HDA staff mentor students as part of Geelong Kokoda Youth Program

November 20, 2023

Hanwha Defence Australia sponsored the Geelong Kokoda Youth Program, with two HDA staff members mentoring and completing the 96 km journey alongside at-risk, high school students from the Geelong region.

Drawn from every state secondary and eligible private schools in the Geelong region, students undertook an intensive, year-long program that honours the Kokoda Pillars of Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice.

Throughout the journey, students paid tribute to the historic sites prolific along the Trek, reflecting on the personal stories of those who took part of the campaign during WWII.

At the conclusion of the program, students reflected on the transformative journey they’d undertaken, with many acknowledging the life-long relationships forged and renewed self-confidence the program had provided.

Hanwha mentors found the trip to be an inspiring experience, stating:

“Apart from being both a physical and mental challenge, walking the trek with young teenagers reinforced behaviours such as the power of vulnerability and empathy,” Jackson Docherty, Programs Lead at HDA said.

“It was an amazing experience for both students and mentors. I was surprised by how mentally and physically tough the track was!” Luke Saunders, Trade Compliance Officer at HDA reflected.

Learn more about the program via https://geelongyouthengagement.org.au/