Anzac Commemoration

In March, Queensland X-Ray Radiologist Dr Peter Brookfield, Radiographer in Charge Michael Evans, and Radiographer in Charge Edward Yates travelled to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to take on the challenge of walking the Kokoda Track to not only test their limits, but to reflect on the events that took place in 1942.

The Battle of Kokoda was a four-month struggle in PNG where Australian forces fought to prevent the Japanese from reaching Port Moresby. About 56,000 Australians were involved in the battle, with more than 600 Australians killed and over 1,600 Australians wounded.

The Kokoda Track retraces the footsteps of Australian soldiers and those who walked alongside them during the Kokoda campaign. The 96-kilometre trek took Peter, Michael and Edward six nights and seven days, with around six to ten hours of walking daily. Michael said, “Remembering the hardship that our heroes had to endure without the comforts we had was motivation to keep pushing forward. The trek was challenging enough in modern times without the continual threat of diseases, infections, hunger and having to fight for your life and country that our diggers faced on daily basis”.

Peter, Michael and Edward participated in the dawn service at the Isurava Memorial during the trek. The service was a touching tribute. “We listened to the history and story of our Australian heroes. Poems were read; we shared thoughts with the PNG tour guides. The emotional intensity of the service meant that we just made it through the singing of the Australian national anthem. It was, for us, a moment of deep reflection,” said Michael.

Kokoda captured the spirit of courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice forged between Australia and Papua New Guinea during World War II.

On the 25th of April, we remember the bravery and sacrifices of all Anzacs. We will remember them.