2020 Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge


IMPORTANT NOTICE:  The RSL & Services Clubs Association, who run the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge, have been closely monitoring guidance issued from the Australian Government Department of Health and other local health authorities. The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a rapidly developing situation, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

For the health and  safety of trek participants, unfortunately, they have decided to cancel the KYLC this year.

Thank you for your support with this program and we hope to run it again in 2021.



“It breaks you down, tears you to your knees, but then it builds you back up again.” Brendon Speechley, a former participant.

Penrith RSL Club is calling for applications for the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge, which takes young community leaders on a 10 day trek across the 155km Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. Overseen by the RSL & Services Clubs Association, the program is aimed at creating greater awareness among young people of the Diggers sacrifice on the Kokoda Campaign, and to ensure that traditions live on. At the same time, aiming to instill a commitment to community service, enhancing personal development and encouraging participants to become future leaders in their own communities.

Overseen by the RSL & Services Clubs Association, KYLC aims to create an awareness of the campaigns, sacrifices and incredibly gruelling conditions under which Australian Soldiers fought in Papua New Guinea during WW11.

KYLC is extremely challenging physically, mentally and emotionally, so applicants must demonstrate a strong desire to participate in the program by conducting personal research on the campaign and be willing to commit to a physical training program to prepare for the trip. This program is open to local youths aged between 17 to 25 years. Applications are now open.

Once in a lifetime, one that I am so grateful to have been given and one that will forever be kept in my memory. I can honestly say this has been the most rewarding, informative and emotional experience of my life.” Ms Amber Walker, a Kokoda Trek participant.

For more information on the trek, please click here to download the Trekker’s Guide.

Applications for 2020 will open on Monday 3rd February and close on Thursday 9 April.

Short listed applicants must be available for an interview at the club on Tuesday 14th April from 7pm.

Chosen applicants must be available to attend the KYLC Trek Workshop at
Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL on Saturday 16th May from 12 noon to 4pm.


Pictured: Mikaela – 2016 Trek