On 27 April, not such a fine day, the year 11/12 Sport and Recreation and the year 11 VET Business students ventured out into the Dandenong Ranges in search on feeling the Anzac spirit. Even though the ‘Kokoda Track’ is dedicated to the fallen soldiers of WW2, the place has an ‘Anzac’ feel about it because it is hard to complete!! It was two days after, but never too late for our students to get a taste of what a usual work in the ‘Kokoda Track’ felt like. The weather was not so ideal, but just perfect for a gutsy walk up the 1000 steps Kokoda Track.
None of the students, neither the Sport and Recreation or the VET Business had visited the site and the task was met by students with rather daunting faces. I cannot tell you which the students dreaded more, the long bus ride to the ‘Ranges’ waiting to find out how they would face up to this track or the actual task itself. For those who are not so familiar with the site, the ‘1000 Steps Kokoda Track’ is a memorial track in the Dandenong National Park. In memory of the fallen soldiers in WW2, the track is small copy of the difficult terrain and land the Australian soldiers had to deal with during this time. The steps take a normal person anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes. There are also other walks you may take, though one would be pretty bushed when completing just the steps.
The students were broken into three groups where the year 12 Sport and Recreation class, led by myself took charge first, followed by the year 11 Sport and Recreation class and Mr Abdul Abdo. Following was Miss Urooj Shah who headed the girls VET Business class. Along the way we heard the usual things, ‘Sir I can’t go on’ or from the girls, Miss Shah heard, ‘ I’m never doing this again’. It’s hard but getting to the top is as great as the fresh air you breathe. The first student to reach the top was Maher Kabbout from year 12. The first year 11 boy was Moukhtar Daher and the first girl from the VET Business class was Hined Mohamad. Overall even though it was a hard task, all students loved it and enjoyed the fresh air. Along the walk you can see memorial plaques with inspiring facts. A big thank you to all students who attended and put in 100% and to teachers Miss Shah and Mr Abdo for their exemplary leadership. This is definitely a place to visit if you have not already, until next time adios!
— Stefanos Chrisoulis