House debates

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Statements by Members

Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

1:37 pm

Photo of Fiona MartinFiona Martin (Reid, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to briefly discuss the importance of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway to our veteran community in Reid. This unique memorial commemorates the Australian troops who fought the World War II Papua New Guinea campaign of July 1942 to January 1943. The walkway links Concord hospital to Rhodes train station, running along the mangrove-studded foreshore of the Parramatta River. The tropical feel of the location of this place of remembrance recalls New Guinea's vegetation.

The walkway is both commemorative and didactic. We must understand the history of our nation's service men and women if we are to truly remember their sacrifice. The track is installed with 22 stations equipped with plaques and an audio track, each marking a significant event in the Papua New Guinea campaign. This unique memorial, linked closely with Concord hospital's veteran community, has played a significant role in Reid's commemorations of all Australian service men and women. Over the years, the ongoing community project has gathered state and federal government support and significant contributions from the former Concord council, now Canada Bay council, Concord Rotary, Concord hospital and RSL New South Wales, as well as various federal government departments.