SOK17 - Soldier On Kokoda 17

By Mark & Craig - SOK17

I've had a long time goal to trek the 96km long Kokoda Trail since studying the heroic efforts, carried out in thick jungle and the inhospitable terrain of the Owen Stanley Ranges, of Australian soldiers fighting in Papua New Guinea (PNG), to save mainland Australia from Japanese invasion during World War II. July to November 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Kokoda.

My family has a link to the fighting in PNG during the war, with my grandfather being enlisted from the Militia in Port Moresby, into the Australian Artillery and ended up serving in Lae, on the north coast of PNG. Like many veterans, his service left lasting mental scars which affected his family on his return to Australia. His service was part of the reason I joined the Army after high school.

Just before Anzac Day 2016, my good mate Craig asked if I wanted to trek Kokoda with him and a group of ex-Army mates for his 40th birthday, finishing in Port Moresby on Anzac Day 2017. I jumped at the opportunity and Craig and I decided to use our trek to help raise awareness and funds for modern veterans, and our chosen charity for this is Soldier On Australia.

Our SOK17 - Soldier On Kokoda 17 trek is about a group of veteran mates supporting each other while raising funds for other veterans.

Between our trekking group we have operational service with the Australian Army in Bougainville, East Timor, Iraq and Solomon Islands, and so understand some of the stresses and sacrifices, made as individuals and families, for deployed personnel, and have got mates who have deployed and have come back with psychological or physical injuries.

Soldier On is a privately funded Ex-Sevices Organisation that provides a range of programs and options for serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members.

You may be asking how far will your Donation go, here is an indication:

$60 pays for the staff fees for an ex-serving member and their family to have a consultation with a Reintegration Officer, who can offer advice and begin to connect them with the services offered by Soldier On and other support organisations.

$100 covers the facility and instructor fees for a 1 hour wellness session for approximately 10 veterans. These include things like art & music session and sporting activities & yoga. All of which stimulate good physical and mental feelings for the veterans.

$165 covers the cost of a session with a Psychologist, which helps build the positive trajectory of recovery for the veteran and their family.

$250 covers the cost of a session with a career adviser who can help them develop a professional CV, identify skills learnt during their service which are valuable to civilian employers and assist with trying to find suitable jobs.

$300 covers the cost of a Family Day for approximately 5 veterans and their families. As ADF members transition from service to civilian lives it can cause great stress to families and the Family Days offer an opportunity for a break outside the house and the opportunity to continue the feeling of camaraderie ADF members feel while serving.

 The above amounts give you an idea of how powerful your donation can be for an serving or ex-serving member and their family.

Craig and I would be extremely grateful for any donation you can spare in support of Soldier On.

We set ourselves a target of $5,000 to raise between before Anzac Day (25th April) 2017, which we have now passed and are hoping to reach $10,000 in total. All donations over $2 are tax deductible and go directly to Soldier On and once you donate you will have the option to receive a tax receipt to your email address.

Thank you in advance for your support and donations!

Mark & Craig

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Supporters

Awesome effort Mark and a great cause!
$50.00
Helen Braines 2017-05-09 16:44:48
Well done Mark and crew for your great achievement and support on walking the Kokoda track, raising monies for return service men and women and their families that are going through difficult times.
$50.00
Greg Cox 2017-04-27 10:39:04
 
$10.00
Peter Walsh 2017-04-26 20:15:59
Good luck Jim and to the whole team! What a great cause and sure to be an amazing experience! Lee and Mary
$100.00
Lee Thompson 2017-04-17 16:39:06
 
$50.00
Anonymous 2017-04-15 18:43:40
All the best Mark and team on what will be an unforgettable experience.
$50.00
Julie Weston 2017-04-14 18:41:11
Good luck! Have an amazing time!
$100.00
The Grogans 2017-04-14 14:16:52
So proud of you Sarg!!! Don 't trip
$20.00
Dominique Simonson 2017-04-14 12:55:10
Great effort Mark team.
$200.00
Fiona Pearse 2017-04-14 11:50:26
Good luck Mark, a once in a life time trip enjoy.
$50.00
Lisa Bess 2017-04-14 11:44:16
Hope the trip goes well!
$50.00
Jenny Kemp 2017-04-14 06:38:47
 
$100.00
Mick Amarasinghe 2017-04-13 12:31:20
Good luck Mark!
$30.00
Order and Grace 2017-04-13 07:53:17
 
$100.00
Andrew Stenning 2017-04-13 06:39:08
 
$50.00
Jonathan Finch 2017-04-12 20:46:33
 
$25.00
Christopher Petley 2017-04-12 15:27:00
 
$25.00
Lachlan Bunn 2017-04-12 10:14:27
From a sapper
$45.00
Anonymous 2017-04-11 15:06:44
What an amazing experience. Try to keep your feet dry!
$25.00
Claire Robertson 2017-04-09 07:00:34
Great work for a great cause.
$50.00
Ryan Kooyman 2017-04-09 06:11:37
Good show Mark
$50.00
Tim Reid 2017-04-08 22:59:06
Good on ya Beardy!
$25.00
Kate Jeffes 2017-04-08 22:30:48
Good luck guys!
$20.00
Anonymous 2017-04-08 11:33:27
Well done guys! Xx
$100.00
Sally Moody 2017-04-07 18:40:05
Good luck mate. Take plenty of photos
$50.00
Bobby Higgins 2017-04-06 15:30:55
Good luck! Kara
$20.00
Kara O'Grady 2017-04-06 15:13:52
Good Luck Mate. Take lots of photos and enjoy. Tara
$100.00
Tara BECKETT 2017-04-03 10:20:46
 
$100.00
Diana Little 2017-03-25 14:34:41
Well done Beardy! Watch out for the mud All the best Dougy
$20.00
Richard Douglas 2017-03-21 13:32:58
Hope it all goes well mate!
$50.00
John Benton 2017-03-20 10:02:28
All the best Mate!
$5.00
Anonymous 2017-03-19 08:02:03
 
$920.00
Sydney Office 2017-03-18 14:45:52
Good Luck from the Sydney Sports and Social Club!
$920.00
AFP Sydney Sports and Social Club 2017-03-16 07:42:13
Best of luck Mark!
$50.00
Sharon Ryle 2017-03-14 08:28:26
Amazing work Beardy! Best of luck
$30.00
Ashleigh McDonald 2017-03-12 18:37:23
 
$50.00
Albert Hyde 2017-03-10 10:17:16
 
$50.00
Anonymous 2017-03-09 11:33:34
Appreciate what your doing for our Anzacs
$20.00
John Balas 2017-03-08 18:47:43
Well done Craig, I like to donate the 305.00 that brings you to your target, on behalf of Stuart.
$305.00
Sharon & Stuart Jackson 2017-03-08 13:46:37
A very worthy cause and a great challenge. Good luck Craig!
$60.00
Megan McCormack 2017-03-08 07:43:04
Very honourable Mark to trek for a great cause!
$50.00
Kelly McFadden 2017-03-07 19:12:17
Fantastic cause, trek well Craig and Mark!
$60.00
Yas & Scott Tadich 2017-03-07 16:24:49
Good luck mate.
$50.00
Anonymous 2017-03-07 14:08:53
Something worth doing mate, and something both you and Craig will never forget. Love you
$150.00
Mary Beard 2017-03-06 09:53:22
Incredible experience Mark we 'll be thinking of you on this 75th year...Melissa Richard
$30.00
Melissa Mander-Jones 2017-03-06 07:04:01
 
$50.00
Katie Furlong 2017-03-01 14:48:16
Enjoy the Mark, amazing part of the world you are going to.
$50.00
Ben Fleming 2017-03-01 08:10:19
Good on you Mark, hope the trip goes well!
$50.00
Angie Penn 2017-02-28 14:36:31
 
$30.00
Patrick Sengos 2017-02-28 08:35:12
Amazing! Good luck Mark!
$50.00
Seon Peberdy 2017-02-27 19:49:59
 
$100.00
Joanna Corrick 2017-02-27 17:24:58
 
$25.00
Christopher Petley 2017-02-26 22:08:48
Great cause! Best of luck!
$50.00
Lisa Kirkbride 2017-02-25 20:21:12
All the best mate. What a great achievement it will be. I 'm sure you 'll go well.
$50.00
Hayden Macdonald 2017-02-25 19:16:01
What an amazing adventure for an amazing cause
$30.00
Julie MacDonald 2017-02-25 06:28:10
Well done Mark, not only ticking off a bucket list item but also using it as an opportunity to give back. Look forward to hearing about it after.
$50.00
Richard Jones 2017-02-24 19:55:52
David Newman 100.00
$100.00
David Newman 2017-02-24 13:08:35
Keep going amazing husband and Craig you are doing brilliantly raising for a fab cause
$50.00
Wendy Beard 2017-02-24 09:51:06
 
$20.00
Karen Webb 2017-02-22 09:18:36
Great work Beardy! Thanks, the Daly 's
$100.00
Jodie Daly 2017-02-20 19:18:43
Good luck guys, what a great cause
$60.00
russell hodey 2017-02-19 15:31:48
Good luck Beardy. Just remember all your training and you 'll smash it. One foot in front of the other and keep moving
$50.00
Karl Johnson 2017-02-18 20:40:23
Best of luck Mark, a worthy and amazing challenge X
$50.00
Amanda Hugman 2017-02-18 20:16:59
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. As Dory would say, just keep swimming.
$50.00
Christine Heard 2017-02-18 20:02:21
Good luck Mark, great cause.
$20.00
Nicki Brown 2017-02-18 19:46:12
Good luck Mark!
$50.00
Id8 studio Pty Ltd 2017-02-18 19:35:29
 
$50.00
Peter Richards 2017-02-18 19:32:10
Good luck mark just remember when it gets hard why you are doing it
$20.00
Sacha Woodman 2017-02-18 18:43:56
Wishing you a safe trip, such an inspiring venture, take care Kylie
$100.00
Kylie Russell 2017-02-15 22:36:42
Great work Mark. Best wishes for the trek!
$50.00
Lesa Cahill 2017-02-14 14:38:26
Awesome work Mark! Looking forward to following your trek.
$50.00
Jake and Tamzin Jordans 2017-02-12 16:10:02
This is such a wonderful campaign. Thanks so much solider on for all you do for our military personnel xx
$60.00
Charleen Hawes 2017-02-11 22:04:49
 
$10.00
Steve Hauer 2017-02-11 18:50:11
 
$50.00
Megan Webber 2017-02-09 14:41:25
Good on ya Mark, All the best for your preparation and the trek
$50.00
KEVIN LI 2017-02-09 09:41:46
You are an inspiration. Love your work!
$50.00
Emily Ford 2017-02-08 22:09:55
Good luck with the track!
$100.00
Jodie Lording 2017-02-06 18:13:27
Great cause. Good luck with your trek
$100.00
Michael Sammut 2017-02-05 13:10:22
 
$100.00
daniela vasquez 2017-02-04 07:01:19
Good luck and enjoy! Marc Oostdijk Queenscliff SLSC member ex 45th Armoured Infantry Battalion Royal Armed Forces Netherlands
$25.00
Marc Oostdijk 2017-02-02 12:00:24
Hi Craig and Georgie, all the best for what you have done for others. Thanks
$100.00
Julie Hoang 2017-02-02 08:47:29
 
$50.00
Marcella Norris 2017-01-31 19:39:18
Good luck Mark great cause
$25.00
Tracy Black 2017-01-31 11:47:39
All the best chaps!
$40.00
Jodie MacGregor 2017-01-30 09:27:06
 
$50.00
Blandina Macfarlane 2017-01-27 21:33:38
 
$50.00
Neil Hansen 2017-01-27 21:33:27
Your going to have an amazing experience. You are a good person Mark.
$50.00
Kate Mooney 2017-01-24 08:05:28
 
$100.00
Andrew Brown 2017-01-21 13:05:17
Good luck Mark what a great cause. Nic and Robb
$50.00
Nicole Macnicol 2017-01-21 10:16:20
 
$50.00
Nicholas Bennett 2017-01-21 09:32:28
Good drills!
$50.00
Nik Beattie 2017-01-20 21:32:24
Love what you 're doing Mark!
$100.00
Cassandra Russell 2017-01-13 09:36:37
Hey mark, well done to you for taking this challenge on!! All the very best! Nat, Simon, Zoe George
$50.00
Natalie Mitchell 2017-01-11 13:59:57
 
$150.00
stephanie robertson 2017-01-11 13:01:14
Wish you luck on your amazing journey, your kindness goes a long way.
$100.00
Patrick Chalmers 2017-01-10 20:30:45
Go Craig! So pleased your training is on track to make it a Birthday to remember and help your mates at the same time. We are all very proud of you.
$50.00
Judy and Chris Hilton 2017-01-07 13:16:23
A worthy cause and a challenging trip.
$100.00
Diana Lundgren 2017-01-07 12:40:52
All the best Mark for this amazing and memorable journey.
$20.00
Michelle Fighera 2016-12-21 21:34:46
Keep up the good work and good luck with the walk!!!
$50.00
Aaron Cole 2016-12-21 15:18:56
Hey Mark. All the best.
$50.00
Dale Redfern 2016-11-03 18:17:38
 
$10.00
Victoria Felsman 2016-10-17 18:18:00
Hope it all goes well mate!! Good luck
$300.00
Anthony Jordan 2016-10-16 06:49:39
Very proud of you all. Hope you have a memorable trip.
$500.00
Debbie Dickinson 2016-10-15 16:20:34
Great work gents. Enjoy the moment!
$100.00
Rodney Hall 2016-10-15 09:43:49
Good on you guys, have the best time and looking forward to seeing the pictures, Edwina.
$50.00
Edwina Byrne 2016-10-15 07:34:03
Dear Mark, Wishing you all the best for the training for Kokoda. To have such a significant goal and challenge will no doubt be an enriching experience. Cheers, Sarah
$50.00
Sarah Watson 2016-10-14 23:36:21
Go, enjoy, succeed be proud
$100.00
Stuart Dixon 2016-10-14 22:43:30
 
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