YspeopleExplore tab

Junior Legatee conquers Kokoda Track


Thumb legacy1

About Legacy

Caring for the families of those who served their country.


Young trailblazer Kirstie Morrison flies the flag for Legacy Australia to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign.

Perth Legacy employee and Junior Legatee, Kirstie Morrison, took on the gruelling challenge of the Kokoda Track early in September.

Kirstie conquers Kokoda.

Kirstie conquers Kokoda. Picture: Supplied

Kirstie, 20, was one of 43 trekkers taking part in Operation Legacy Australia Kokoda Challenge 2017 (OP LAKC 17), to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign.

The trek, the first of its kind for Legacy Australia, was designed as a leadership development opportunity for Junior Legatees and took place during Legacy Week (28 August to 7 September 2017). OP LAKC 17 would not have been possible without the support received from the three corporate sponsors -- Peet Limited, Thales and QinetiQ Australia.

Kirstie, who works as an administrator at Legacy House in Perth, walked the track with her brother Jared (21), also a Junior Legatee, under the guidance of their mentor, Able Seaman Haydn Bonderenko (25).

All three are from Baldivis and were joined by the final member of the WA team, Junior Legatee Emmelyne Jackson (20).

Kirstie and Jared have been members of Legacy since their dad, Andrew, died during a training accident in 2000.

“Dad had served in Somalia, but was training in the US when he died in a rock climbing accident. I was only three and Jared was four. The following year I became part of the Legacy family and have been a member ever since,” Kirstie said.

“Legacy has been amazing to both my brother and I. They really have been a second family for us.”

Kirstie and Jared moved around as young children with their defence force parents before settling in Baldivis 10 years ago. Their mum, Kim Farmer, was also a member of the ADF.

The pair have been friends with fellow trekker Emmelyne since meeting her at a Legacy Christmas function in 2011 – the year Emmelyne joined Legacy after losing her dad, Andy Jackson, to a malignant brain tumour.

Kokoda is known to test physical endurance and strength, along with being mentally demanding. Haydn led the trio through months of training in order to prepare for the conditions and to ensure that each were able to complete the trek while being able to soak up the experience.  

Before the trek, Kirstie shared: “It’s going to be tough, we are going on hikes with Haydn whenever possible, and it’s a challenge because I also have my own training to keep up as well.”

Kirstie is a successful runner and is currently training for the 400m with her eye on a future Commonwealth Games.

Looking back on the trek, Kirstie said: ''The trek was as I expected – tough, mentally and physically! It was one of the hardest yet most rewarding challenges I’ve taken on so far.”

“Whilst it was physically draining, I found it more of a mental challenge. I did struggle at times and wanted to give up. I am grateful for the great group I was with who helped me push through. I also drew on the love and friendship of my legacy family to push me to the finish line.”

Kirstie often found herself comparing her journey to that of the soldiers, who faced carrying 50kg on their backs with their rifles at the ready during the Kokoda campaign.

''It’s so hard to comprehend a war happened where we were walking,” Kirstie said.

Kirstie praised the porters who helped their group along the way.

''They are some of the friendliest and most kind-hearted people I have come across. It is heart-warming that they are keeping the tradition of trekking the Kokoda trail alive,”  she said.

One of Kirstie’s highlights was sitting underneath a hut with only a few other trekkers while the porters sang traditional songs.

“I will always be a part of Legacy and look forward to continuing to fundraise and assist the next generation of Legacy Wards, so they can be given the same opportunities I have been given.”

The Legacy Kokoda trek was such a life-changing experience for so many, who have dealt with their own loss of loved ones and the care shown by Legacy.

Banner 2
| Your rating
No ratings yet


Related stories

WA PCYC North West Metropolitan Program .

WA PCYC North West Metropolitan Program

WA PCYC delivers truckloads of fun to youth in North West Metro Area

Noble Schools Charity Service Police PCYC
Expand
2 months ago
(Kindness)
These recipients are proving that organ donation is life.

Transplant athletes flying flag for organ donation

For proof of the benefits of organ and tissue donation, you need look no further than these elite athletes.

Fitness Health Support a Cause Sport
Expand
3 months ago
(Kindness)
Young people from the Kalgoorlie PCYC Friday night Safe Space program leave their mark on the mural.

Youth projects unearthing gold in Kalgoorlie

A stunning mural of an iconic Goldfields landmark is just one of many new projects underway for Kalgoorlie PCYC.

Kindness Community Support a Cause
Expand
3 months ago
(Kindness)
photo credit @geoff.

Why invest in women and girls?

As we celebrate International Women's Day today, we'd love you to ponder this Desmond Tutu quote, which we totally agree with.

Kindness Community Support a Cause
Expand
3 months ago
(Kindness)
In rural Rwanda .

What is social justice?

On the international calendar, today is the World Day of Social Justice. Here at Foxglove Project, we are reflecting on what...

Food Community Support a Cause
Expand
4 months ago
(Kindness)
Helping families in need at Christmas.

You're a generous bunch. Thankyou!

The results from our 2017 Christmas Appeal are in and we’re excited to say that it was our most successful appeal yet.

Food Community Support a Cause
Expand
4 months ago
(Kindness)
Mark Brewer is an inspiration.

Here's why Mark Brewer is all heart

Ten years after receiving a heart transplant, Tasmanian Mark Brewer is reaching new dizzy heights.

Support a Cause Health Sport
Expand
5 months ago
(Kindness)
Donate food or toys in the Hawaiian Giving Boxes in Hawaiian Shopping Centres in Perth.

Perth digs deep to help families in need this Christmas

Hawaiian Giving Boxes help two worthy WA charities, Foodbank WA and Anglicare WA, provide a brighter Christmas to local...

Giving Christmas Social causes Charity
Expand
6 months ago
(Kindness)
Foxglove's first book 'Twenty Reasons to Believe".

Foxglove Project's inspirational book available now

Foxglove's first book is available now and truly inspirational.

Social causes Charity
Expand
6 months ago
(Kindness)

Have your say!

Your Great Australians

Trending stories
Suzuki's cute little Ignis SUV has a lot going for it.

Review: 2017 Suzuki Ignis GL and GLX

Japanese car maker Suzuki,...

(Pastimes) 11 months ago
When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

20 mature bloggers worth following

Looking for Australian...

(Entertainment & Culture) About 1 year ago
It's the base model.

A sting in its tail - the 2018 Kia Stinger 200 S

Unless you’ve been hiding...

(Pastimes) About 2 months ago
Top Indonesian chef Chandra Yudasswara will be cooking up a secret storm for Taste Great Southern.

Celebrity chef set for a Secret Affair in Great Southern

Take one of Indonesia's top...

(Epicure) 5 months ago
This mandarin duck has spectacular colours (Image uploaded to reddit by u/Danjv1234).

Else>>>esome photos of nature from the internet

The world we live in is...

(Pastimes) 5 months ago
Weekly Poll
Photographic memories
Hizgg0vzzqvwc9xicknk
It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.