Maddyson O’Neil is preparing to do her great grandfather proud.
The St John the Evangelist Catholic High School student will take on the Kokoda Trail in September.
The 96 kilometre trail will see Maddyson trekking for 10 days, reaching altitude changes of 300 metres to 2200 metres above sea level – all while carrying a 15 kilogram backpack.
The year 11 student will take on the adventure through the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge and is sponsored by Sussex Inlet RSL Club.
Maddyson’s family have an Australian military and naval background, with a great grandfather serving in the NZ Air-force.
In her winning essay she said she has great pride and respect for her family members who put their lives on the line to serve their country.
“To be part of this challenge would change my life forever. Going on the trek would be an amazing experience that would not only push me to my limits but help me understand what the soldiers went through in WWII,” she said.
“I’m aware how tough going this trek will be and I’m prepared to work hard and do the training required.”
During this trek participants will learn more about Australia’s military history and the Kokoda Track campaign, whilst building their leadership skills.
Maddyson is looking forward to sharing her experience with the RSL Club, her school and other groups on her return.
The Sussex Inlet RSL Club wishes Maddyson success in her journey.