Two Cardinia Shire secondary school students are about to embark on a journey to Papua New Guinea and walk the Kokoda Track in memory of a local Digger.
Emerald Secondary College student Ashley Ray and Berwick Grammar student Jake Templar were today farewelled during a presentation to officially launch the 2015 fundraising campaign for the Harold Bould Memorial Award.
Ashley and Jake are the 2014 Harold Bould Memorial Award winners and will walk the Kokoda Track during the upcoming July school holidays.
The award was established in memory of Cardinia resident Harold Bould, who was killed in action on 29 July, 1942 while he served with the 39th Battalion during the Kokoda Campaign.
The 39th Australian Infantry Battalion Association selected the two winners from entries of a literary competition open to all Year 10 students in the Cardinia Shire. Students wrote essays on the subjects ‘What Kokoda means to you’ and ‘What Kokoda meant to Australia’.
Mr O’Donohue said the award, now in its eighth year, nurtured the future leaders of the Cardinia Shire community.
“This award gives students a unique opportunity to learn about the legacy of Kokoda and do so in memory of a local man who served in the Kokoda Campaign and sadly never made it home,” Mr O’Donohue said.
Mr O’Donohue thanked the local businesses and organisations that are generous supporters of the Harold Bould Memorial Award.
Alan Jameson from the 39th Australian Infantry Battalion Association said Ashley and Jake had a huge adventure ahead of them.
“They will learn how the approximately 800-strong 39th Battalion held a rampaging enemy for five weeks until reinforcements arrived. The Japanese were attempting to capture Port Moresby via the Owen Stanley Ranges after their efforts to land by sea were thwarted by the Coral Sea Battle,” Mr Jameson said.
“Today’s youth must continue to learn of important historical events and when they do, will appreciate the sacrifice of the young men and women of Australia during those very dark days of 1942.”