A dedicated Second World War memorial walkway in Sydney will benefit from NSW Government funding to ensure future generations remember the extraordinary sacrifice of the Australian service men and women who served on the Kokoda Track.
The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway (KTMW) in Concord has been granted $600,000 over four years to help give visitors a greater understanding of the experiences of Australians who served in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the NSW Government funding will help educate thousands of school students who visit the free memorial every year.
“The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway provides the people of NSW with a direct link to the stories of incredible sacrifice made by our servicemen and women, as well as a place to pause and reflect,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Traditionally around 4,500 school students visit this memorial site every year, learning important information about the Australian men and women who served in the Pacific in the Second World War.
“The courage, mateship, endurance and sacrifice of the men and women who served in PNG will not be forgotten.”
The funding will assist with capital works, new technology and staff to help facilitate school and community group visits with guided tours by veterans.
Treasurer Matt Kean said a principal focus of the memorial is on the battles which took place in 1942-43 along the Kokoda Track, at Milne Bay on the south-eastern tip of Papua, and at Buna, Gona, and Sanananda on the northern coastline.
“The memorial site includes a walkway covering more than 800 metres from Rhodes Station to Concord Hospital along the Parramatta River, with tropical plants reminiscent of PNG,” Mr Kean said.
“An education centre and 22 audio-visual stations along the walkway describe significant military battles recognising the thousands of Australians who were wounded and died in PNG.”
Minister for Veterans Natalie Ward said the funding will also support the application for KTMW to become a Monument of National Significance.
“This funding will ensure we do not forget what is one of the most significant chapters in our military history,” Mrs Ward said.
“Each year the number of service men and women who served during the Second World War sadly grows thinner, and memorials such as this one provide a vital link to the past so their sacrifice will always be remembered in the future.”
Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway Chair Jennifer Collins expressed her appreciation for the funding.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway and more importantly our Kokoda veterans, we thank the NSW Government for this significant funding,” Ms Collins said.
“It will mean that the memorial will continue to educate the younger generation on an important part of our Australian history and maintain it in its pristine condition.”