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Students walk the Kokoda Trail with Hyne Timber

Left: Hyne CEO Jim Bindon and right Site Manager Kristina Kaminski with the Tumbarumba Rotary Club and Tumbarumba High School Kokoda Trekkers

Hyne Timber is supporting 15 Tumbarumba High School students who plan to walk the Kokoda Trail following a three-year stoppage due to Covid. Source: Timberbiz

Hyne Timber CEO Jim Bindon and Tumbarumba Site Manager Kristina Kaminski presented a $10,000 cheque to the Tumbarumba Rotary Club who facilitate the annual initiative in partnership with the Tumbarumba High School.

CEO Jim Bindon said he welcomed the opportunity to meet the high school participants in person and hear firsthand about their preparation,

“Being the new CEO of Hyne Timber, I learnt of this initiative for the first time and appreciate this is a unique and incredible opportunity for high school students in Tumbarumba.

“The preparation, training and fundraising which is underway ahead of the trek, is experience in teamwork, determination, commitment, and community engagement.

“I can only imagine the full experience including the cultural and historical learnings, make this an opportunity of a lifetime.” Mr Bindon said.

Hyne Timber has supported this initiative since its inception in 2007 and has several team members who are directly linked to this opportunity whether through their own children participating, volunteering and financially supporting, or having completed the trek themselves during their high school days.

Hyne Timber Fitter, Gus Taylor is one of the team members who cannot speak highly enough about the opportunity he had back in 2019.

“The experience was unforgettable. The locals were very kind and helpful, as well as impressive on the ukelele!  I’m glad the program is up and running again for more people to have the experience and learn some of the history,” Mr Taylor said.

Hyne Timber fellow Fitter, Tyler Wooden echoed Mr Taylor’s sentiment from his own experience in 2017,

“The Kokoda trek was something I will never forget. It is great that more high schoolers will get the opportunity to accomplish all the program has to offer,” Mr Wooden said.

Tumbarumba Rotary Club spokesperson, Bruce Wright, has been involved with all the 132 Tumbarumba High School students who have completed the Kokoda Trek or are currently in training.

“Having been personally involved in fundraising, training and completing the trek itself with the students, I see the impact it has on them during this significant, formative time in their lives,” Mr Wright said.

“From both a physical and mental health perspective, as well as appreciation for the life we have here in Tumbarumba, the experience is positively transformational.

“The Tumbarumba community involvement is exceptional, and we are very fortunate to have this kind of positive energy and support to provide such a unique opportunity without financial burden or exclusion for individuals wanting to participate.

“We are thankful for the ongoing financial support provided by Hyne Timber which assists towards the increasing costs of airfares and equipment.”

The year 11 and 12 students will walk the Kokoda Trail while experiencing local villages, exploring the Isurava Battlefield Memorial, the Eora Creek battle site, the Brigade Hill Memorial and many other historic sites. Upon completion, the students visit Bomana War Cemetery and the sights of Port Moresby.