Kokoda Trek: new mates dig-in

While you are probably sleeping 16 boys are on a plane getting ready to take on one of the most challenging physical experiences of their lives. Students from both St. Bernard’s College and Debney Park Secondary College have once again taken part in the annual Kokoda trail trek.

The trail itself has deep emotional connections with the Australian people, with many diggers losing their lives fighting the Japanese in the second world war. David Garang a year 11 Debney Park student from Sudan is taking on the trail for these reasons and more.

For David his ultimate dream is to become an officer in the Victorian police force. The Victorian Police run the trek and David hopes that, along with his continued study of the English language at school, one day he may be able to reach his dream career.

“Two months we’ve been training, and we are leaving on the sixth of August.” The training which includes twice a week, early morning workouts, have included training at 1000 steps in Dandenong, up at Mt. Macedon and even with the Melbourne Football club at the MCG. “It’s alright (the training), but I’m always the first person finished.”

David has only been in Australia for two years, and currently lives with his Aunty and 2 younger brothers. He moved from Sudan where his parents still live. A keen lover of soccer, David was a former player for Sunshine and the Visy Cares Hub Soccer Tournament (funded by Sports Without Borders), but after a bad knee injury he had to give up for six months but does add, “I’m interested in going back to soccer because I’ve got a few friends there”

He’s focused now on merely enjoying the trek with his new mates. “I’ve only been at (Debney Park) for a year now, so I’m looking forward to get to know the guys I’m going with.”

David is an inspirational young man who sees the importance of education in his life here in Australia and daily he works at ensuring his life long dream of becoming a Police Officer will come true. At only 19, David has a wealth of life experiences along with caring for his two younger brothers. Services within the Visy Cares Hub assist David in many areas of life and David accesses the Homework Support Group ran by The Youth Junction Inc. every Wednesday and Thursday evenings.