We have been a long-standing supporter of the Victoria Police Kokoda Project, supporting the initiative since it began in 2007.
This initiative, designed to support youth, unites police officers, community members and local high school students from 4 secondary schools in the Moonee Valley and Moreland Local Government Areas in north west Melbourne through a four month intensive training program and a nine day trek across the Kokoda in Papua New Guinea.
To assist trekkers prior to their journey, we regularly donate vaccinations to prevent them from contracting Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis and Malaria prophylaxis for each of the participants. In 2015, the total cost of vaccinating the trekkers was valued at $7200.
In addition to sponsoring vaccinations, GSK has been pleased to provide the costs for one student and one staff member since 2012 to trek Kokoda at a cost of $12,000 and have sponsored 10 people to walk the Kokoda trail.
Aislin Spencer, who has been with GSK since 2014 and is currently working as a Scientific Advisor, will represent GSK and undertake the exciting journey this year.
“It’s been great getting to know all the year 11 students, the other sponsors and the police during our training sessions to date. I’m looking forward to helping lead the students through the trek as well as encourage and mentor them as they move into the challenges of year 12 and beyond,” Aislin said.
Since the initiative began several years ago, the Kokoda Project has continued to exceed expectations and meet its objectives to build police and community relationships with young people.
“The Kokoda Project is a great way for private sector companies such as GSK, and the community to work together to build relations and help mentor young people that otherwise wouldn’t have this life changing opportunity,” said Victoria Police Superintendent Nigel Howard.