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Official launch of Operation Legacy Australia Kokoda Challenge 2017

16 November 2016

Major General Stuart Smith AO, DSC, Legacy Australia Ambassador and former Legacy ward, has today launched a joint initiative which will see Australian Defence Force (ADF) Members mentor Legacy youth in a leadership development challenge, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign.

“Our support of Operation Legacy Australia Kokoda Challenge 2017 (OP LAKC 17) symbolises our commitment to caring for the dependants of those that have died or become incapacitated following their military service. Defence veterans mentoring Legacy youths reflects the true spirit of Legacy. The 75th anniversary of the Second World War Battle of Kokoda, where so many Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen distinguished themselves, will provide a wonderful inspiration.”
 
Kokoda has its place in Australia’s national identity. Often depicted as the ultimate physical challenge for contemporary Australian pilgrims, this journey will reveal the best in both ADF members and Legacy youth.
 
Set as a leadership challenge for Legacy youth and an opportunity for veterans to work through post deployment issues, OP LAKC 17 will involve a group of around 20 – 25 Legacy youth, accompanied by serving ADF veterans, walking the Kokoda Trail during Legacy Week (August/September) 2017.
 
Legacy Australia Chairman, Mr Tony Ralph welcomes the full support of Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC for this initiative. “Legacy Australia plays a unique role in the support of Defence force families, where a member has given their life or health in service of our nation. OP LAKC 17 provides a vehicle in which Legacy can support the ADF in their duty as the Defence family to look after itself by those who have served and returned.”
 
Mr Ralph announced the first Legacy youth and first ADF mentor to be nominated for the initiative. 16 year old Ronan Gotch from Canberra Legacy will work towards conquering the Owen Stanley Ranges with his ADF mentor WO1 T. 
 
“Early in our planning phase, we expressed a hope that we could find ADF mentors who had served with the family member of our Legacy youth. In this instance, WO1 T served with Ronan’s and in my eyes this a wonderful pairing.”
 
Legacy Australia welcomes on board our corporate partners Peet Limited and QinetiQ for what is expected to be a thoroughly challenging and rewarding project for all involved. For more information on how you might like to partner with Legacy Australia for OP LAKC 17, email kokoda@legacy.com.au.

 

 

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