Our Spirit Testimonials

Lest our children forget...

As an educator, I see learning opportunities in every aspect of my adventure. We can read about the [Kokoda] track, watch movies and hear stories, but there is nothing like going to PNG and traversing the track, to embed the stories in you. Somehow, the Kokoda experience gets under your skin.

"It was my great privilege to walk the Kokoda Track with Aidan Grimes and Our Spirit in August, 2017. It had been something that had been in the back of my mind after watching Australian Story, in the late 1980’s or early 90’s. My husband completed his first crossing in 2013, arousing my interest once again, doing his second crossing with our oldest son in 2016. Early in 2017 I figured it was my turn to embrace the spirit and learn more about the history of the track, its people and how the outcome of the military battles that took place there, during WWII, helped shape our Nation.

I knew I needed to be physically prepared for the challenge and with a background as a Physical Education teacher, the training program combined with my internal drive made it very enjoyable. I must say though, when I attempted to draw on my knowledge of the Kokoda Track and the PNG campaign from my school years, I felt sadly lacking. My husband is an ex-soldier and I have attended many an ANZAC Day service by his side. As our children have grown we have attended our local RSL’s service, where school children are invited to speak; to tell the story of servicemen/women, medical staff or even some of the animals who have fought for the “Motherland” and Australia. I look back and note that the students speak of Gallipoli; to a lesser extent, Vietnam; and more recently, Afghanistan; yet more often than not, the Kokoda Track Campaign seems to be overlooked, despite it being the first time that the act of war came upon our shores.

There is no real surprise that our children know so little about Kokoda, when you consider that many of the battles in the Middle-East were kept quiet, as Australian soldiers found themselves in combat with French Nationals, presumably our allies; the British High Command was much more concerned with the defence of Mother England, than the threat to its distant Commonwealth shores; and the fact that our troops were put under the command of the self-promoting General MacArthur of the United States. Let’s not forget that our highly trained 2nd 14th and 2nd 16th Battalions were otherwise engaged when the threat of Japanese invasion came upon our shores, so our Government had to send our embarrassingly under-prepared, young and ill-supplied 39th Militia. What they all came to achieve over a very short period, against a highly trained enemy is truly remarkable.

Despite training as a secondary school teacher, I have been teaching in Primary Schools for coming up to ten years. The battles of the Kokoda Track Campaign are the most significant in Australia’s military history. I feel that it is very important that our children be immersed in the history, which shaped our Nation. I did a lot of reading before embarking on my trek across the Kokoda Track, but nothing can prepare you for the emotional impact of the stories of bravery, mateship, strength, courage, honour and sacrifice that you come to know as you progress along the Track.

I have spoken to the students that I teach about many of these values. I have introduced them to the likes of Butch and Stan Bissett who exemplified these values, displaying them selflessly whilst facing each challenge across the track. I have shown them photographs of the terrain and we’ve spoken about our Aussie soldiers being the under-dogs, critically undermanned, under-armed and ill-prepared, how they adapted to new and foreign circumstances and how their strength of character never allowed them to give up. They didn’t want to let down themselves or their mates. I encourage students to embrace these character traits and reap the rewards and successes that can follow. I talk to them about what I achieved during my quest to cross the track and hope I am setting a good example and being an inspirational role model to them by letting them know that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it.

When I returned from Kokoda, I wanted everyone to know about what the Australian’s achieved during the campaign. I personally feel that my life has been enriched by the experience in many ways. As an educator, I see learning opportunities in every aspect of my adventure. We can read about the track, watch movies and hear stories, but there is nothing like going to PNG and traversing the track, to embed the stories in you. Somehow, the Kokoda experience gets under your skin. There is no doubt that Aidan Grimes, founder of Our Spirit, and our guide on the track, brings the experience to life. He has an incredible knowledge of the whole Kokoda Campaign and many of the other battles that form part of this time in our history.

The friendly smiling faces of the locals, the joy of the children in their simple and basic lives, the terrain, the memorials, the stories of our Diggers and the Japanese and the mateship of our fellow trekkers all make for a remarkable personal and educational experience. I would highly recommend this, as a teacher, to all Australian’s but particularly those who are in a position to share this important part of our military history with children. The stories of the soldiers and the battles they fought, lost and won, and how they impacted Australia, should never be forgotten."

Amanda Hull (Teacher)
Dixons Creek and Toolangi Primary Schools (Victoria)

Kokoda is a must for teachers!

Leonie Turner, Ultimo Primary School says "I guarantee you cannot walk the [Kokoda] track and come back a better version of yourself, personally and professionally."

"I met Aidan Grimes back in 2007 when I walked the Kokoda Track with Our Spirit and Aidan as our guide, and it turned out to be a life changing experience on several levels.

My only child, my daughter, had died in 2002 and I was still struggling dealing with my grief. The Kokoda Track would offer a level of physical exertion that matched my grief and somewhere on that track I left my very raw pain. The first day I had several breakdowns, crying inconsolably when one of the Papuan porters moved up next to me and walked the rest of the track, every day with me. Just a bit of the Fuzzy Wuzzy spirit happening there.

Right from the beginning Aidan was the quintessential teacher, leading our group, supporting when needed, sharing stories of the track that he knows so well, that you felt you were living a part of history. I remember my daughter explaining why her history teacher was the best. It was because he told stories, that he lived the history and this is what Aidan does. Each trek a person is chosen each day to carry some lost medals. Aidan has researched who they belonged to and you learn about this person’s service. It was an honour to carry these for one day and know that on return to Australia they would be reunited with the soldier’s family.

I had read up on the Kokoda Track before commencing, but being there, experiencing the conditions, the steepness, humidity, mud and more mud, helped me understand just a little what our boys must have faced and the depths of human spirit they drew on during that time and afterwards.

Since returning from Kokoda in 2007 I have taught my Year 5 & 6 students about the Kokoda Track in addition to other campaigns Australians have fought in. When I tell the stories of Kokoda and my students see how I am emotionally moved by the experience and I can describe the conditions first hand it becomes all the more real. I also tell my students about the happy and friendly children I met along the track. These children who by our standards have very little, yet are richer than we are because of their ties to their community. I also show photos of the Kokoda school and describe how pristine their book work was; their handwriting perfect and their grammar correct. I explain this is because they value their education as not everyone has the right to it.

I work at Ultimo Public School in Sydney and I have taken over how we commemorate Anzac Day (all our students know how to respectfully lay the wreath (even kindy kids) and listen thoughtfully to our service) and Remembrance Day. Hopefully, our school will encourage our students to continue to learn about our history after they leave primary school.

For me what I took away from Kokoda and Aidan was the beginning of learning to love life again and I do now! I learnt it’s okay to laugh and love. I learnt others have done things tougher than me and survived. I learnt I can do something others think is crazy and too hard and finish with a smile. I loved trekking the Kokoda Track with Aidan so much that I walked The Black Cat Track in 2008 and took, what is now, my husband with me.

Trekking Kokoda with Aidan is the most amazing educational experience you can get, but it is so much more than that. I guarantee you cannot walk the track and not come back a better version of yourself, personally and professionally. Every year when sharing stories about Kokoda with my students I encourage them to walk Kokoda when they are old enough and I keep telling colleagues they should walk Kokoda with Aidan and Our Spirit at least once in their life! If I had my way it would be compulsory for all Australian students!

Leonie Turner
Ultimo Public School"

Kokoda Trek - April 2016

Listen to Australian actor, Les Hill describes his Kokoda Track experience - April 2016

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2016

David Mitchell shares his experience with Our Spirit after completing the 2016 ANZAC Kokoda trek.

Aidan and the Our Spirit team do not tick things off your personal bucket list. The whole team provide a holistic approach to preparing you to embrace the real meaning of the Kokoda Track; the ‘fuzzy wuzzy angels’ (legends), The ANZAC’s, the sacrifice and intestinal fortitude of so many. 102 successful treks is testament that Aidan himself is a modern day Veteran of the track, although his humble view of his own accomplishments would suggest other wise. Aidan’s ability to deliver a truly unique experience is founded on his constant devotion to his personal pledge and not your own demands. That pledge focuses on the true tails of the track, based on the soldiers that sacrificed it all and their personal experiences. Couple this with his heightened ability to understand people’s strengths and weaknesses and you have unforgettable journey that will see tears, smiles, laughter, possibly some gastro and most of all everlasting memories. 

I had the pleasure to attend the 2016 NSW Police Legacy Trek with a group of amazing people who all had their own amazing stories. The correspondence from the Our Spirit team had me completely prepared for the journey however; Aidan’s daily history briefings on the track made the experience one I will never forget. Not once did a person in our group make the journey about themselves and that was led from the front, on the back of Aidan’s personal example. 

I have attended ANZAC Day dawn services for the last 30 years. This year I was in awe of my surroundings as I participated in the service at Bomana War Cemetery, Port Moresby. Surrounded by the 3824 Commonwealth burials and the thousands of people that turned out was most humbling and an opportunity that I am truly blessed to have been a part of. 

I thank Aidan and his team, which consists not only of local legend Papuan people but many people behind the scenes back in Australia. I would not hesitate to continue my journey of understanding into our local history with the Our Spirit team. 

‘Their name liveth forever more – Lest we forget.’ 
David Mitchell

Kokoda Trek - 2015

Watch this video testimonial from a young woman on her first trekking adventure across the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea with Our Spirit.

Aidan's 100th trek

Trish King share her Kokoda journey with Our Spirit on Aidan's 100th Kokoda trek.

Kokoda Trek - 2015

Shane Nelson talks about his Kokoda experience on Aidan's 100th trek

Kokoda Trek - November 2015

Neil Davis shares his Kokoda experience with Our Spirit.

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"I didn't think I'd make it! Your passion and perspective on Kokoda and Australian history is both amazing and inspiring"

"G'Day,

What an amazing journey you've taken us all on. I didn't think I'd make it! Your passion and perspective on Kokoda and Australian history is both amazing and inspiring.

Well done on continuing the ANZAC legacy and thank you again for allowing me to be a part of it.

Good luck in the future and 1000 blessings!

Simon Day"

ANZAC Kokoda Track - 2015

"I feel very proud to walk in the footsteps of our forefathers and humbled to do it under the leadership of someone as passionate as you"

"Aidan,

Having spent the last 9 days with you and this amazing group of people, I feel very proud to walk in the footsteps of our forefathers and humbled to do it under the leadership of someone as passionate as you. Well done mate. Thanks for the memories!

Cheers,

Dan Palmer"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Not only have I forged many friends and long standing friendships, I have also grown from my experience"

"Dearest Aidan,

I would love to personally thank you for making my journey so enjoyable. Not only have I forged many friends and long standing friendships, I have also grown from my experience.

Your knowledge and understanding of those in PNG both past and present is outstanding. I could listen to you talk all day about it.

Take care, be safe and travel well my friend.

Until we meet again

Donna Stewart

PS. put your hands up in the air."

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Thank you for your humour, leadership, encouragement... I hope to bring my son back - it would be life changing for him"

"Dear Aidan,

What an experience. The track has made such a difference to me. It has been a wonderful journey for myself and equally for Baz.

Your passion and knowledge of Kokoda made the difference! 

Thank you for your humour, leadership, encouragement and imitation of my down hill walk!!

I hope to bring my son back - it would be life changing for him

Mandy Hobbs"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Thank you so much for all the hard work, planning and scheming that went into making our Kokoda 2015 experience so unique"

"Dearest Aidan,

I certainly see why my father spoke so highly of you - what an amazing experience you have put together. Thank you so much for all the hard work, planning and scheming that went into making our Kokoda 2015 experience so unique. Stan would be so unbelievably proud of the way you retell not only his story but the stories of the countless men who served during the Kokoda campaign.

Your passion is contagiuos and inspirational and you have made a difference to the lives of so many people.

Thank you so much, you crazy Irishman.

Ange "the doc" Fraser"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"YOU, Aidan Grimes are a man that so reinforces that anything is possible through strength of mind and positive reinforcement"

"Dear Aidan,

I'm a believer of fate and also a believer that we make things happen - to enrich our lives and expand our knowledge. I strive to achieve to be the best I can and create adventures that excite a make life worth living - YOU, Aidan Grimes are a man that so reinforces that anything is possible through strength of mind and positive reinforcement. This fantastic trek on the Kokoda Track is one example of the journey of life that you alone have made very memorable and moving to me and Mandy (physio) for the rest of our lives.

I thank you so much for this journey as I sit now in the Bomana Cemetry totally in awe of the last 14 days.

Thank you again Aidan and I pray our paths cross in the near future in a similar vain.

Cheers mate

Barry (Baza) Hobbs

"You rock fella""

Kokoda Track - April 2015

"I have never experienced anything close to that adventure in my life. Your knowledge and passion for the history of Kokoda made me want more and kept me going"

"Dear Aidan,

I'm finding it hard to find the right words to express how amazing the last 10 days have been for me and how grateful I am to you for your encouragement and inspiration. I have never experienced anything close to that adventure in my life. Your knowledge and passion for the history of Kokoda made me want more and kept me going. So THANK YOU!!

April"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Your passion for our history and being able to bring it alive has made our Kokoda experience so memorable. The Diggers of the Kokoda campaign would be so proud of the way you pass on their stories"

"Dear Aidan,

Thank you for this amazing journey!

Your passion for our history and being able to bring it alive has made our Kokoda experience so memorable. The Diggers of the Kokoda campaign would be so proud of the way you pass on their stories.

It was an emotional journey for me and I know Glen was with me every step of the way. I hope to return sometime soon to walk the track again with Joseph and Ruby.

Thank you again for this incredible experience.

Lisa Huitson"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Thank you for honouring those who died and paid the ultimate sacrifice for "All Australians". You have a wonderful gift in your exemplary leadership"

"Dear Aidan,

Thank you for honouring those who died and paid the ultimate sacrifice for "All Australians". You have a wonderful gift in your exemplary leadership. Thank you for sharing your passion of Australian history with me and showing us and sharing with us the 'Kokoda Spirit'. May you continue to encourage others to be all that they can be. May you continue to motivate and harvest the inner strength that you bring out in others. Good luck with all your future endeavours and may you continue to be a blessing to others. You really a wonderful gifted and humble man. 

Best wishes,

Cheryl (Doris) DAY

PS Let me know when your knees pack it in and you need assistant trekkers. :-) "

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"You have enabled me to connect with my family history in a way that I would never have envisaged... Your preparation tips were invaluable and prepared me well"

"Dear Aidan,

Thank you for providing one of the most memoriable experiences of my life. You have enabled me to connect with my family history in a way that I would never have envisaged (as you recall my uncle was killed by a sniper on Black Cat). I have now gained a minute appreciation of what he possibly endured that words that were unsaid in his letter to my mother. Your preparation tips were invaluable and prepared me well. I smelt the roses and spent a lot of time self reflecting. As I said, your rendition of 'Danny Boy' was amazing and really struck a chord. I was so humbled to then be awarded the Stan Bisset medal for a day- it was like fate. It meant more than I can say. Perhaps we will meet again on the Black Cat Track.

Thank you so much.

Kerrie Ann"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"I very much appreciate how well organised and purposeful all your efforts are. I believe the whole group are the better for choosing the track under your leadership.

"Dear Aidan,

Thank you for an awesome experience. I very much appreciate how well organised and purposeful all your efforts are. I believe the whole group are the better for choosing the track under your leadership. Thank you so much for your patience and good humour. From oldest to youngest, you are a great example and wonderful leader. Good luck and God bless on all your future efforts.

Warmest regards,

Garry McPhee"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"It was great, due to you pushing for preparation in terms of fitness. As most of us were track fit it allowed us to focus on working as a group and enjoying the experience..."

"Hey Aidan,

Thanks for taking us across the Kokoda Track. It was great, due to you pushing for preparation in terms of fitness. As most of us were track fit it allowed us to focus on working as a group and enjoying the experience as much as possible with minimal injuries. The history presentations along the way were most informative.

Regards,

Damien Mitchell"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"From day one you displayed inspirational leadership. Your energy and passion for our history is contagious and your support and building of mateship and endurance authentic"

"Aidan,

From day one you displayed inspirational leadership. Your energy and passion for our history is contagious and your support and building of mateship and endurance authentic. Simply put, Stan Bisset left you with a legacy which drives you on. I'm sure as he looks down on you he would simply smile knowing that you work tirelessly to uphold our Digger's history on Kokoda.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity of experiencing and learning about our military past. All the very best and please stay in touch.

Max"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"This year, I walked a lot of it on my own but this is how my personal journey leads me. I love the peace and serenity to give me a break from my other life challenges"

"Dear Aidan,

Once again I came to find peace on 'that' track. This year, I walked a lot of it on my own but this is how my personal journey leads me. I love the peace and serenity to give me a break from my other life challenges. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. And this definitely has been the best group I have ever walked with.

Cheers, 

Pauline aka Cranks"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Life is a journey and a smorgasbord of experiences. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger... I hope to share some other journeys in the future"

"Aidan,

Life is a journey and a smorgasbord of experiences.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Thank you, I'm not ready yet.

My Pop - Malcolm Huntley Hutton AIF and my Uncle Peter Hutton AIF are pleased I took the time to share the Kokoda Track.

If you get a chance to read the 'Desiderata' you'll understand my philosophy of life.

I hope to share some other journeys in the future.

Carpe Diem, my friend.

Mick Hutton"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"...all along the journey, your passion and enthusiasm and your dedication to passing on this incredible history has ensured that those who made the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten"

"Aidan,

We all came to the track with our individual motivations for wanting to complete it. And all along the journey, your passion and enthusiasm and your dedication to passing on this incredible history has ensured that those who made the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten. 

Thank you so very much for making this experience possible for so many people.

All the best,

Michelle Blakeman"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Loved it. Thank you very much - Give me a challenge!"

"There are Deer and Pigs out there!!!

Loved it. Thank you very much - Give me a challenge!

Cheers Mate ...

Tamworth Dave"

Kokoda Trek - 2015

"This has been a fantastic and emotional experience for Dad and I to learn about his father and my Grandfather and that is thanks to you for being so passionate and giving us an insight that I believe no one else could"

"Aidan,

Liz and Neildy told me you were amazing, but you far exceeded my expectations. Thank you so much for an amazing journey and being an incredible leader. Your presence, leadership and knowledge of the Kokoda campaign is above and beyond.

This has been a fantastic and emotional experience for Dad and I to learn about his father and my Grandfather and that is thanks to you for being so passionate and giving us an insight that I believe no one else could. [personal reference withheld] Dad thinks the world of you and so do I! I hope our paths continue to meet, you are very special and I love being in your company.

Thanks for the memories

Roxy"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Two weeks of fun, torture, education, reflection and a broadening of our horizons. I could not have asked for a better guide for this journey of a lifetime.

"Hi Aidan,

Two weeks of fun, torture, education, reflection and a broadening of our horizons. I could not have asked for a better guide for this journey of a lifetime.

Your attention to detail and sensitivity to the subject matter is unsurpassed.

Thank you for a great and unforgettable couple of weeks.

Oliver Behrens"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Its obvious how much time and effort you and your team put into planning the trip. Your knowledge on Kokoda is second to none. I had some doubts if I could finish the trek, but you were very encouraging and I did it!!

"Dear Aidan,

Thanks for a great trip. Its obvious how much time and effort you and your team put into planning the trip. Your knowledge on Kokoda is second to none.

I had some doubts if I could finish the trek, but you were very encouraging and I did it!!

Thanks for everything

Cath"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"In reading the previous pages, the group have already expressed my feelings - in far more eloquent words than I ever could. Thank you for your sacrifices"

"Dear Aidan,

Well I guess this is goodbye!! Try not to celebrate that fact too much :) In reading the previous pages, the group have already expressed my feelings - in far more eloquent words than I ever could. Thank you for your sacrifices and for those of your family in lending you to us and to PNG. We will remember you. I came back a second time to find courage. I'm not sure I have or if I have lost the last of it, but I do know that the spirits on those mountains are breathtaking.

Take care of yourself you crazy, crazy man!!

Annette

(Oh, and I also know to salute with my.... right hand??)"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"I learnt so much about myself and my dad on this trip... I believe you gave... and everyone on this trek the confidence to believe in themselves."

"To Dear Aidan,

I just wanted to express my gratitude and thanks for sharing our history with us. Through a greater understanding of where I came from and the sacrifices strangers took to protect our freedom has given me a greater understanding of myself.

I learnt so much about myself and my dad on this trip and I believe you gave the Police Officers and everyone on this trek the confidence to believe in themselves.

I will be eternally grateful for all you have done and do for others, a true hero in my eyes.

May God bless you and your family

Thank you

Laura RANGA"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"This was one of the best experiences of my life not just a tick on the bucket list, but so much more."

"Aidan,

Thanks so much for everything you have done for us. For sharing your knowledge and positivity and showing us the real meaning of courage, mateship, sacrifice and endurance.

This was one of the best experiences of my life not just a tick on the bucket list, but so much more. Who knows, maybe I'll join you again sometime!

All the best and enjoy the celebrations of your 100th trek later this year!

Best wishes,

Catrina

P.S. Queen will now remind me of this trip!"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"You do amazing things for the PNG Community and keep the track as the raw, historical experience it should be"

"Dear Aidan,

When I first applied to become part of this Kokoda trip, I never knew it would have such an impact on my life. I'd like to thank you for this incredible opportunity and for sharing your knowledge, experience and passion for the Kokoda campaign. Whilst as a [reference whilheld] we may have experienced some hardship, I am so grateful that it has led me to be a part of such amazing experiences and friendships along the way.

You do amazing things for the PNG Community and keep the track as the raw, historical experience it should be and hopefully I can walk through those footsteps with you again.

Thanks you again,

Talara Calavassy"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"You have given me the chance to grow as a man and as a human being. I have learnt so much about myself, my father and my country"

Dear Aidan,

I was always proud to be an Australian and I thought I knew what that meant. But you have shown me what it really means to be a part of the Australian culture. I want to thank you for teaching me the history of the track and the sacrifice of the Diggers and the Papuans. You have given me the chance to grow as a man and as a human being. I have learnt so much about myself, my father and my country. That is because of you and I can never thank you enough. I have the utmost respect for you and look up to you as the type of man of integrity, loyalty and honour I hope to become.

Thank you! 

Mitch Marshall"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"It was by far the most physically challenging and second most mentally challenging experience I have ever been through."

"Dear Aidan

Aidan...

Aidan...

Thank you for taking us on a life changing journey. It was by far the most physically challenging and second most mentally challenging experience I have ever been through. I found it astonishing the knowledge you have of the track and everything which took place on it.

I will forever know what you taught me about Australian culture and will certainly spread that back home.

Thank you again,

James Woods"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"This trip has been extremely close to my heart, to be here representing my grandfather, to pay respect to his fallen mates"

"Dear Aidan,

I must admit I was a bit worried when I found out an Irishman was leading me through the jungles of PNG with a bunch of coppers :-) But, I wouldn't of had it any other way, you're an amazing leader, the way you bring out the best in everybody is admirable.

This trip has been extremely close to my heart, to be here representing my grandfather, to pay respect to his fallen mates, to again a respect for what those young men went through, what they sacrificed all for our country has been very humbling.

On behalf of myself, in particular my mother and no doubt my grandfather. Thankyou mate. May we never forget. They gave their tomorrows so we could have today.

All the best

Shannon Dixon
FRNSW"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Honestly, probably one of the best public speakers I have heard and made every speech interesting, take you to the moment and made you have a real hard think about yourself"

"Aidan,

Just want to thank you for one of the best experiences in life. Yourself along with the rest of the group and the legatees have taught me so much about myself and also about life.

Honestly, probably one of the best public speakers I have heard and made every speech interesting, take you to the moment and made you have a real hard think about yourself.

I loved the adventure and hope to join you on one of your walks in Australia. Stoked to be apart of this walk and will always remember last 10 days.

Has definately been a life changing experience.

Cheers, Michael Jordan"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

The scenery is picturesque, the people are one of a kind and the story is an inspiring tale of mateship, courage, endurance and sacrifice... There's a good chance I'll be back for more!"

"Aidan!

Words cannot express how grateful I am to have had the honor of experiencing the Kokoda Track under your leadership. You gave us a deep insight into the trials faced by our Diggers whilst adding a personal touch to it.

I can see why you have walked the track 94 times! The scenery is picturesque, the people are one of a kind and the story is an inspiring tale of mateship, courage, endurance and sacrifice which makes me overwhelmingly proud to be an Aussie!

It is obvious that you are extremely passionate about the ANZACs and I just wanted to thank you again for sharing that with me.

There's a good chance I'll be back for more!

Jonelle Thomson"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"We had a great time. We look forward to hearing from you about My Great Uncle. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of history"

"Thanks Aidan,

We had a great time. We look forward to hearing from you about My Great Uncle. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of history.

From Matt & De"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"This has been an amazing journey in more ways than one...This has been mentally personally and physically challenging. We SMASHED IT"

"Aidan

This has been an amazing journey in more ways than one. As you say, you can't judge a book by it's cover. This has been mentally personally and physically challenging. We SMASHED IT

Michelle & Renee"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

Thank you for sharing you "backyard" with us. For inspiring us to dig deeper and sharing your passion and knowledge of Kokoda. I will be returning with my son one day...

"Aidan

Thank you for sharing you "backyard" with us. For inspiring us to dig deeper and sharing your passion and knowledge of Kokoda. I will be returning with my son one day...

Vanessa"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"You have believed in me every step of the way through Kokoda and Shaggy Ridge, and I am very thankful for that!! You have inspired me so much by sharing your passion and story with me"

"Aidan

Thank you so much for everything you have done for me! You have believed in me every step of the way through Kokoda and Shaggy Ridge, and I am very thankful for that!! You have inspired me so much by sharing your passion and story with me. I will never forget the times that we have had together. I know that we will meet up again and hike around PNG or even around the world together. I can't wait to see you again for our next big hike. Overall, thank you for believing in me and inspiring me. See you soon. Thank you.

Zoe Bishop"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Thanks for this wonderful adventure. Your leadership and friendship was second to none"

"Aidan,

Thanks for this wonderful adventure. Your leadership and friendship was second to none. 

All the Best,

Bob Mey"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"Every time you take a group on the track you are being brave and inspiring people to do things which are fantastsic and unbelievable"

"Dear Aidan,

You probably didn't believe that a pair of Blundstones would get this dwarf 96kms. Quite possibly (judging from my blisters) I could have used an updated pair of shoes. But they did get me all the way due to your leadership, courage and bravery.

I stand by the words I said when I was so fortunate to be able to hand over the Bravery Medal to Talara. An individual act can be brave but a person that can give courage to others to do the same act and fo beyond what they thought they were capable of is also brave.

Every time you take a group on the track you are being brave and inspiring people to do things which are fantastsic and unbelievable.

Thank you for the experience and more importantly thank you for the lessons. They have ensured that "I will never forget"

Thank you,

Kristina O'Hagan."

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"...I've had an absolute ball. There have been challenges, but I really enjoyed your knowledge and passion about the Kokoda campaign"

"Hi Aidan,

Well, what a trip! Part of this challenge is to be able to read my handwriting, however I've had an absolute ball. There have been challenges but I really enjoyed your knowledge and passion about the Kokoda campaign. It was great to cross the gate with Simon and Tangles, but I'm glad you won't come walking up behind me whistling away and pushing me over. I wish you and your family well.

All the best

D.K.

Darren Kelly"

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2015

"I can not describe the amazing experience that I have been priveledged to be a part of over the last 10 days"

"Aidan,

I can not describe the amazing experience that I have been priveledged to be a part of over the last 10 days. Your knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the history and integrity of the Kokoda campaign is simply astonishing.

The last 10 days will go down as one of the most memorable experiences of my life and you are mostly responsible for that.

Receiving the Kingsbury VC to carry was the most humbling experience I have ever had. I was so proud and it was such an honour.

You have kept the Kokoda history alive and I have no doubt Stan Bisett would be very proud!

Thanks agin!

Mitch Thompson"

Black Cat Trail - Sept. 08

The trek has sparked a deeper interest in the whole picture of the campains in PNG especially the 2/7th commando's

"I can't tell how much it meant to me to do the Blackcat and what a privilage it was to trek with you and the legends, thankyou all for the experience and friendship. The trek has sparked a deeper interest in the whole picture of the campains in PNG especially the 2/7th commando's. They were at Mubo, Wau, Bena Bena, Ramu Valley, Nadzab, Kaiapit, Bulolo, Kesaway, Dove Bay, Shaggy Ridge, Dumpu, Wewak. Even if I was fit enough I couldn't cover that amount of territory in the time I have left on the planet. I am going to the 2/7th reunion at Port Maquarie in November I will be taking the video footage I took on our trek and photos to speak about my experience."

Rob L'Estrange, NSW

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

To think what our soldiers endured is unbelievable you are so right, the knowledge and history of the track needs to be spread far and wide throughout Australia…

Dear Aidan

Well first of all thank you so much!!! This track has been something ive wanted to do for sometime and all the refferals from specialist paramedic,,, Mick Mair about you have never been more accurate. Sure at times I thought this is bullshit! But your encouragement and passion would get anyone across that track!!! Your knowledge of the Australian history is absolutely outstanding, and to think a mad Irishman is preaching what we should already know is embarrassing, thank you. Our group was a great bunch of people. Dave and I didn’t know anyone and we have met some wonderful ,good fun , good spirited people. The Legatees, well what can I say, beautiful people and they are a credit to those who have raised and nurtured them. So often along the track when we came to a difficult spot, that black hand would appear and hold mine to make it easier. The people along the track were a pleasure to come across. Certain people in my life doubted my ability to do this and to achieve it is something I will never forget thanks to you, Owen, Simmo, Dave Walker. To think what our soldiers endured is unbelievable you are so right, the knowledge and history of the track needs to be spread far and wide throughout Australia…. It should be at school.  Thanks so much once again.

Debby 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

A journey I will never forget... “stand tall and never give up”

Aidan,

Certainly a journey I will never forget nor wish to…….. so much to learn about the efforts of those that fought for us

“stand tall and never give up”

David Walker 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I want to say that your passion and love for the kokoda track is the biggest inspiration and I really appreciate that.

Dear Aidan,

I just want to thank you for this opportunity that for me I will never forget. I want to say that your passion and love for the kokoda track is the biggest inspiration and I really appreciate that. I know my dad will be watching over me and is proud as you said….. so thank you very , very much

Ashleigh Monk 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I really appreciate all the encouragement you gave us... I found you very inspiring and I admire your passion for Australia and its war history, it definitely shows in your talks.

Dear Aidan,

Thank you so much for everything. Doing the kokoda track with you was a wonderful experience I wont ever forget and I’m sure i will continue to learn from for years to come. I found you very inspiring and I admire your passion for Australia and its war history, it definitely shows in your talks. I really appreciate all the encouragement you gave us throughout the journey and I truly appreciate all the efforts you and the legends put in. once again thanks for everything.

Eliza 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

difficulties I encountered, Knowing that the “machine” even had trouble!!! Your passion for the history of kokoda and your knowledge in everything related has encouraged me to be more than I am. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, it will not be forgotten

G’day!!

Aidan, you have been a true inspiration throughout the track. At times I saw you struggle, become dehydrated and that helped me overcome the difficulties I encountered, Knowing that the “machine” even had trouble!!! Your passion for the history of kokoda and your knowledge in everything related has encouraged me to be more than I am. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, it will not be forgotten. I hope to do the track with you again in the not too distant future.. your mate,

Matty Woods 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

with your guidance, passion, knowledge and inspiration I feel that Australian spirit inside me and FINALLY understand what our great country is all about.

Dear Aidan,

Thank you so much for an amazing experience. I have always seen myself as a passionate Australian,  and now with your guidance, passion, knowledge and inspiration I feel that Australian spirit inside me and FINALLY understand what our great country is all about. You are an amazing person and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done and do not only for teaching Australians about the kokoda campaign but also for the great things you do for the PNG people. You are a modern day hero, you have an aura about you that nothing will ever destroy. I admire you and am inspired to learn more about the kokoda campaign to really know my country’s history and pass it on to others.  I would love to get a smaller group together and do the kokoda track again to experience more challenging and achieve more from this great place. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done and I thank you ,, Owen and Simmo for your help to get me through it, stay amazing!!

Tim Keary 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

It was everything I expected and more... an incredible adventure for me, emotionally and physically

Hi Aidan,

This was an incredible adventure for me, emotionally and physically. It was everything I expected and more. As Tyron said, your spirit is strong and your legacy is the legend that is kokoda. I will spread the story of kokoda because that is what you want and that is what all Australians need to know. We will meet again in the future im sure, until then…..

Michael Forbes 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Your first speech at the Police Legacy Ball was inspirational, which is why I am here…

Aidan,

Thanks for the memories which you have helped create for me over the past 12 days. Thanks for taking me on 5 weeks out from starting the trek. I have learnt a lot from you about the kokoda campaign that I didn’t know beforehand. Your first speech at the Police Legacy Ball was inspirational , which is why I am here… you have a wonderful group surrounding you, which are a credit to you. Owen, you couldn’t ask for a better advocate and strong character and lovely, lovely man. So sweet and kind.  Simmo, is a genuine and dedicated supportive fun guy, who cared and helped so many along the way. Thanks for the pills on day 7. The group of people on this trip were a great and fun bunch. So many wonderful and outstanding characters. The Legatees …what a fun and inspirational group  of six wonderful youthful people. Their lives having had such a loss that I certainly cannot and don’t wish to yet experience but can certainly sympathise with the me. their strong and happy outlook on life and experiences are an absolute tribute to their upbringing and character. Again thanks for the memories and keep doing what you are doing. Like you say its sad that it takes an Irishman to do it, but having known a wonderful Irishman all my life (father) im happy and grateful that you are :-) take care and best regards

Peta Courtney 24/4/2012

 

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

When I walked past other groups there was little speech. Everyone in your group knew the meaning of teamwork and fun.

Aidan,

My kokoda Experience was one of mateship, generosity and most importantly Charlie. Thank you for surrounding yourself with amazing people, they had a great impact.. their generosity in particular. When I walked past other groups there was little speech. Everyone in your group knew the meaning of teamwork and fun. Simmo is brilliant and huge thank you to him. Meeting Charlie, sharing his life and stories is why I travel and why I would recommend Kokoda. It is important to learn others way of life in order to make a difference. Thank you for you moving service at Isurava.

Nicole Deabel 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

The passion, knowledge and determination you have is admirable. I have learnt a lot about myself on this adventure and I now know I can push the limits even further, so I thank you for helping me get to that level.

Aidan,

Wakey, wakey, …. Mate you are an inspiration to all Australians. The passion, knowledge and determination you have is admirable. I know in my heart and mind that I will pass on the knowledge and passion you have displayed over the past 12 days. You run a tight ship and it shows with your 100% success rate, congrats mate. The way you operate is a trait I will take on board myself in business and life. I have learnt a lot about myself on this adventure and I now know I can push the limits even further, so I thank you for helping me get to that level. I know we will stay in contact because I really want to do some photos relating to the PNG campaign. Thanks a million

Matty Veitch 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I really felt like I was leaving, listening, hiking with the best. Your knowledge and experience blew me away

Hello Aidan,

Thanks for everything. Walking kokoda with you and your team was an amazing experience. I really felt like I was leaving, listening, hiking with the best. Your knowledge and experience blew me away. The way you talk to people is something you should be proud of. You are one of those people tha when you talk everyone listens…. To be honest I didn’t know much about kokoda before coming into it and now I can say I do. Thanks again for everything I will put everything I have into the DVD.

Charlie Lambert, Assoc Producer Ch 9.  24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Your passion and drive is truly amazing. Your love for PNG and the track is infectious but the experience I have got is life changing and without doubt one of the best things that has ever happened to me

Aidan,

Mate what can I say…….. Thank you!! Your passion and drive is truly amazing. You have taught me things about myself that I never will have discovered on my own. Your love for PNG and the track is infectious but the experience I have got is life changing and without doubt one of the best things that has ever happened to me. You are an aussie legend and our country and the Anzacs are all better off for having known you. Keep on telling your story, their story as only you can!!! I am proud and fortunate to be able to call you a friend. Thanks mate

Tm McCarthy 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

You have done more for the diggers and their memories than anyone. Your passion and drive is unmatched at keeping the story alive

Aidan,

Mate, you are a true Aussie legend,. You have done more for the diggers and their memories than anyone. Your passion and drive is unmatched at keeping the story alive. I’m privileged to know you and have certainly discovered things about myself because of the opportunities you have given me. You truly do deserve the Anzac Award. It could not have gone to a better Aussie!!

Chris Simmons, Paramedic , 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I’ve had an amazing, inspirational experience. You bring the experience to life, its to the point and no frills.. I loved it

Aidan,

I know its all been said before, but here goes short and sweet……just like meJ

Thanks to you, I’ve had an amazing, inspirational experience. You bring the experience to life, its to the point and no frills.. I loved it. I will be sure to spread the word and pass on as best I can all that you have given me in such a short time. You deserve all that comes your way and so much more. Thanks again

Sharlene Harriman 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I not only learnt a lot about the history of the campaign but also a lot about myself. Met some great mates along the way and will carry these memories forever.

To Aidan,

Thank you soo much for the experience and all the knowledge you shared with us along the track. I not only learnt a lot about the history of the  campaign but also a lot about myself. Met some great mates along the way and will carry these memories forever. Thanks again and congratulations on getting us all across and your award.

Nadene Carroll 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

amazing staff... I honestly have an understanding of what some of the soldiers felt during WW2 even though probably would have been happy to stay back and fight them rather than try to walk up some of those bloody hills

Hello Aidan,

Its hard to say what I went through on the track. You have some amazing staff, Owen, Simo. I honestly have an understanding of what some of the soldiers felt during WW2 even though probably would have been happy to stay back and fight them rather than try to walk up some of those bloody hills. I have a deep respect for what you do and wish you well in the future. Im pretty sure I said I’d take the helicopter, then I was walking away after you said “I’d complete the walk”. Once again thank you, your staff and amazing legends who without them I wouldn’t of made it through. I know that I’m deeply sorry and if I come back I will be properly prepared.

Regards Eric TEuben 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I will advise those who ask to train hard and prepare physically then just wait and see how the track decides to treat you

Hey Aidan,

Firstly thanks for leading us on this little journey. I came on this trek prepared, I believe however this was no guarantee for low points as I had many. If anyone asks me for advice I will tell them to train hard, prepare physically and buy  shares in a  chemist as preventative maintenance is always better than a cure. After this has been done I will say just wait and see how the track decides to treat you. It could be you or your mate next to you that is injured or sick. I find no greater pleasure than seeing someone doing what they love and are passionate about. This my friend is you, and it is an honour to be here for you to do this.

Thanks Dave Scott 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

I appreciate your knowledge and passion for Australian military history. you have a great relationship with your legends and your friendships with local villages shines through

Hey Aidan,

I just wanted to thank you for leading us through an amazing country, a temultous track and a history of our nation which is clearly undertold.  I don’t express (man tears) like my flatmate Beggars did last year, but I appreciate your knowledge and passion for Australian military history.

Whilst you pushed us as a group, you achieved the objective and showed us the track is certainly alive and bites back (scratches and itches to prove it) you have a great relationship with your legends and your friendships with local villages shines through. It was a pleasure to complete this journey with my mates and colleagues so thank you for your patience . all the best and kind regards

Julia Bradley 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Afantastic and memorable experience. I am very thankful that I got to do it with someone who has an obvious passion for the track, its history and the country.

Dear Aidan,

Thank you for a fantastic and memorable experience. I grew up in the wonderful country of PNG and learnt about the track from a very young age.. I had wanted to walk the track from a very young age.. I had wanted to walk the track for a very long time and am very thankful that I got to do it with someone who has an obvious passion for the track, its history and the country. Whilst my grandfather was not an Australian soldier, he fought for the British and was a prisoner of war, working on the Burma railway. This experience has brought me closer to understanding his hardships and struggles which is what I had hoped to achieve….and so for that, I thank you.

I also thank you for what you have done for PNG and the close relationships you have formed with the people of this country, because that is something I also hold dear. Wishing you all the best and congratulations on the Anzac of the year award.

Emma Huckins 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Your passion for Aussie history is infectious... we had a great time

Aidan,

Thank you for an amazing experience. Kokoda tested my body (well my knees mostly!!) and my mind. Your passion for Aussie history is infectious and will be well rewarded this Anzac Day 2012. Like my partner in crime Kate,  we had a great time.

I loved kokoda, I hated kokoda, and then I loved it again. The generosity of locals and self disregard of the Legends is inspiring and humbling. Thank you and congratulations on another successful kokoda trek.

Erin Twigg

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Your knowledge especially of the history relating to my own family , really brought so much more reality to what my grandfather was involved in

Aidan,

Thank you for making this a very special experience for me. Your knowledge especially of the history relating to my own family , really brought so much more reality to what my grandfather was involved in. it wasn’t just a walk it brought me even closer to the grandfather I never knew. I loved the challenge and was proud to complete it with a great bunch of people. I will however hold the ranga jokes against you for a long timeJ

Cheers

Kate Howe

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

your knowledge of the track is second to none. To organise such a large crew and keep spirits up you did a fantastic job

Aidan,

What an amazing experience, your knowledge of the track is second to none. To organise such a large crew and keep spirits up you did a fantastic job. Owen, Simo and yourself take everybody’s needs into account. There were times when I thought what am I doing here? But what these diggers did in that campaign made me push through. Once again thanks I’ll be back again.

Tony Smith

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Maybe one day with people like you refusing to let the history die that wars will remain in history and not in our present or future.

Aidan,

Your grasp of the history of kokoda is amazing. I really appreciated your humour and the way that you were in tune with 50 people at one time. I really felt that I had a tiny window into the horrors of war. Maybe one day with people like you refusing to let the history die that wars will remain in history and not in our present or future.

Good on you mate!! Keep up the great work, thank you for helping me grow

Paul Coughlan

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

the opportunities for personal growth were well worth the tough times and I think I have emerged from the track a stronger person

Aidan,

Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime. I have really enjoyed getting to know more of Australia’s history and the contribution of our neighbours in Papua New Guinea to our war effort. While there were many tough times on the track, the opportunities for personal growth were well worth the tough times and I think I have emerged from the track a stronger person. Thank you for your passion and commitment in making the kokoda track experience possible for myself and many others. Congratulations on eth Anzac of the year award.

Kerry Robinson 24/4/2012

Kokoda Police Trek 2012

Thank you for an amazing experience! You have inspired me to learn more about our war history

Aidan,

I admire your passion for the kokoda campaign in 1942. You have inspired me to learn more our war history. This trek was an amazing and humbling experience for me. What an amazing country and amazing people. It tested my strength but I was determined and I am so proud of myself for finishing.

Thank you for an amazing experience!

Regards

Jenna Sheridan 24/4/2012

20 Years, Australian Military - Kokoda Trek 2012

I commend you of the highest level for the trek just completed. Your team and yourself, attention to detail from the get go was of the highest execution.

Aidan,

I never mentioned it on the track,, but you guessed and indeed knew many of my mates. I spent 24 years in the Australian Military, 20 of those years with the SASR, I am an NCO and have been to many theatres of war, I have seen the effects of war and the aftermaths amongst close friends. I commend you of the highest level for the trek just completed. Your team and yourself, attention to detail from the get go was of the highest execution. At all times you were across the level of the group and adjusted accordingly, you took into account factors such as climate, camp logistics, existing medical conditions and potential, you spent a lot of time working on morale and ensuring spirits were high…… your level of history is incredible and you respect for the Diggers inspiring….its been a while since I wore the uniform but I felt proud…. Your challenge to the group at Isurava was outstanding and what better messenger to issue that challenge .. but an Irishman…good on you! How you and your team kept your patience is testament to your professionalism, to have to deal with one or two ill prepared cops who forgot their own personal medicines and to front at your or Simmos tent each morning prior to breakfast so that they could get their blister sorted was weak… in most cases these individuals didn’t even attempt to wash their feet…… your team is brilliant and one to be proud of, your experience in that environment is second to none,  we were always safe… Lest we forget…..

Dave O Brien 24/4/2012

Kokoda Trek - July 2010

your track expertise, war history and personal approach to successfully leading a group of trekkers is to be applauded

Dear Aidan,

I wish to formally thank you for the recent Kokoda Track experience myself and the rest of our group were exposed to. From a personal perspective, this was by far one of the most challenging fortnights I’ve encountered in my life, from a physical, mental and emotional point of view.

I felt very fortunate to have been led by yourself with the invaluable assistance of Owen and the legends. It is difficult to explain in writing what I obtained from both of you, however your track expertise, war history and personal approach to successfully leading a group of trekkers is to be applauded.

Although I have now been back in my Sydney home for only 3 days, I feel I miss the track already. I thank you and the Our Spirit team immensely for providing a truly memorable experience, one that I will keep with me forever and will endeavour to create for my own children as we embark on a similar journey one day together across the Owen Stanley Ranges.

Kind Regards

 

Scott Young

(Grandson of Staff Sergeant Phillip John Steeles, 2/55 LAD, NX 79886)

Kokoda Trek - July 2010

The experience of Kokoda was a moving thing for me and your passion for the history and track made the journey an exceptional one.

Hey Owen,

 
Thank you for an experience of a life time, I have really reacquainted myself with the spirit of adventure and feel inspired to take on more challenges in life. I have done extensive research on Potts and the other stand out characters, he was a gutsy man, smart and believed in his abilities and inspired men around him to greatness. Thank you for paralleling me with him, I have taken this into something good and found that natural born leader, good on you Uncle Owen.
 
The experience of Kokoda was a moving thing for me and your passion for the history and track made the journey an exceptional one.
 
Look out for me again and I believe we are almost there on the dvd dave and rich are producing.
 
Cheers,
 
Mark Cutfield

Kokoda Trek - July 2010

Email from July 2010 trekker says, "the experience of Kokoda was a moving thing for me and your passion for the history and track made the journey an exceptional one. Look out for me again"

Hey Owen,
 
Thank you for an experience of a life time, I have really reacquainted myself with the spirit of adventure and feel inspired to take on more challenges in life. I have done extensive research on Potts and the other stand out characters, he was a gutsy man, smart and believed in his abilities and inspired men around him to greatness. Thank you for paralleling me with him, I have taken this into something good and found that natural born leader, good on you Uncle Owen.
 
The experience of Kokoda was a moving thing for me and your passion for the history and track made the journey an exceptional one.
 
Look out for me again and I believe we are almost there on the dvd dave and rich are producing.
 
Cheers,
 
Mark Cutfield

Kokoda Trek - July 2010

"your track expertise, war history and personal approach to successfully leading a group of trekkers is to be applauded" says Scott Young (Grandson of Staff Sergeant Phillip John Steeles, 2/55 LAD, NX 79886)

4 Farmer Circuit

Beaumont Hills NSW 2155

 

19th July 2010

 

Aidan Grimes

Our Spirit Pty Ltd

PO Box 879

Robina QLD 4226

 

RE: Kokoda Track Experience

 

Dear Aidan,

I wish to formally thank you for the recent Kokoda Track experience myself and the rest of our group were exposed to. From a personal perspective, this was by far one of the most challenging fortnights I’ve encountered in my life, from a physical, mental and emotional point of view.

I felt very fortunate to have been led by yourself with the invaluable assistance of Owen and the legends. It is difficult to explain in writing what I obtained from both of you, however your track expertise, war history and personal approach to successfully leading a group of trekkers is to be applauded.

Although I have now been back in my Sydney home for only 3 days, I feel I miss the track already. I thank you and the Our Spirit team immensely for providing a truly memorable experience, one that I will keep with me forever and will endeavour to create for my own children as we embark on a similar journey one day together across the Owen Stanley Ranges.

Kind Regards

 

 

Scott Young

(Grandson of Staff Sergeant Phillip John Steeles, 2/55 LAD, NX 79886)

Kokoda Trek - July 2009

Dirranbandi ladies relived the spirit of Kokoda... "it is a truly amazing event in Australian history that we should all be proud of and should never forget"

Kokoda Track Journey

Four Dirranbandi women recently relived the spirit ofKokoda during a nine day trek along the historic track.  Follow the news article from the Balonne Beacon covering their journey

Kokoda Trek - June 2009

I enjoyed not having to walk 'nose to tail' like other groups we passed. When you're all one after the other, you wouldn't be inclined to stop and 'smell the roses' as much, take photos etc. because you'd feel you were holding the group up

Liz, Aidan and Allie 

  • "Meticulous planning on the part of Our Spirit and Pauk Charles at PNG Travel. Paul was a wealth of info as he had walked the Track with Our Spirit, a huge plus and selling point for me. He had also stayed and dived at Loloata Island.
  • Our Spirit gave me contact details for other ladies who had trekked with them and these ladies were most helpful. First hand recommendation is most important to me (anyone can build a fantastic website) and the key reason I chose your company.

 

  • Good and prompt communication on most occasions
  • I enjoyed starting the journey up towards the beachheads, giving us a snapshot of more of the country ( and history) than just the track.
  • The legends were all, without exception, friendly, helpful and caring.
  • I enjoyed not having to walk ‘nose to tail’ like other groups we passed. When you’re all one after the other you wouldn’t be inclined to stop and ‘smell the roses’ as much, take photos etc because you’d feel you were holding the group up.
  • Aidan’s motivational praise to keep us moving.
  • I loved making camp each night with just ourselves.
  • Carrying the medals and learning the story of an old digger made the trek that much more meaningful.
  • Visiting Bomana cemetery at the end of the trek, rather than as you were setting out.
  • Staying at a hotel that necessitated a drive through downtown Pt Moresby ( as opposed to airport hotels) – again another snapshot of the city we would not have seen if we’d been staying at say the Airways Hotel.
  • The ration packs. Very filling and tasty."

 

Liz Murray, Trilby Station, NSW

Kokoda Trek - June 2009

What started our from a keen interest in and a strong empathy for all of our diggers who served our country, became an extreme personal journey into my own mental and physical strength and self worth.

"What started our from a keen interest in and a strong empathy for all of our diggers who served our country, became an extreme personal journey into my own mental and physical strength and self worth.  I cannot express the emotion and awareness that occurred on the track, only that I have grown from it.  The realization that we are all only a very small piece in the jigsaw of life, but that combined together can make a huge difference if we want to try.  The compassion and respect shown to the memory of our diggers and the acceptance and companionship given to and returned by our guides withiin our group was truly uplifting.  In my case it was a fantastic journey to experience with friends, haven't laughed that much for a long time.  The raw emtion and mateship experienced by the brothers and fathers and sons in our group was amazing - you should all be proud, as I am, to be Australian!!! Thanks for a great trip everyone!! Aidan, you are a truly passionate and amazing man and I will never forget your accent when talking about the 33rd battalion!!  Also a HUGE thanks for not making us wear name tags!!!!"

 

Tracey Staines, QPS, Queensland

Kokoda Track - June 2009

Our Spirit gave me contact details for other ladies who had trekked with them and these ladies were most helpful and the key reason I chose to trek with Our Spirit

Liz, Aidan and Allie"Meticulous planning on the part of Our Spirit. Paul was a wealth of info as he had walked the Track with Our Spirit, a huge plus and selling point for me. He had also stayed and dived at Loloata Island.

  • Our Spirit gave me contact details for other ladies who had trekked with them and these ladies were most helpful. First hand recommendation is most important to me (anyone can build a fantastic website) and the key reason I chose your company.
  • Good and prompt communication on most occasions
  • I enjoyed starting the journey up towards the beachheads, giving us a snapshot of more of the country ( and history) than just the track.
  • The legends were all, without exception, friendly, helpful and caring.
  • I enjoyed not having to walk ‘nose to tail’ like other groups we passed. When you’re all one after the other you wouldn’t be inclined to stop and ‘smell the roses’ as much, take photos etc because you’d feel you were holding the group up.
  • Aidan’s motivational praise to keep us moving.
  • I loved making camp each night with just ourselves.
  • Carrying the medals and learning the story of an old digger made the trek that much more meaningful.
  • Visiting Bomana cemetery at the end of the trek, rather than as you were setting out.
  • Staying at a hotel that necessitated a drive through downtown Pt Moresby ( as opposed to airport hotels) – again another snapshot of the city we would not have seen if we’d been staying at say the Airways Hotel.
  • The ration packs. Very filling and tasty."

 

Liz Murray, Trilby Station, NSW

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2009

Trekking the Kokoda Track with Our Spirit has provided me with self belief, an understanding of what the Diggers of 1942 suffered yet achieved and made me accept

"Hi Aidan,

Thank you for the opportunity to trek the Kokoda Track with Our Spirit. Our Spirit's reputation and level of professionalism is second to none. This was obvious whilst walking the Track and witnessing the respect the locals have for you and Our Spirit.

Thank you again for allowing me to trek with the Police Group. What an amazing bunch of individuals and an outstanding group. It was a privilege to be a part of this group and to share an unforgettable experience with people that started out as strangers and finished as friends. Seeing Our Spirit's passion for the Track and his accounts of the events of 1942 left me lost for words and in tears on more than one occasion.

Everything Our Spirit told me before the trek was true!! I was adamant prior to departure that I would not walk any part of the Track after dark. Sure enough my lack of respect was realised and the Track provided me with one evening of darkness and walking in the rain. He had also told me the Track was 70% mental toughness and 30% physical fitness. I can now understand and appreciate that my mental strength and resilience along with one foot after the other was what got me there in the end.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for such an unforgettable experience. Trekking the Kokoda Track with Our Spirit has provided me with self belief, an understanding of what the Diggers of 1942 suffered yet achieved and made me accept what a difference I make in my job working with current serving ADF personnel.

Regards,

Leisa White"

Leisa White, Snr Rehab Consultant, CRS Australia

 

ANZAC Kokoda Trek - 2009

It is now one week and a day since we got back but my mind and spirit is till up there in PNG, I would bet I’m not the only one feeling that way.

Exerts from an email to Aidan...
 
"I don’t mind admitting I still shed a tear or two from time to time in quiet moments just thinking about it all.
 
I have great things to tell, because it was great, even the so called unpleasant unforeseen bits which we can all laugh about now.
 
I don’t know if life will ever be “normal” for me again in the true sense of the word and I thank yourselves, the legends and our trek groups for that.
 
Thanks again for the experience of a lifetime, I feel extremely humbled and fortunate to have been given the opportunity.
 
Please pass on my thanks to Kris in the office as well, an absolute pleasure to deal with.
 
LEST WE FORGET
 
Karl"

K. Dodd - QLD Police

Kokoda Trek - March 2009

Owen's genuine enthusiasm in detailing the war events created our own "talking book" with each important campaign

A trekker's opinions and feelings about his experience are detailed in the following letter addressed to our Director, Aidan Grimes

Letter from Stephen Bennett

 

Kokoda Trek - March 2009

Kokoda Women on the March - miss the everyday simplicity of life we had in PNG, the people of the villages, the legends and all the friendships of everyone

Kokoda Women on the March

I am still feeling so overwhelmed by our journey in PNG.  It’s a weird feeling to miss your family so much and then when you get home you miss the everyday simplicity of life we had in PNG, the people of the villages, the legends and all the friendships of everyone. Keep looking at the photos and pinching myself.

My friend and daughter have made me promise that we will all go when we save our penny’s and time permits. So looks like you get to meet some of the family members sooner than I thought. Told my friend that is okay but I have to go with her daughter when she is old enough and my grandson.  It is so important for them to experience what is so important to us as Australians. I think by then I might make the grandkids carry my pack or perhaps they need to see that Nana is no old fart and can still do it…..and that they carry some good genes…Ha ha ha…..

Sandy S. Business Manager, VIC

Black Cat Trek - September 2008

The Our Spirit team have really outdone themselves with this package of in depth military history in an area of one of Australia's unsung and often forgotten and bloody commando campaigns.

"I recently completed the Black Cat Trail from Wau to Salamaua with Aidan. I wish to thank him for a well orgainsed and highly successful trek. The Our Spirit team have really outdone themselves with this package of in depth military history in an area of one of Australia's unsung and often forgotten and bloody commando campaigns. It travels through some rugged and relatively untouched natural environments .....heaps of wildlife and military relics. The local cultural involvement by the PNG villagers was another highlight.....a tremendous cultural experience with traditional welcomes and singalongs, rafting the Francisco river on bamboo / banana rafts, watching a village hunter show off his bow and arrow skills, home grown fruit ....sugarcane/pawpaw/cocunuts/pineapple, swimming amongst a coral reef; and to top it off after our mountainous journey, resting the night amongst an idealic coastal/palm tree sunset. The military significance of the trip was brought home on a number of occasions with some heart felt moments for us trekkers and also the legends alike. I think it's the passion, genuine meaning and team building that Aiden gives to the trip that gets to you. Well done Aiden, Kris and the team. This trip is a must."

Owen Turner, Grafton, NSW

Testimonial by Jayson Hawke, QLD

The highlights of the trip for me were the passionate presentation of the war history, particularly the balanced perspective provided on both the Australian and Japanese side...

Kokoda Track - October 2008

Overall a fantastic trip. 

The group leader was a credit to your company and always had complete control of the group. His ability to deal with minor medical issues prior to them becoming issues that may have prevented completion of the track made a great difference to me personally.

Our lead legend accommodated all requests with a smile and his sense of humour is something I will not forget. The highlights of the trip for me were:

(a)  the people along the trek,
(b)  the passionate presentation of the war history, particularly the balanced perspective provided on both the Australian and Japanese side.
(c)  the additional mental toughness and great kick start to getting my fitness on track.

Jayson Hawke, QLD

Testimonial by Andrew Ireland, Lawyer, The Argile Partnership

Great experience, great team. Very good military perspective...

Kokoda Track - October 2008

  • great experience
  • great team, both Rob and Greg were good.  Rob with medical background was fantastic, particularly when two of the boys needed help as well as with feet maintenance.
  • very good military perspective
  • Island resort was great as well
  • As said above - great team

Andrew Ireland, Lawyer, The Argile Partnership

Testimonial by John Ball, Microsoft

I had the tremendous experience to hike the Kokoda Trail with Our Spirit. Our Spirit's leaders did an amazing job of bringing to life the key battles that happened along the way.

Kokoda Track - September 2008

The following email was sent to Stan Bisset upon returning from the Kokoda September trek:

"Stan,

I had the tremendous experience to hike the Kokoda Trail  with Our Spirit, Our Spirit as I am sure you know did an amazing job of bringing to life the key battles that happened along the way.
 
It was truly an amazing experience and one that I will never forget, the terrain, the climate and the local people which I certainly feel in love with.  I was deeply touched in Isuarva by the great sacrifice of the Australian troops and the courage and mate ship that was demonstrated to have them overcome such a  terrible situation.  I wanted to write and express my heartfelt appreciation for what you and your men did in this conflict, words cannot describe your courage and endurance and the great loss that you experienced through this battle.
 
In tribute to Butch,  Our Spirit had the team sing “Oh Danny Boy”, the spirit that was felt by the group was amazing truly not a dry eye around.  I felt that I would like to capture this for you and send you a link so that you could share in the moment.  Unfortunately we are not world class singers but I am hoping the video will help you feel the moment.  
 
 
The spirit of the ANZAC is still alive on the Kokoda Trek and the memory of the sacrifice and suffering has not been lost.
 
Thank you again for what you did to save Australia I feel very honored that I was able to experience just a little bit of what it must have been like.
 
Kind Regards
John Ball"

John Ball, Microsoft

Testimonial by Rob L'Estrange, NSW

I can't tell how much it meant to me to do the Blackcat and what a privilage it was to trek with you and the legends

Black Cat Trail - Sept. 08

"I can't tell how much it meant to me to do the Blackcat and what a privilage it was to trek with you and the legends, thankyou all for the experience and friendship. The trek has sparked a deeper interest in the whole picture of the campains in PNG especially the 2/7th commando's. They were at Mubo, Wau, Bena Bena, Ramu Valley, Nadzab, Kaiapit, Bulolo, Kesaway, Dove Bay, Shaggy Ridge, Dumpu, Wewak. Even if I was fit enough I couldn't cover that amount of territory in the time I have left on the planet. I am going to the 2/7th reunion at Port Maquarie in November I will be taking the video footage I took on our trek and photos to speak about my experience."

Rob L'Estrange, NSW

Testimonial by John & Richie Butler (son, grandson of Captain CDG Butler - 2nd 14th)

Your knowledge of the battles, the positioning of the opposing forces and the enthusiasm and knowledge with which you spoke was simply inspiring. Dad (Captain CDG Butler of the 2/14th Battalion) had spoken many times...

Kokoda Track - August 2008

John and Richie meeting with Stan and Gloria Bisset post trek"Dear Aidan and Rob and the Our Spirit team, 
 
Thank you both so much for leading such a successful and rewarding adventure that my son Richard and I have just completed. Your knowledge, enthusiasm and focus of the historical events and the personal sacrifice of the Australian soldiers on the track in 1942 constantly reminded us of their extraordinary commitment, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of Australia.
 
Your knowledge of the battles, the positioning of the opposing forces and the enthusiasm and knowledge with which you spoke was simply inspiring.   Dad (Captain CDG Butler of the 2/14th Battalion) had spoken many times to us as family members about how hard it was, but until you actually participate and take to the track, you have no idea of what those circumstances may have been like back in 1942. Certainly, we can only truly marvel at the young men who were involved in the conflicts back in 1942.  
 
May I wish the Our Spirit team every success in your continued endeavours to tell of the unique stories of the track and its importance in the defence of Australia during the World War II.  The service Rob and Aidan conducted at Isurava memorial was something that will remain with us forever. Those words carved in the granite stones, Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice tell it all. As I walked the track after Isurava, those words kept going over and over in my mind and they truly tell of the spirit of the soldiers, many of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice.
 
As I recall the track and the emotional and physical challenges that are presented each and every step, may I thank you once again for bringing to us the opportunity to participate in and forever recall a unique and humbling experience. 
 
With best wishes to the team at Our Spirit."

John and Richie Butler - VIC

Testimonial by Gary French (Son of Lt. French, 39th Militia Battalion) VIC

My trip was the culmination of a lifetime ambition to be there and pay my respects to all who fought on the track...

Kokoda Track - August 2008

"Dear Aidan,

Just a short note to let you know that my trip was the culmination of a lifetime ambition to be there and pay my respects to all who fought on the track and in particular the 39th Battalion.  Your guidance and commentary was exemplary and I regard you as a very passionate AUSTRALIAN.  I place you on the same level as the authors, Peter Brune and Peter Fitzsimons with regard to making people aware of what took place on the track.

Good luck for the future,

REGARDS, Gary"

Gary French (Son of Lt. French, 39th Militia Battalion) VIC

Testimonial by Robert Mann - VIC

Aidan's passion and knowledge of/for the track made the whole experience a sensational holiday for me and our group.

Kokoda Track - August 2008

"Dear Our Spirit team,

Thank you all so much for the help and guidance that you gave me and our group on our recent Kokoda adventure.

Your passion for the track is evident to us all and we encourage you to continue the good work on keeping it sustainable, so many more people can visit and experience what it was like during 1942-43.

Please find enclosed my last remaining kena what you might put to good use when you go back in a few weeks time.

With kind regards,

Bobby Mann"

Robert Mann - VIC

Son of 39th Militia Lieutenant on Kokoda

I place Aidan Grimes on the same level as the authors, Peter Brune and Peter Fitzsimons with regard to making people aware of what took place on the track.

Kokoda Track - August 2008

"Dear Aidan,

Just a short note to let you know that my trip was the culmination of a lifetime ambition to be there and pay my respects to all who fought on the track and in particular the 39th Battalion. Your guidance and commentary was exemplary and I regard you as a very passionate AUSTRALIAN. I place you on the same level as the authors, Peter Brune and Peter Fitzsimons with regard to making people aware of what took place on the track.

Good luck for the future,

REGARDS, Gary"

Gary French (Son of Lt. French, 39th Militia Battalion) VIC

Kokoda Trek - August 2008

Your guidance and commentary was exemplary making this trip a culmination of a lifetime ambition to be there and pay my respects to all who fought on the track and in particular the 39th Battalion.

"Dear Aidan,

Just a short note to let you know that my trip was the culmination of a lifetime ambition to be there and pay my respects to all who fought on the track and in particular the 39th Battalion. Your guidance and commentary was exemplary and I regard you as a very passionate AUSTRALIAN. I place you on the same level as the authors, Peter Brune and Peter Fitzsimons with regard to making people aware of what took place on the track.

Good luck for the future,

REGARDS, Gary"

Gary French (Son of Lt. French, 39th Militia Battalion) VIC

Kokoda Track - August 2008

Your knowledge, enthusiasm and focus of the historical events and the personal sacrifice of the Australian soldiers on the track in 1942 constantly reminded us of their extraordinary commitment, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of Australia

John and Richie meeting with Stan and Gloria Bisset post trek"Dear Aidan and Rob and the Our Spirit team,

 
Thank you both so much for leading such a successful and rewarding adventure that my son Richard and I have just completed. Your knowledge, enthusiasm and focus of the historical events and the personal sacrifice of the Australian soldiers on the track in 1942 constantly reminded us of their extraordinary commitment, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of Australia.
 
Your knowledge of the battles, the positioning of the opposing forces and the enthusiasm and knowledge with which you spoke was simply inspiring. Dad (Captain CDG Butler of the 2/14th Battalion) had spoken many times to us as family members about how hard it was, but until you actually participate and take to the track, you have no idea of what those circumstances may have been like back in 1942. Certainly, we can only truly marvel at the young men who were involved in the conflicts back in 1942.
 
May I wish the Our Spirit team every success in your continued endeavours to tell of the unique stories of the track and its importance in the defence of Australia during the World War II. The service Rob and Aidan conducted at Isurava memorial was something that will remain with us forever. Those words carved in the granite stones, Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice tell it all. As I walked the track after Isurava, those words kept going over and over in my mind and they truly tell of the spirit of the soldiers, many of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice.
 
As I recall the track and the emotional and physical challenges that are presented each and every step, may I thank you once again for bringing to us the opportunity to participate in and forever recall a unique and humbling experience.
 
With best wishes to the team at Our Spirit."

John and Richie Butler - VIC

Kokoda Trekker - July 2008

Hear in explicit detail through descriptions, explanations, accounts and poetry about the hell our diggers went through in '42.

Kokoda Track - July 2008

"To do the Kokoda Track and not hear the full and complete story of the hell the diggers went through is a dreadful missed opportunity that some trackers face. Our Spirit allows the Kokoda track to challenge us both physically and emotionally as you hear in explicit detail through descriptions, explanations, accounts and poetry about the hell our diggers went through in '42.

Everybody was touched by the passion and emotion that your trek leaders create as they recounted the desperate fighting withdrawal of the 21st brigade and the 39th battallion. This is an experience that I would recommend to all Australians, Thanks Aidan."

Kerrin McKenzie, Terang, VIC

Testimonial by Matt McConnell, 20 year old, Warrnambool

Overall I was honoured to do the track with such a professional company and will one day do it again! Thanks heaps - it has been a great journey!!

Kokoda Track - July 2008

As a 20 year old male, I found the Kokoda Track an amazing experience.  Before the trip I knew barely anything about the torturous conditions suffered by all of the soldiers.. Our trek leader was amazing at giving all of us on the trip a great insight into the happenings along the track and his feelings were shown greatly in his presentations, particularly at Brigade Hill and Isurava.

Loved the way that we were able to interact with villages along the way and also village meals were great.

The Legends (Papuan guides) on our trip were an amazing bunch of blokes who were willing to help with the understanding of their native "motu" language and with details on the track.

The days were at a great length with the "rest days" fitting in well to the itinerary.

On talking with people trekking with other companies, we realised we were quite lucky to get the insight on the track that they didn't seem to.

I did although, get sick of pasta, fresh fruit/vegies were great and teh roast/hotpot meals were different and nice.

Matthew McCallum, 20 Year Old, Warrnambool 

Testimonial by Anne Brown, Bendigo, VIC

Looking at many of the groups along the way, it was just a trek, they were way too big, didn't get the history or the spiritual or emotional reason for being there. We were mate looking after mate...

Kokoda Track - July 2008


I have just experienced the most humbling event of my life! I always thought it would be special, but little did I know just how much.  Your extensive, loving and emotional history of the track just blew me away.  Even being there it is still so hard to comprehend what our brave boys went through.  Looking at many of the groups along the way, it was just a trek, they were way too big, didn't get the history or the spiritual or emotional reason for being there.  For some it was a race to finish or just get that bit over with.  For us, it was like a tight unit was formed from the start.  It was mate looking after mate, watching each others backs just as our young boys did may years ago.  It was their journey that we all relived each day we were on the track.  Thank you for allowing me to be a partof such a wonderful, emotional and educational experience.

Anne

Anne Brown, Bendigo, VIC

Testimonial by Michelle Terry, Sergeant, Newcastle City Police

I could not image doing it with any other group. Everything from juggling full time work and training, to being a mother of a two year old boy... walking in my grandfather’s footsteps it was truly the most amazing journey of my life.

Kokoda Track - ANZAC 2008

"I am very glad and appreciative of having walked the track with you.   I could not image doing it with any other group.   I have such strong feelings of walking the track.   Not a day goes by without me thinking of this experience.   It was such an amazing journey for me and one I will cherish forever.   Everything from juggling full time work and training, to being a mother of a two year old boy, being away from home for two weeks & most importantly walking in my grandfather’s footsteps it was truly the most amazing journey of my life.

I would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge, experience and passion with me."  

Michelle Terry, Sergeant, Newcastle City Police

Testimonial by Kerrin McKenzie, Terang, VIC

To do the Kokoda Track and not hear the full and complete story of the hell the differs went through is a dreadful missed opportunity that some trackers face with other companies.

Kokoda Track - July 2008

"To do the Kokoda Track and not hear the full and complete story of the hell the diggers went through is a dreadful missed opportunity that some trackers face.  Our Spirit allows the Kokoda track to challenge us both physically and emotionally as you hear in explicit detail through descriptions, explanations, accounts and poetry about the hell our diggers went through in '42.

Everybody was touched by the passion and emotion that your trek leaders create as they recounted the desperate fighting withdrawal of the 21st brigade and the 39th battallion.  This is an experience that I would recommend to all Australians, Thanks Aidan."

Kerrin McKenzie, Terang, VIC

Testimonial by Richard Cummins, Orange, NSW

Our Spirit's leadership, passion, knowledge of the history and deep respect for the brave young kids from Australia who protected us and our way of life, combined to make the trek one of the best experiences I have had.

Kokoda Track - July 2008

"Walking the Kokoda Track was physically demanding, educational and emotional.  We were lucky to have Our Spirit as our leader.  Their leadership, passion, knowledge of the history and deep respect for the brave young kids from Australia who protected us and our way of life, combined to make the trek one of the best experiences I have had.  We were lucky to have a relatively small group size of 16 which helped us bond with a look out for others.  There were many highlights but the biggest was the service at Isurava and my son Scott being chosen to read a poem at Brigade Hill that was a tribute to the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.  Scott was honoured and he will never forget it.  The visit to Bomana cemetery at the end of the trek was a sobering experience.  The sacrifice made by these young Australians demands that we appreciate the life we have and strive to be worthy of what they did for our country.  Emotions kicked in on my return to Australia."

Richard Cummins, Orange, NSW

 

Testimonial by Peter Auchettl, Warnambool, VIC

There were many positives with going with Our Spirit. The small group size was terrific for camaraderie... Our guide was exceptional! Our Spirit's knowledge of the track and of the history associated with it was first class.

Kokoda Track - July 2008

"There were many positives with going with Our Spirit.  The small group size was terrific for camaraderie and for those times when ceremonies were undertaken and for when points of interest needed to be explained.  Our guide was exceptional!  Our trek leaders knowledge of the track and of the history associated with it was first class.  The ceremonies at Isurava and Brigade Hill were unforgettable and the opportunity to visit the was cemetery at Port Moresby was a meaningful ending to our trek.  Walking from Kokoda to Owers Corner is the only way to go!  visiting the war cemetery at the beginning of the trek would not have the same impact and neither would finishing at Kokoda when the diggers pushed on to the beach head.  Flying into Poppendetta was a great start! 

The legends were terrific!  They were always there to help but did not interfere with the individual trekkers' daily experiences."

Peter Auchettl, Warnambool, VIC

Testimonial by Richard Page, Grafton, NSW

The physical challenge gave me some perspective of how difficult it must have been for the Diggers, carrying a much heavier kit and fighting the Japanese at the same time.

Kokoda Track - July 2008

"Overall highlights...

Our trek leaders incredible extent of knowledge which brought the whole history of the campaign into perspective.  Getting to know, walking and camping with a group of interesting guys and a gal was a terrific bonding experience culminating at the point where we walked through the Arches congratulating each other.  Every member of the group were so supportive.  I can't remember ever receiving so much moral support.  Maybe this had something to do with me being the "mature age" student of the class.  It was a good feeling and meant a lot to me.

The physical challenge gave me some perspective of how difficult it must have been for the Diggers, carrying a much heavier kit and fighting the Japanese at the same time.

It was rewarding to be one of four father and son teams in the group and a wonderful experience to achieve this goal together with my son Ashley"

Richard Page, Grafton, NSW

Testimonial by Keith McConnell

The history and the way in which it was presented was fantastic - it gave me the feeling of what it may have been like for the young diggers.

Kokoda Track - July 2008

"The history and the way in which it was presented was fantastic - it gave me the feeling of what it may have been like for the young diggers, but as you said Rob, "how they survived is beyond our understanding"!!!

The legends and support crew were fantastic, it takes a few days to get to know them but the feeling of kindness and warmth shows through from these remarkable people.

The village people and their way of life to me was also a highlight of the trip to see people able to live a simple life and show enjoyment was brilliant, compared to our modern society.  I hope it comtinues that way for some time yet.

The work Rob and Aidan do for the orphanage really struck a soft spot with me and I hope to contact you in the near future about some fundraising that I hope to do, hoping that you may be able to make sure it gets through to them."

Keith McConnell,

Testimonial by Gina Mitchell

Our Spirit did an amazing job of putting all those snippets together to paint a true picture of what our diggers all went though on the track. Here's a little song I wrote, "Don't worry - Walk Kokoda"

Kokoda Track - ANZAC 2008

"I've been captivated by the story of the Kokoda Track.  What a remarkable tale of human spirit.  I am honoured to have walked in the footsteps of our diggers from 66 years ago.  I knew the facts of the Kokoda Track history before I arrived in Kokoda, and I felt a deep sense of pride for the sacrifices they made all those years ago.  
 
It is one thing to know the story, but another to feel it.  Our Spirit did an amazing job of putting all those snippets together to paint a true picture of what our diggers all went though on the track.  The trenches, battles, the sickness, the hunger, the cold, the mud, the pain of losing your mates and the courage shown by them all. 

Here's a little song I wrote, Don't Worry - Walk Kokoda

There's a little track I know,
We're going to walk the highs and lows,
Kokoda...... We're walking
 
And up the 'bloody track' we climb,
With our leader, Aidan Grimes,
Kokoda.......We're walking
 
Through the creeks we cross the land,
With a legend's helping hand,
Kokoda....... We're walking
 
And in the mud we slip and slide,
But all we feel right now is pride,
Kokoda........We're walking
 
Along this track the diggers fought,
That kind of freedom can't be bought,
Kokoda....... We're walking"

Sgt. Gina Mitchell - NSW Police

Kokoda Trek - October 2007

The way that you safely led the trek, managed the logistics, and gave us detailed military history with personal anecdotes was a real benefit

"Thanks for taking us on a great trek. It's good to meet someone who really believes in what they are doing, and along the way contributes to the community in Papua New Guinea. The way that you safely led the trek, managed the logistics, and gave us detailed military history with personal anecdotes was a real benefit. I'd have no hesitation in recommending your program to others."

Bernard O'Brien, CMO, GHD

Testimonial by Bernard O'Brien, CMO, GHD

The way that Our Spirit safely led the trek, managed the logistics, and gave us detailed military history with personal anecdotes was a real benefit.

Kokoda Track - October 2007

"Thanks for taking us on a great trek. It's good to meet someone who really believes in what they are doing, and along the way contributes to the community in Papua New Guinea. The way that you safely led the trek, managed the logistics, and gave us detailed military history with personal anecdotes was a real benefit. I'd have no hesitation in recommending your program to others."

Bernard O'Brien, CMO, GHD

Testimonial by Graham Willis, Director Human Capital, Russell Reynolds Associates

Aidan's passion, historical knowledge, involvement in and explanation of the Kokoda campaign left one with a sense of awe and humility about the contribution that our Diggers made to the defeat of the Japanese forces in New Guinea.

Kokoda Track - October 2007

"A loose assortment of 13 bright and shiny blokes bounced around in the Twin Otter from Port Moresby to Kokoda strip. 7 days later, at Owers Corner, a great team of sweaty and tired people emerged all the richer for their experience. We had lived a small portion of the history of the Kokoda campaign. Aidan's passion, historical knowledge, involvement in and explanation of the Kokoda campaign left one with a sense of awe and humility about the contribution that our Diggers made to the defeat of the Japanese forces in New Guinea. The ability to experience, first hand, some of the physical and mental challenges that faced our troops is something I will not forget and feel fortunate to have experienced. Thank you to Aidan, The Legends and the team at Our Spirit for a truly memorable experience."

Graham Willis, Director Human Capital, Russell Reynolds Associates

Testimonial by Lieutenant RAN (rtd) Adam Bate, Partner, Titan Executive Services

The trek was not only filled and delivered with well researched first hand historical information, it was also conducted very professionally and with the safety and enjoyment of the trekkers in mind.

Kokoda Track - October 2007

Walking the Kokoda Track with Aidan and the Our Spirit team was one of the most moving and enjoyably challenging experiences that I have ever had. The adventure was set within a mosaic of truly important and heat felt history blended with the striking natural beauty of the Owen Stanley mountain ranges. This journey through pristine jungle filled river valleys and higher altitude rainforests takes a person out of the every day and makes your senses and soul feel alive again.

Aidan and the Our Spirit team provided a very well organized adventure that had obviously been planned well. The trek was not only filled and delivered with well researched first hand historical information, it was also conducted very professionally and with the safety and enjoyment of the trekkers in mind.

Lieutenant RAN (rtd) Adam Bate, Partner, Titan Executive Services

Testimonial by Lieutenant CNL Bruce Armstrong, CEO, Allomak Limited

Our Spirit exceeded all my expectations in providing the entire Group with a rich “life time experience” conducted in an unobtrusive safe environment with the support of the local “Legends”.

Kokoda Track - October 2007

“In selecting a company to take our Group over the Kokoda Trek I researched a number of providers. In making my decision I considered: Safety (security, insurance, communication and evacuation plan), Trek Leadership (an experienced, knowledgeable leader who could provide a detailed description of the people and events), and prior success (record in getting all participants safely over the Track). Our Spirit exceeded all my expectations in providing the entire Group with a rich “life time experience” conducted in an unobtrusive safe environment with the support of the local “Legends”. The Trek Leader’s knowledge and passion for the history, the Track, the Veterans and the local people ensured that we all not only understood the events but importantly received, through him, a very personal insight into the extraordinary individual achievements that occurred.”

Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer, Allomak Limited

Testimonial by Reece Browne, New Zealand

Books are fine but your accounts and knowledge have a far greater and richer impact.

Kokoda Track - September 2007

"Thank you so much for a very enjoyable trek, your commitment to the PNG people and your passion for the stories of Kokoda struck a cord with me, I hope you are able to continue the awesome work you do there.
I certainly learned an amazing insight into history that shaped two countries, and probably NZ as well as we are only a step away from both Australia and PNG. Books are fine but your accounts and knowledge have a far greater and richer impact.
Hope we can catch up sometime in the future, who knows what adventure 'Our Spirit' will entice with.
All the best and keep well. "  Cheers Reece Browne.

Testimonial by Lyn and son Brett Parnell, Torrens Park, SA

Many thanks Aidan and a great team and a great inspiration – your passion and knowledge, experience and team work made it a special “journey I will never forget! Best wishes and thanks also to all the team behind you”

Kokoda Track - August 2007

Brett Parnell, Aidan Grimes, Rob Brown, Lynn Parnell“An incredible experience and educational and physically and mentally challenging, but the most fulfilling thing I have done in my life. To anyone thinking about it “just do it”. Many thanks Aidan and a great team and a great inspiration – your passion and knowledge, experience and team work made it a special “journey I will never forget! Best wishes and thanks also to all the team behind you”
"Seems like a dream now. Can't believe we did so much and now I am sitting back at work doing my normal work things. Was a fantastic experience and one I am so glad I did. The best part for me was the education and gaining a better understanding of just what our great diggers did and how hard it was for them. The walk was challenging and tough in patches and living in third world conditions was also a challenge and an eyeopener. But Brett and I both agreed on the plane trip home we learnt so much and would recommend it to those who have the fitness and guts and determination required and want to be educated about what went on there. Many thanks for a great trip Aidan. You and your team were superb. "

Lyn Parnell, Torrens Park, SA

“Aidan and the team, you are very special people. I have so much respect for you both and had an amazing experience. Although I was quiet, I took so much away with me and will remember this forever. What you both do and teach is fantastic. The Kokoda Track is more than just a walk!”

Brett Parnell, Canada

Testimonial by Various from August 2007 Group

This has been a life changing experience and one that I won’t forget or waste. Thank you

Kokoda Track - August 2007

“This trip has shown me more about myself and those around me than I ever imagined. This has been a life changing experience and one that I won’t forget or waste. Thank you Aidan and Rob, I’ll be back”

Jon Keeling, Gosford, NSW

“with my sons it made such a complete experience. Would it be the same (as good as) last year??? Exhilarating, exhausting and very emotional experience. A walking history lesson and a lesson in human relations.”

Mick Brosnan, Pambula, NSW

“I always though of myself as a proud Aussie… I am now in awe and prouder than ever to be Australian. I now have an experience that no one can ever take from me and for this I thank you. You encouraged and inspired me to better myself. I can’t thank you enough.”

Sandra Mussali, Point Frederick, NSW

“Thank you for opening our eyes to what has happened to form the backbone of our amazing country. It has been an amazing adventure and you have instilled in me a will to help those less fortunate and especially those that aren’t as noticed as they should be. I am prouder than ever to be an Australian. Thank you.”

Matt Brosnan, New Farm, QLD

“I thought about the Kokoda trek for many years, but until my son and daughter-in-law asked me along, it was only a pre-dream but now it is a dream come true. From the time I landed in Kokoda and was adopted by Wagi and his family who nicknamed me as one of their own for the time we spent together. I have had a wonderful time. Loved every mountain and river crossing, every campsite and especially every swimming hole. The history I learnt from the Our Spirit Team has enlightened and at times saddened me and is something that will stay with me forever. Thank you.”

Rob Tomlinson, Beaudesert, QLD

“I came on this trip to learn more about our history. I did and I also learnt more about myself. Please don’t underestimate the level of my appreciation when I simply say “thank you, sincerely”

Tim Keeling, Gosford, NSW

“I am finding it hard to find the words to thank you properly. This experience has blown away my expectations (and I had such high expectations from how my dad talked about his experience). I feel I have gained so much as a person for doing the track. From a now seemingly insignificant physical aspect through to learning so much about our history, the Papuan history and culture an appreciation of how fortunate I am and how proud we should be to call ourselves Australian, respect and an even closer bond with my brother and father. Thanks to you guys for your inspiration, I hope I can pass this “spirit” on to others"

Nick Brosnan, Kangaroo Point, QLD

“This trek has awakened the need in me to recognise my own father’s war service in PNG. Hopefully I will return with my own sons to honour him and the others who served here.”

Murray Wilson, Lilydale, VIC

Testimonial by Phil Mount, Finance & Admin Manager, Complete Fire

I think it will change me for the rest of my life, I’m not sure how, as yet, but I know I will be a better person for it.

Kokoda Track - July 2007

"I want to thank you once more for helping me experience the Kokoda history. It was an adventure I will not forget, and an emotional experience that will stay with me forever.

I think it will change me for the rest of my life, I’m not sure how, as yet, but I know I will be a better person for it.

Thank you also for the great detail you were able to share with us. It has made me want to read more & understand what happened.

My mates in Vietnam were so much like the “diggers” in the 39th & 2/14, 2/16 – a lot of us didn’t suffer the same adversities, though some did & paid the ultimate price – but we were there for our mates – no matter what.

I think our “team” on Kokoda showed the same spirit.

Thanks again … if I decide to do it again, I’ll look you up." 

Phil Mount, Finance & Admin Manager, Complete Fire Systems, Adelaide

Testimonial by Harold (81 years) Young, Melbourne

The whole trip from beginning to end was not only emotionally & physically challenging but a very moving and memorable one.

Kokoda Track - July 2007

"Hello everyone at Our Spirit, ...without our great Leader Rob who was most helpful & very considerate & compassionate towards myself and also the assistance of my Porter Rommy Babu, I don't think I could have got through, so to both of these great men I thank them immensely for making a hard slog into wonderful memories. ...The whole trip from beginning to end was not only emotionally & physically challenging but a very moving and memorable one. I cant express my thanks enough for allowing me to take part in being part of the Trek experience.
Once again thankyou and best wishes & good luck to all"

Harold (81 years) Young, Melbourne

Testimonial by Jayde Trevaskis, Queensland

As a single mother I have faced many challenges along the way, but I realisedon the Kokoda Track that my only limitations are the ones I put on myself. My fears and self doubts are all that hold me back from achieving my dreams.

Jayde Trevaskis - June 2006 & July 2007

My trip was an amazing experience that has taught me so much about myself, my family and about the young men that fought and died along the Kokoda Track in 1942 an 1943.  Their story is both remarkable and heart wrenching.  Walking the Kokoda Track is a physical, emotional and spiritual journey that can not be captured in words.

It was far more than a physical challege.  When I was climbing up a never ending hill, or sliding through a muddy swamp it seemed like the rest of the world had ceased to exist and it was a great opportunity to do a bit of soul searching.  I laughed and cried and cursed, I felt gratitude, sadness, anger and pride.  I felt the spirit of the diggers giving me inner strength.

As a single mother I have faced many challenges along the way, but I realisedon the Kokoda Track that my only limitations are the ones I put on myself.  My fears and self doubts are all that hold me back from achieving my dreams.  The Kokoda Track forced me to confront and overcome these things.  The achievement will stay with me forever, it can never be taken away and I only need to think of the Kokoda Track to tap into my newfound confidence and self belief.

Jayde Trevaskis, Queensland

Testimonial by Jacklyn Knight, Associate Director, National Training and Development Manager, PRDnat

Your attention to detail also ensured that no historical reference was missed, whether it be the site of a major battle, a long forgotten foxhole or a bullet hidden amongst the leaf litter on the jungle floor...

Kokoda Track - June 2007

When I was asked to drive the Kokoda trek initiative and find a suitable provider, my first considerations were safety and integrity.  Integrity being such an interesting concept so often used fragrantly.  Having enlisted your services for our trek, I had no hesitation in encouraging our members to take part nor in taking part myself.  At no point during our trek did I ever feel that either our safety nor your integrity were compromised.  In fact your dedication towards the safety and wellbeing of your trekkers was highlighted as each injury, ache or concern was so meticuously attended to.
Your attention to detail also ensured that no historical reference was missed, whether it be the site of a major battle, a long forgotten foxhole or a bullet hidden amongst the leaf litter on the jungle floor.  A floor which you have traversed on so many occasions and which you know and love so well. 
I don't believe we could have asked for a more passionate and inspirational leader than you.  Not only did you ensure that everyone completed the track in good health but also thanks to your incredible tenacity, they were also given the chance to experience the true spirit of Kokoda and all the elements that make it a truly special place. 
So if I were to be asked the question as to why anyone would want to take on the Kokoda Challenge, I'm still not sure how I could have wished for a more insightful, inspirational and awesome journey, a life changing experience for which I feel incredibly privileged and fortunate to have been able to share with you"

Jacklyn Knight, Associate Director, National Training and Development Manager, PRDnationwide

Testimonial by John Igoe, Partner, Wentworth Hill, Sydney

I'm still coming down from the high of everything we did and I certainly can't stop thinking about it. I wanted to do the Track with you

Kokoda Track - June 2007

"Just a note to say huge thanks for what has been one of my truly great experiences – humbling, exhausting, educational, inspiring and incredibly rewarding. It was made the more so by your passion, humour and tribute to the diggers and fuzzies who took on incredible odds. I'm still coming down from the high of everything we did and I certainly can't stop thinking about it. I wanted to do the Track with you – I appreciated your leadership, lack of formality and your focus on the important things - the history, the diggers, the villagers the legends and the stories."

John Igoe, Partner, Wentworth Hill, Sydney

Testimonial by David Jefferies, SAP, South Australia

To have accomplished it with such a good bunch of blokes was very rewarding and one that I will look back on with pride and great fondness.

Kokoda Track - June 2007

"I just wanted to send you a short note to thank you and the Legend team very much for the wonderful experience you gave me in successfully walking the Kokoda Track. I am in the process of writing up my diary and cataloguing the photographs and in doing so, has once again re-enforced what the soldiers endured and accomplished under such atrocious conditions. To have accomplished it with such a good bunch of blokes was very rewarding and one that I will look back on with pride and great fondness. Thank you for making it very special."

David Jefferies, SAP, South Australia

Testimonial by Various from NSW Police 2007

I will not use any other trekking company other than Our Spirit as I firmly believe they are the pre-eminent organisation to further enhance the correct principles of the Kokoda Track.

Kokoda Track - April 2007

"I will not use any other trekking company other than Our Spirit as I firmly believe they are the pre-eminent organisation to further enhance the correct principles of the Kokoda Track."

Mark Carrick, Inspector Airport Operations (Protection Operations Unit Anti-Terrorism and Security Unit) NSW Police

“Thanks again for an awesome trip. I haven’t stopped talking about it and it is certainly is a buzz the amount of people wanting to hear about it.

PS. It was a pleasure to see someone living their passion."

Carolyne Patterson, NSW Police Anzac Trek 2006

Testimonial by Kokoda Challenge Kids 2006

Kokoda Challenge Kids have their say...

Kokoda Challenge Kids - September 2006

"Aidan, In the short time I've known you, you've done more for me thatn anyone has"... Brad

"Words cannot express how thankful I really am for your support and for helping me get to the top, one step at a time". Skye

"Thanks for nearly killing me - kidding :-)  I had an awesome time, I've learned lots and will remember this trip for a lifetime.  Keep up the good work". Emmi-Lee

"Thanks for all the things you've done - great man!" James

"Uda Beroma, thank you bud haria lao lakatani mu nega dow do oi la ura henia - you are an inspiration! Torana namonah - Kokoda lives on." Mile

"Thanks heaps for the best time of my life.  What an experience.  I've learned a lot."  Ross

"You made me understand I can hit the stars, so I'm gonna start reaching out for them" Beau

"Thank you for leading us on the Kokoda Trail experience" Deja

"Aidan, you helped me so muh over the last couple of days.  Thank you so much - greatest time ever"  Josh

"Aidan, you already know how much you've done for me so I'm not gonna even attempt to explain now.  What I am gonna say though is that you have made me believe that I can reach my dreams and because of that I am certainly gonna go for it!  This certainly won't be the last you hear from me."  Tiff

 

 

Testimonial by Jean Devitt, Leitchville, VIC

I would suggest to anyone wanting to go that they travel with a friend for moral support when the going gets tough.

Kokoda Track - August 2006

"The trek was “a great experience and a wonderful challenge. We had great support in our group from family members and also from the others travelling with us. I would suggest to anyone wanting to go that they travel with a friend for moral support when the going gets tough. The country is magical and the Legends irreplaceable - unobtrusive but right beside you when things get sticky. …It's well worth it.”

Jean Devitt, Leitchville, VIC

Testimonial by Dean Trevaskis, Ocean Shores, NSW

Our family trip to the Kokoda Track was everything I wanted and more.

Kokoda Track - June 2006

"Just wanted to say thank you to Aidan, Rob, The Legends and the entire team at Our Spirit for an experience I will never forget. Our family trip to the Kokoda Track was everything I wanted and more. Aidan's passion was infectious, his knowledge, research and presentation outstanding and his professionalism and management of the group gave us all a great sense of safety. Rob's medical expertise ensured we all felt safe and all made it through to Owers Corner in great shape. The respect and friendship shared with the Legends and villagers made us all feel like we were doing the Track the way it should be done. I personally felt I had the opportunity to experience and overcome the physical challenge, learn the history and feel the pain and sacrifice of both the Diggers and Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.

I also grew as a person and shared an experience with eight members of my family that has formed a bond between us that will remain throughout our lives. I saw many other groups on the track breezing through sacred sites like Brigade Hill and Isurava apparently oblivious to their importance. I saw other trekkers flown out and many obviously struggling to the point of hating the whole experience. I have no doubt if they had chosen to do Kokoda with Our Spirit their experience would have been totally different.

Thank you Aidan and Rob for getting to know us all, sharing your passion, lifting our spirits when we needed it and most importantly giving us the opportunity to understand the legacy of the men who gave so much on the Kokoda Track. Other members of our group have told me it has been the greatest experience of their lives. I have no doubt the best of our Kokoda trip is yet to come as our experience improves us all as people and passionate Australians. I have a strong sense that my connection to the Track is only just beginning. I feel compelled to pass the story on."

Dean Trevaskis, Ocean Shores, NSW

Testimonial by Various NSW Police 2006

Ok, about Kokoda, DO NOT go with anybody other than Our Spirit.

Kokoda ANZAC Trek - April 2006

"Ok, about Kokoda, DO NOT go with anybody other than Our Spirit. They took our Police Legacy Group in April of this year (2006) and it was simply brilliant.  We had a reunion on Friday night just gone and I enjoyed speaking to the other trekkers and hearing how the trip has impacted upon their lives.  One of the girls that I spoke to summed it up when she said nobody talks about the trip without making a comment about Aidan.  Once you walk with Aidan and share in this man's passion and unsurpassed knowledge you will know what I mean.  I have no idea about costs and how they might compare to other tour companies, but don't bother even wasting your time, this is not something you want to compromise on.

So was it worth doing?  Hell yes and I would do it again in a heart beat!"

Peter Baines, Inspector, NSW Police

“I had a great night and it was a fantastic opportunity to see everyone again and relive some the memories of the trip. I want to say a big thank-you for making the effort to be there that night. You mean a lot to all of us - especially me and it was fantastic to see you again. It reminded me that Kokoda will not be a distant memory but an experience which has made some impact, whether small or colossal, to every day since my return”.

Louise Griffin, NSW Police Anzac Trek 2006

Testimonial by Bill Johnson, Young, NSW

I was very impressed by how well organised the walk was, the competence and efficiency of all the Our Spirit team,

Kokoda ANZAC Trek - April 2006

I'd like to thank the team - Aidan, Rob, Richard, all the guides, and Kris, for a wonderful and memorable experience. …I was very impressed by how well organised the walk was, the competence and efficiency of all the Our Spirit team, and by Aidan's passion, commitment and knowledge. I was affected by the experience in many ways - the beauty of the landscape and the rainforest, and the friendliness of the people. I enjoyed the physical and mental challenge. Above all was the fact that we were walking the site of battles fought in conditions unimaginable to us. On the first night I understood how young and inexperienced soldiers could mistake fireflies for the Japanese, which I just couldn't grasp from reading the books. The visit to the Bomana War Cemetery on the last day of the walk was a sombre and fitting conclusion. Although I had high expectations of the walk beforehand, it was a much more moving and powerful experience than I could have imagined. I was, and remain, affected deeply.

After we finished the walk I spent a week in Goroka in the Eastern Highlands, where I was born, and my father died forty years ago. In the market on the first day I was in Goroka I met an old man who knew him. I was again overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people, and the beauty of the country.”

Bill Johnson, Young, NSW

Corporate Challenge - March 2002

Aidan, you are an inspiration – you help people achieve beyond their perceived limits”

“What this event taught us was that if we stick together, we come through together and we stay together. It was great. Aidan, you are an inspiration – you help people achieve beyond their perceived limits”

Mark Chrimes CEO Avanade

Testimonial by Mark Chrimes CEO Avanade

If we stick together, we come through together and we stay together.

Tassie Challenge - March 2002

“What this event taught us was that if we stick together, we come through together and we stay together. It was great. Aidan, you are an inspiration – you help people achieve beyond their perceived limits”

Mark Chrimes CEO Avanade

Testimonial by Phil Meyer, Marketing Manager, Microsoft

It was highly rewarding as an individual and as a team.

Tassie Challenge - March 2002

“It was highly rewarding as an individual and as a team, we overcame the challenge by working together and helping each other”

Phil Meyer, Marketing Manager, Microsoft

Testimonial by Steve Vamos, CEO, Microsoft (formerly CEO, NineMSN)

“it was amazing, we are all still on a high!!! Emotionally rather than physically….”

Testimonial by Simon Corah, CEO, M&C Saatchi

“It was brilliant we all had a magic time! !!”

Testimonial by Karl Henrik –Sundstrom, CEO, Ericsson

“The key to finishing the event is all about teamwork… Great organization, food, scenery, very effective team building event”.

Testimonial by Mark Pizzacalla, Finance Director, KPMG

“This event is a fantastic reality check… highly organised and totally achievable if you work together as a team”

Testimonial by Dr Kemp, Federal Minister for Education 2000

The Federal Government continues to encourage creativity in corporate philanthropy...

Simpson Desert - September 2000

The Federal Minister for Education, Dr Kemp has congratulated Vodafone and the other corporate sponsors in their support for the Extreme Corporate Challenge.

“The Federal Government continues to encourage creativity in corporate philanthropy. This is indeed a unique event and an excellent example of how large organisations can get together for a great cause,” the Minister said Andrew Bissex, Managing Director of Vodafone Australia, will be one of the participants in the Vodafone Extreme Corporate Challenge.

“This is an opportunity for us to get out from behind our desk, work up a sweat, and hopefully make a difference to the lives of young people in this country. Youth suicide is a growing tragedy, particularly in rural and regional Australia, and I am proud to be involved in an activity that seeks to prevent it,” said Mr Bissex.

Upcoming Events

2020 Kokoda Trek (11 Day Trip)2020 Kokoda Trek (11 Day Trip)15 Aug 2020 - 25 Aug 2020Join us on this incredible 9 day adventure walk in the footsteps of the Aussie Diggers. Limited group size. Guided by an experienced Australian leader with comprehensive local knowledge and customs and an unwavering passion for the Kokoda history, hidden battle sites, treasures and most importantly its legacy, you will experience the highs and lows of the treacherous Kokoda Track with a sense of courage, endurance and mateship without the ultimate sacrifice that our digger's made before us.More... Book Now... Add to Calendar
2020 Camino de Santiago (12 Day Trip)2020 Camino de Santiago (12 Day Trip)6 Sep 2020 - 17 Sep 2020Come and be a part of this magical experience that will challenge you through this pilgrimage in time as we walk the traditional path of the Camino. The crown jewel of Spanish walking trails, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela began as an act of faith as Europeans crossed Spain to visit the sacred tomb of Saint James. One thousand years later, the Camino of the green rolling hills and small hamlets of northwestern Spain's Galicia.More... Book Now... Add to Calendar
2020 Kokoda Trek (11 Day Trip)2020 Kokoda Trek (11 Day Trip)26 Sep 2020 - 6 Oct 2020Join us on this incredible 9 day adventure walk in the footsteps of the Aussie Diggers. Limited group size. Guided by an experienced Australian leader with comprehensive local knowledge and customs and an unwavering passion for the Kokoda history, hidden battle sites, treasures and most importantly its legacy, you will experience the highs and lows of the treacherous Kokoda Track with a sense of courage, endurance and mateship without the ultimate sacrifice that our digger's made before us.More... Book Now... Add to Calendar

View All