Progressing Kokoda Track Memorial's future
The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway in Concord West has made a powerful step forward in its ultimate goal of attaining recognition as a Military Memorial of National Significance.
Acting NSW Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee said Federal, State and Local Governments are currently collaborating to deliver a business case to guide the future of the site by acknowledging its unique place among military commemoration sites.
“The Kokoda Track campaign is a defining symbol of Australia’s involvement in the Pacific war and holds a special place in the hearts of veterans and the community,” Mr Lee said.
“The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway simulates the conditions of The Kokoda Track with lush tropical vegetation and anybody who walks it can begin to visualise the kind of conditions soldiers would have faced.
“I’m grateful for the collaboration between our colleagues from all three tiers of government as we prepare the business case to get the recognition it deserves.”
Member for Drummoyne John Sidoti said the site was visited by thousands of veterans, students, tourists and the local community each year.
“The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is a living, evolving memorial and an educational resource which forms a link with the past for future generations,” Mr Sidoti said.
Federal Member for Reid Fiona Martin said the announcement on Kokoda Day coincided with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
“The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is a remarkable commemoration to those who served in Papua New Guinea and the Federal Government is proud to be part of the drive to attain appropriate recognition,” Dr Martin said.
City of Canada Bay Mayor and Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway board member Angelo Tsirekas said the Memorial is a site of natural beauty and importance.
“The Memorial has a special connection to the Concord Repatriation General Hospital which is revered by the military and veteran communities,” Mr Tsirekas said.
Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway Board Chair Jennifer Collins said the memorial was conceived during the Australia Remembers 1945-95 program.
“The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is the only national Kokoda memorial and it must be protected for the benefit of generations to come,” Ms Collins said.
“We are grateful for the Federal, State and Local Governments coming together to progress a business case. This is another positive step in our drive to gain recognition as a Military Memorial of National Significance for our veterans and their families.”