Kokoda Leadership Program

The Kokoda Leadership Project is the Panthers on the Prowl’s senior schools leadership project for students in Year 11 at senior high school in the wider Penrith area. The Kokoda Leadership Project is a biennial undertaking that aims to empower and strengthen leadership in young people through mentorship and the challenge of completing the Kokoda Trail walk.

Undertaking challenging physical activities, side-by-side, strengthens relationships between individuals and instills comradery and cohesion for the larger group which in turn fosters a sense of connection and support. Tackling challenging physical journeys also builds mental resilience and tests personal character. These elements are significant for the building of self-esteem and resilience in late teenage-hood; qualities that are critical for students to effectively navigate the stresses and challenges of the HSC and transition successfully into the next phase of adult life.

In acknowledgment of this and to contribute effectively in the healthy development and leadership of our senior students, Panthers on the Prowl launched the inaugural Kokoda Leadership Project event in October 2013. The project involved seven senior high school students from the Penrith area to join trek leader Charlie Lynn (MLC). The students were joined by executives from various business houses, Panthers on the Prowl Community Development Foundation staff and Penrith Panthers players and coach to walk the Kokoda Trail, which provided opportunities for intensive mentoring.

Along the trek the students were confronted with significant physical and emotional challenges that required pushing the boundaries of personal resilience, teamwork, goal setting and leadership skills in order to develop and implement strategies to overcome and persevere. Participants were also provided with the opportunity to witness the sites of historic battles that were fought along the trail during World War II. Through these experiences students learned about the unique character of Australian leadership that inspired our Diggers to achieve victory in the most adverse circumstances and against overwhelming odds.

The Panthers on the Prowl – Kokoda Leadership Project is coordinated and administered by the General Manager of Panthers on the Prowl, Brad Waugh. For more information feel free to contact Brad on (02) 4725 6420.