian government to work with the PNG Government to have the Kokoda Trail proclaimed as a National Memorial Park.  Unfortunately it was not on their radar at the time and there was little interest on either side.

In 1996, Channel 9 asked Charlie to lead a group of celebrities including Angry Anderson, Colette Mann, Darryl Braithwaite, Dermot Brereton, Shelley Taylor-Smith and Dr Kerryn Phelps across the trail for an Anzac Special. The group was joined by a young PNG botanist, Justin Tkatchenko in Port Moresby (Justin is now the Minister for APEC in the PNG Government).  The documentary was titled ‘the Angry Anderson Kokoda Challenge’ and was viewed by more than 3 million people.

Over the following three years Charlie was asked to lead treks sponsored by all the major television networks.  This created an enormous amount of interest in trekking Kokoda.

As a direct result of the increasing public interest in the Kokoda campaign the Australian government built a significant memorial on the Isurava battlesite which Charlie had re-discovered 2000.  The memorial was officially opened by Prime Ministers’ Sir Michael Somare and John Howard on 26th August 2002.

Charlie then lobbied the PNG Government to establish a Kokoda Track Authority to manage the emerging trekking industry and ensure local villagers received shared benefits from it.  He worked closely with Sir Peter Barter, the Minister for Intergovernmental Relations and his company.  Adventure Kokoda provided an advance of K20,000 to enable it to operate for the first couple of months.

After the opening of the Isurava Memorial trekker numbers began to increase rapidly from 365 in 2002 to a peak of 5621 in 2008.  Over the past decade more than 40,000 trekkers have now crossed Kokoda.  This had generated approximately K335 million into the PNG economy.  Approximately K63 million of this has benefited local villages directly in wages, campsite fees, food and souvenirs.  But most importantly in generates positive stories on PNG and now acts as a gateway for the establishment of firm friendships between Australian trekkers and their PNG guides and carriers.

The Australian and PNG governments would have received approximately $16 million in GST as a result of the trekking industry. 

As a result, the Kokoda Trail is now the prime tourist destination in PNG.

Charlie Lynn’s commitment to PNG is broader than his involvement with the Kokoda Trail.

In 2003 Charlie developed and funded the establishment of The Kokoda Track Foundation which provides educational scholarships and health care support to villagers along the Kokoda Trail.

During the drought in PNG in 2004 he established a ‘PNG Drought Appeal’ in partnership with the National Australian Bank and the Returned Services League.  The appeal raised $500,000 which was used to purchase seeds for villagers in the highlands.  Charlie accompanied the consignment to PNG which was then delivered by Australian Army helicopters.

Later in 2004 he undertook a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Study Tour to PNG to investigate access for seasonal work opportunities for PNG workers.  This led to a submission to the Australian Senate on the issue.

In 2010 Charlie developed and funded the established Network Kokoda as a Not-For-Profit company that builds Community Development Centres in villagers along the Kokoda Trail and has introduced Agricultural Learning Centres at the Sogeri National High School and Iaowari High School.  These centres are now providing fresh produce for approximately 1200 boarding students and the programs have been replicated in seven villages on the Sogeri Plateau.

In 2012 Charlie was invited by Mr Glenn Armstrong of Air Niugini to develop a program to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign.   The program included the painting of a map of the Kokoda Trail on a new B767; the participation of singer/songwriter, John Williamson, in the official 70th Anniversary Dawn Service at Bomana War Cemetery; a concert hosted by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at Parliament House; and the production of a documentary on Rabaul which is now screened on the Air Niugini inflight program.

For the past two years Charlie has hosted the PNG Independence Day Celebration in the NSW Parliament on behalf of Mr Sumasy Singin, Consul General in Sydney.

In 2014 he hosted a two day Centenary Forum for the PNG Australia Association at Parliament House.  Speakers included Senator The Hon Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Major-General Michael Jeffery AC, CVO, MC; H.E. Charles Lepani, PNG High Commissioner to Australia; and Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston  AC, AFC.

In 2015 Charlie was inducted as an Officer of the Logohu by the PNG Government in their New Years’ Honours List ‘for service to the bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and Australia and especially in the development of the Kokoda Trail and its honoured place in the history of both nations’ over the past 25 years.

Record of Service:

Title

The Hon Charlie Lynn MLC

1965

Conscripted into the Australian Army

1967

Served in Vietnam with 17th Construction Squadron RAE

1968

Graduated from Officer Cadet School, Portsea as a 2nd Lieutenant

1971-73

Served with the ANZUK Force in Singapore

1974

Platoon Commander with 176th Air Dispatch Company

1976

Squadron Commander with 30th Terminal Squadron

1977-78

Exchange Instructor with the United States Army Airborne Logistics School

1979-80

Officer Commanding, Army Air Movement Training and Development Unit

1981

Graduated from Army Command and Staff College

1982-84

Senior Staff Officer for Personnel and Logistics at HQ 1st Brigade

1985

Staff Officer at Army HQ, Canberra

1985-86

Senior Staff Officer for Personnel and Logistics at HQ 1st Brigade

1886

Retires from army with rank of Major

1984-1991

Race Director of Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon

1991

Established ‘Adventure Kokoda’ – Trekked Kokoda

1992

Led a 50th Anniversary Trek across the Kokoda Trail

1992-2014

Led 75 expeditions across the Kokoda Trail with more than 4500 trekkers

1995

Elected to the NSW Parliament

2002

Established the Kokoda Track Foundation

2009

Established Network Kokoda Not-For-Profit Foundation

2011

Appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs

2011

Established NSW Parliamentary Friends of Papua New Guinea Committee

2012

Worked in partnership with Air Niugini to host 70th Anniversary Commemorative events

 

Following is a summary of positive publicity Charlie has generated for Papua New Guinea and the Kokoda Trail:

Newspaper/Magazine Articles  promoting Kokoda Treks

GWP Magazine
‘The Enshrinement of Kokoda’

The Enshrinement of Kokoda

The Bulletin with Newsweek
‘Kokoda: A walk on the wild side’

The Bulletin with Newsweek

The Canberra Times – November 1992
‘A Hard Slog to Kokoda’

The Canberra Times

Qantas Magazine - 1993
‘Kokoda Travels’

Kokoda Travels Qantas Magazine

News Limited Magazine - 1994
‘Trek into history’

News Limited on Kokoda

Australian Defence Information Bulletin - 1994
‘Adventure on the Kokoda Track’

Defence Force Academy on Kokoda

The Australian Magazine - 1995
‘Kokoda – the new campaign’

Kokoda The New Campaign The Australian

The Northern Herald – August 1995
‘On the beaten track’

On the Beaten Track

The Sydney Morning Herald – November 1995
‘Is this the world’s meanest tour guide?’

Kokoda Is this the Worlds Meanest Tour Guide

The Australian – 1996
‘Stars rise and fall on Kokoda’

Stars Rise and Fall on Kokoda

The Sunday Magazine - 1996
‘Lessons in Life’

Sunday Life Magazine

Women’s Day Magazine – 1996
‘Kokoda Startrek’

Womens Day on Kokoda

Impressions Magazine – 1996
‘Colette’s life-changing challenge’

Collette Mann on Kokoda

Australian Geo Magazine – May/June 1997
‘Trekking to hell and back’

Trekking to Hell and Back

The Australian Women’s Weekly – 1997
‘My Kokoda Trail Trek’

Womens Weekly on Kokoda

Runners World – January 2000
‘No Soldier of Fortune’

Charlie Lynn on Kokoda

Sydney Swans Football Magazine - 2002
‘Sydney Swans conquer Kokoda’

Sydney Swans Conquer Kokoda

South Pacific Magazine - 2002
‘Commemorating Kokoda’

South Pacific Magazine

Great Walks Magazine - 2008
‘Age before beauty’

Kokoda in Your 50s Great Walks Magazine


Following is a list of the national television stories Charlie has generated through his treks:

Television Shows promoting the Kokoda Trail

Channel 9
‘Angry Anderson Kokoda Challenge’

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCz7qUl9FFmplk_GItGEAJ33D0bNZunFh

Channel 9
‘Getaway on Kokoda’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLCz7qUl9FFmoxNQ0ZJCWX4Kla_pcxL235&v=2DPL3qaO5NQ&feature=player_embedded

Channel 7
‘Sydney Swans on Kokoda’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&list=PLCz7qUl9FFmrNAQ8E39IeWYEZyZDW5sKf&v=BAiajXkG_m0

Channel 7
‘Dareing Kokoda’

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCz7qUl9FFmrPkKNK9DLeZ4aqnUADCBIU

Channel 10
‘Father Chris Riley’s Kids on Track’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KVKcFFTHIY0&list=PLCz7qUl9FFmodfixqBw7VwVs5xzQu7juu

ABC Compass – Channel 2

‘Cronulla to Kokoda’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Q48HEYWTZVU&list=PLCz7qUl9FFmqihaijuadJPoA8sJIU0D8q

 

Following is a list of submissions, papers and blogs Charlie has produced and submitted in support of initiatives to ensure the wartime integrity of the Kokoda Trail is protected and Australia’s relationship with PNG is improved:

1994

Proposal for the Kokoda Trail to be developed as a National Memorial Park

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/PROJECTKOKODAPROPOSALbyCharlieLynn.doc

1997

Proposal for Olympic Torch to be carried across the Kokoda Trail for Sydney 2000

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/ProposaltocarrytheOlympicTorchacrosstheKokodaTrailin2000.pdf

SOCOGs spurious rejection of Kokoda Torch Relay Proposal

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/SOCOGsSpuriousRejectionofKokodaTorchRelay.pdf

SOCOG must compensate PNG for stealing ‘Kokoda’ name

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/MediaReleasereSOCOGCompensationforKokoda.pdf

2004

Letter to Prime Minister John Howard supporting a medal for PNG Wartime Carriers
 

http://newsletter.kokodatreks.com/documents/PrimeMinisterJohnHowardreCarrierMedals15February2004.pdf
 

Produced Interim Report for the development of a Strategic Plan for the Kokoda Trail

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/KokodaTrackFoundationInterimReportof6July2004.pdf

2005

 

Produced the Inaugural Report for the Kokoda Track Foundation

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/2005KokodaTrackFoundationInaguralReport.pdf

2006

Presented A Strategic Plan for the Kokoda Trail to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare
 

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/StrategicPlanfortheKokodaTrailNoPics.pdf

Submission to Australian Senate supporting access for seasonal labour from PNG

http://newsletter.kokodatreks.com/documents/SenateSubmissiononSeasonalLabourfromthePacificRegion1_000.pdf

Proposal for a Civilian Service Medal for the New Guinea Wartime Carriers

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/ProposalforMedalforPNGCarriers.pdf

Speech in NSW Parliament calling for official recognition of ‘Kokoda Day’

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/KokodaDay.pdf

Kokoda – a neglected jungle shrine

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2006/02/15/kokoda-a-neglected-jungle-shrine

The Australian Newspaper:
‘PNG so near,

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/charlie-lynn-png-so-near-yet-far-from-friendly/story-e6frg6zo-1111112404497

Submission to the Kokoda Track Authority

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/WarrenBartlett24Aug06reSuggestionsfortheKTA.pdf

Kokoda gazetted as a place of historic significance

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2007/08/10/kokoda-gazetted-as-a-place-of-historic-significance-to-australia/#more-466

The Kokoda Track Authority
 

http://newsletter.kokodatreks.com/001-February_2006.html
 

2007

Issued a Discussion Paper on the Kokoda Trekking Industry
 

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/ADiscussionPaperontheKokodaEcoTrekkingIndustryNoPics.pdf
 

2008

Article on Kokoda’s ‘Forgotten People’

http://newsletter.kokodatreks.com/009-MiningKokoda_February_2008.html

Published Blog: Kokoda Villagers need charity too

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2008/08/07/kokoda-villagers-need-charity-too

Published Blog: Military Heritage at risk on Kokoda

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2008/06/28/military-heritage-at-risk-on-kokoda 

Published Blog: Let’s not forget the Villagers along the Kokoda Trail

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2008/09/16/lets-not-forget-the-villagers-along-kokoda

Published Blog: Fuzzy-Wuzzy Angels deserve a medal

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2008/06/27/png-carriers-deserve-a-medal

Education: A trekkers legacy

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2008/09/07/education-a-trekkers-legacy

Kokoda: More than a jungle track

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2008/09/07/pacific-png-guest-worker-scheme

Pacific (PNG) Guest Worker Scheme

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2008/09/07/pacific-png-guest-worker-scheme

PNG – A difficult place to help

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2007/01/10/png-%E2%80%93-a-difficult-place-to-help/#more-648

Proposal for ‘Kokoda Day’ to be Proclaimed

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/ProposalforKokodaDayProclamation1March2008.pdf

Kokoda gazetted as a place of historic significance

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2007/08/10/kokoda-gazetted-as-a-place-of-historic-significance-to-australia/#more-466

2010

Why Kokoda Day?

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2010/11/03/why-kokoda-day

Kokoda Day proclaimed in PNG

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2010/04/04/kokoda-day-proclaimed-in-png

Trekker downturn weighs heavily on Kokoda porters

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2010/06/20/trekker-downturn-weighing-heavily-on-local-kokoda-porters

PNG Payback

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2010/07/20/png-payback

Giving back to the track

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2010/11/07/giving-back-to-the-track-in-2010

2011

Wartime Tourism: Presentation to UPNG

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2011/09/19/wartime-tourism-university-of-papua-new-guinea-conference/#more-1532

Removal of war relics from the Kokoda Trail

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/01/21/removal-or-war-relics-from-the-kokoda-trail/#more-1675

Kokoda: Battlefields have never been ‘lost’

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2011/09/30/kokoda-battlefields-have-never-been-lost

The Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2011/01/18/the-kokoda-youth-leadership-challenge

2012

Presentation to the Australian War Memorial Conference: Kokoda – beyond the legend

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/09/16/kokoda-a-paper-on-the-kokoda-trekking-industry-by-charlie-lynn

Kokoda 70: Launch by Prime Minister Peter O’Neil at Parliament House

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2011/12/07/kokoda-70-launched-by-png-prime-miniser-the-hon-peter-oneill-mp-on-70th-anniversary-of-pearl-harbour

Our Kokoda Footprint

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/12/28/our-kokoda-footprint

The Spirit of Kokoda 70 years on

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/06/10/the-spirit-of-kokoda-70-years-on

War Cemeteries in Papua New Guinea

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/06/09/war-cemetries-in-papua-new-guinea

The Kokoda Trail: It’s about respect for the PNG Government and the men who fought across it

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/07/19/the-kokoda-trail-its-about-respect-for-the-png-government-and-the-men-who-fought-across-it

Bomana War Cemetery – the only place to be on Anzac Day in PNG

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/08/18/bomana-dawn-service-the-only-place-to-be-on-anzac-day-in-png

Military Tradition behind the awarding of the Battle Honour – Kokoda Trail

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/09/28/military-tradition-behind-the-awarding-of-the-battle-honour-kokoda-trail

Speech regarding NSW Schools commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Kokoda campaign

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2012/10/28/nsw-schools-to-commemorate-70th-anniversary-of-the-raising-of-the-flag-on-kokoda

Perpetuating the Spirit of Kokoda

http://blog.kokodatreks.com/2013/01/14/perpetuating-the-spirit-of-kokoda

2013

 

Kokoda: Time for a Rethink

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/KokodaTimeforaRethink.pdf

2014

 

Speech to the PNGAA Forum at the NSW Parliament by The Hon Charlie Lynn MLC on 18 September 2014: The Great Divide: White Australia – Black Melanesia

 

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/SpeechbyTheHonCharlieLynnMLCtothePNGAAForuminSydney.pdf

 

Following is a list of philanthropic programs Charlie has initiated and funded to support the people of PNG:

Initiated a Joint PNG Drought Appeal with the RSL that raised K1 million in 1996

Travelled to PNG to assist in distributing food and seed to affected areas in army Blackhawk helicopters.

Established and funded Network Kokoda
 

http://www.networkkokoda.org

Initiated Integrated Agricultural Project at Sogeri National High School

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/SogeriAgriculturalLearningProjectMarketGarden.pdf

Support educational programs along the Kokoda Trail

http://newsletter.kokodatreks.com/003-January_2007.html

 

Seed Nursery at the Sogeri National High School
 

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/SogeriAgriculturalLearningProjectSeedNurseryPics.pdf

Abuari Community Learning Centre
 

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/AbuariCommunityDevelopmentCentre.pdf

Water projects in the Sogeri community
 

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/AbuariCommunityDevelopmentCentre.pdf

Established Kokoda Bursary Program at Port Moresby Grammar School

 

Sponsoring a Port Moresby Grammar School Student through a Commerce Degree

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/MargaretAitsiDivineWordUniversityResultsto2012.pdf

 

Following is a selection of testimonials acknowledging Charlie’s work in PNG and along the Kokoda Trail:


“Without Charlie Lynn's dedication to the people of the Kokoda Trail, and Papua New Guinea in general, and his assistance in early negotiations in the establishment of the Authority, the establishment of the Kokoda Track Authority and its future plans for assisting the sustainability of the Kokoda Track Tourism Strategy and its heritage, there would be no special purposes authority - it would still be sitting in limbo."

Sir Peter Barter, PNG Minister for Intergovernment Relations.

The Hon Arthur Somare MP, PNG Minister for National Planning:

'Dear Mr Lynn,

I write to personally thank you for arranging to meet the members of the PNG Parliamentary Select Committee on the Pacific Economic Community in Sydney last week. We are very grateful for you hosting lunch for us at your beautiful parliament setting.

Your tireless work over the years in promoting Papua New Guinea in Australia and the world is something we are very grateful for and will do everything possible to compliment your efforts in the future. I am pleased that the PNG Tourism Authority has been working closely with you on issues of interest concerning the Kokoda Trail and the promotion of tourism as a vibrant industry in PNG.

I will shortly be bringing to the attention of the Ministry for Works the urgency to upgrade the road leading to Owers Corner in Sogeri area.

It is my hope that our meeting in Sydney has set the foundation for further enhancement of relations at a personal level between our two countries. I very much look forward to meeting you and your co-workers again when you next visit Port Moresby.

Yours sincerely,

Arthur T. Somare MP

 

 Major-General Peter Phillips, National President of the RSL
'Dear Charlie,

I am pleased to advise that the National Executive of the RSL has endorsed the proposal to establish a master plan for development of a Kokoda Track Memorial Park.

Thank you for taking the time to address our National Executive and for the personal effort you have put into promoting this concept.

As we approach the 60th anniversary of the epic battles of the Kokoda Track, it is appropriate that we honour those who lost their lives there or served their country so valiantly.

Yours sincerely.

Major-General Peter Phillips AO MC''

 

Senator Bob Carr Foreign Minister and former Premier of NSW
 

Dear Charlie,

I've always been impressed by your love of the Track and your determination to ensure its place in the Australian imagination is never lost.

You know better than most that the Kokoda Track isn't just a place where our salvation was won - though we should remember and document and treasure every inch of it. Kokoda's now part of the Australian Dreaming, a sacred site.

More than that the Men of Kokoda are among the greatest of heroes in a land that rightly canonizes few heroes. And as time slowly steals the survivors from our midst, its hard to resist thinking that Australians in the not too distant future will look back with almost disbelief at the giants who lived in those days.

The Hon Bob Carr MP

Premier of New South Wales

 

Don Daniels MBE: Founder and Chairman of Port Moresby Grammar School

Good morning Mr Lynn

Years ago, we first met in the dining room of the Parliament of New South Wales when you invited Dame Carol Kidu and myself to a dinner.  The occasion then was about assisting Papua New Guinea students, especially those from villages along the Kokoda track.

Little did I know then, how much Port Moresby Grammar School is now in your debt for the support you have given the school.

Among other things, this support consists of:

  • four Adventure Kokoda bursaries
  • your kindness in sponsoring Margaret Aitsi and Alfreda Nakue on the trip of a lifetime to Australia
  • over 2500 books received for the library and classrooms
  • a plethora of stationery supplies
  • medical equipment and supplies
  • a wide variety of sports gear
  • K3500 in cash for special needs aspects in the school
  • Exposure of our students to wonderful ordinary Australians who come to PNG....and reciprocally for Aussies to see and bond with Papua New Guineans within the school environment.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the School, please accept our sincere and grateful thanks for that you have done and we hope this special bond between POM Grammar and Kokoda will continue and strengthen.

 Sincerely 

DONALD DANIELS  MBE
 

Tessie Soi, PNG Friends Foundation Inc

‘Dear Charlie,

'Thanks a million for the 2 computers dropped off at the office. I was in Babaka village, 3 hours drive from Pom.

' Staff advised me of your kind donation.

' My Admin Manager, Mr pana Sitapai will email you through friendfoundinc@daltron.com.pg when the office downstairs is completed.

' Its great to hear that i can email you when i am in dire straits and i will also give you updates and how our programs are going.

' I can use someone else as a sounding board. which i hope you don't mind.

' But thanks a million for helping me do my programs for our people.

Tessie'

 

Mike Luff, Deputy Principal, Port Moresby Grammar School

‘Hello Charlie,

'Hope all is well down your way. Collected a good number of books the other evening with Chad & Ron Beattie’s Group! Our number of books and DVDs totals 1035. All brought forward in the past 12 months approx. A fabulous effort! This does not include pencils, pens and other drawing materials.

'On the turn around side Port Moresby Grammar school has done the following:

  • 6 cartons of reading books were delivered to Taurama Barracks Community School along with a heap of stationary;
  • 7 cartons of books were presented to Bavaroko Community School (our next door neighbour);
  • 1 carton was given to a small group called “We Care” in the Hohola settlement area. Mums teaching street kids to read; and
  • 2 cartons were sent to Gaire community school on request.

' All of these are a result of culling as new books come into our library. Where there is a doubling up we give these away in the cartons. Some of your books we use as incentives and prizes to kids at Pom Grammar for good work.  The culture of reading has been substantially enhanced since your program has started. Popular novels are being read throughout the school. The library staff are really doing a fine job.

' Friends Foundation gave us a wooden coin box and in the first fortnight we collected K250- for Tessie’s group.

' Our next quest is to build up the culling cartons again so that Sogeri Community school and Ioiari High school are provided with books.

' Nixon and the West Papuans are still at Gerehu. The six we have at Pom Grammar are still in school. Many of the other school kids have been “pushed out” or have simply given up – sorry to say. However, we will keep going with our little group. The West Papuan girls especially enjoy the hockey competition on a Sunday afternoon.

' Things are going very well at present and a big lot of thanks to you.

' We would like to see you at the school when you are next up this way – is that possible?

'Regards,

'Mike'

 

James Enage: Chairman, Kokoda Track Authority
 

Dear Charlie,

I wish to thank you, your lovely wife and the Adventure Kokoda Management for financially supporting the Kokoda Track Sports Development Program within this year, 2009.

I had acknowledged your contribution to this very special project in various appropriate forums and have informed the boys and people along the Kokoda Track about your support.

In relation to the outcome of the Program, preparations are now underway by four (4) Local Rugby League Clubs in Queensland who are keen to engage few boys from the Kokoda Track to play in the local Queensland Rugby League Competition next year, 2010. Hopefully, the various Rugby Club offers (Work, Match payments, Accommodation) for the boys should be made available towards the end of January and I will make the announcements in the middle or towards the end of February, 2010.

Also the Gold Coast Titans Junior Development Team Management are keen to recruit school boys from the Kokoda Track area next year to be part of the Gold Coast Titans Junior Development Team under Football Scholarships. We will announce this program shortly.

Since you have pioneered in supporting this program, I trust you will continue to support this program.

I look forward to continue working with you in this very special Project in the New Year.

James Enage

Chairman

 

 

Two recent articles summarise Charlie’s feelings towards Kokoda and PNG as a result of his association with the country, its people and our wartime heritage:

Wouldn’t it be great if . . .

http://www.kokodatreks.com/docs/2007NewsletterArticlereAustralianElectionCampaign.pdf

Straight shooter soldiers on . . .

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/straight-shooter-soldiers-on-20130208-2e3kd.html

The situation is assessed by the trek leader.  If it is an emergency he will immediately contact the Adventure Kokoda base at Sogeri via satellite phone or VHF Radio.  The person in charge of the office will initiate immediate evacuation procedures by telephone with the appropriate emergency authorities in PNG and will advise the Australian High Commission of the details.  Immediate action will be taken to move the patient by stretcher to an area accessible by helicopter or to a nearby airfield.  The patient will be met on arrival by our representative from Sogeri who will then liaise with the appropriate medical authorities and the Australian High Commission for the most appropriate treatment or further evacuation to Australia if necessary.

Meet the Trek Leaders

Major Charlie Lynn OL

In 2015 Charlie was inducted as an Officer of the Logohu by the Government of Papua New Guinea in their New Years Honours and Awards list 'for service to the bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and Australia and especially in the development of the Kokoda Trail and its honoured place in the history of both nations' over the past 25 years.'  

Major Chad Sherrin MM

Chad is a decorated Vietnam veteran - he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in action. Chad first joined the 8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (8 RAR) as a tracking dog handler.  He was promoted through the ranks to Sergeant while serving with 8 RAR and served with the Battalion in Malaysia and South Vietnam.

Lieutenant Colonel Rowan Tracey LLB BA

Rowan is a pioneer of the Kokoda Trail.  He first trekked it 30 years ago when he served with the PNG Defence Force.  He is fluent in the local language 'Tok Pisin'.  Rowan is a military historian and is acknowledged as the most eminent authority on the strategy and tactics of the Kokoda campaign.

Captain Reg Yates

Over the past 34 years Captain Reg Yates has explored most of the WW11 battlesites in PNG. He is fluent in Tok Pisin and is well respected by village elders along the Kokoda Trail.

 

Commodore Simon Hart CSC MSc MA

Simon joined the Australian Navy a Cadet Midshipmen in 1973 and carved out an outstanding career spanning 33 years.  He specialised in maritime surface ship operations and spent the majority of his career at sea.

Sergeant Rod Foster

Rod is currently serving as a Sergeant in the Royal Australian Artillery at Kapooka.  He has served in the Sinai Peninsula and Iraq and has a deep understanding of the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign.  He is also a competitive ultra-marathon athlete.

John Nalder

Prior to John joining Adventure Kokoda he used to wrestle crocodiles with Steve Irwin.  John is a qualified para-medic and expert bushman.  He has a deep emotional commitment to Kokoda and the veterans he has met over the years.  He is a keen student of the Kokoda campaign.

Peter Davis

Peter served in the Army Reserve for 7 years and has two grandfathers who served in both World Wars - one being a highly decorated soldier.  Peter recently graduated with a MPhil in Military History with the Australian Defence Force Academy and is now studying for his PhD.

Bernie Rowell

Bernie is a Kokoda tragic.  He first trekked with Kokoda to honour his father who served in New Guinea during the war.  He has since trekked it 43 times.  Bernie has transposed his success in business to his passion for leading treks across the Kokoda Trail. 

Dave Sherry

Dave began exploring Australia as soon as he was old enough to escape Sydney.  He was born in the city but his heart was in the bush.  There are few places in Australia that Dave hasn’t trekked on foot or explored in off-road vehicles.  He even took to the sea as a crew member on the Tall Ship HMAS Bounty during the Bicentenary in 1988.

 

Peter Morrison

Peter Morrison is an unassuming young Australian.  He first trekked with Adventure Kokoda almost a decade ago and developed a strong desire to learn more about the campaign and the people he met along the trail.  Peter is a professional boxer and former NSW Welterweight  Champion. 

 

Tracie Watson

Tracie is the General Manager and engine room of Adventure Kokoda - she is on-call 24/7 and will look after your every need and concern from the moment you book your trek until you arrive back in Australia.

Why Trek with Adventure Kokoda

Our primary goal is to lead you safely across the Kokoda Trail and ensure you have an unforgettable wartime historical and cultural experience.

Charlie has led more than 90 expeditions across the Kokoda Trail over the past 26 years.

He previously served in the Australian Army for 21 years. During this time he saw active service in Vietnam; was assigned to the joint Australian, New Zealand and British (ANZUK) Force in Singapore/ Malaysia from 1970-72, and as an exchange instructor in Airborne Logistics with the United States Army from 1977-78. He is a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College.

Why choose Adventure Kokoda?

Why is Kokoda so important?Dive into the History