Kokoda Initiative

Improved Kokoda Track Outcomes

The Kokoda Initiative – a partnership between the PNG and Australian governments – supports 19 primary schools and 41 elementary schools in the three catchments across the Kokoda Track region.

Over the past decade, schools have received 13 double classrooms and refurbishments and 12 teachers houses, which have improved teacher recruitment and retention.

Teachers are being supported to improve their skills and upgrade qualifications through alternative education pathways like the Flexible, Open and Distance Education (FODE) scholarships and in-service training.

Kokoda schools get new classrooms

The new double classrooms provide over 140 elementary and primary students with a more comfortable learning environment, and encourage girls and boys to attend lessons and stay in school. To provide clean water, a 9000 litre water tank has been attached to each building.

Launch ceremonies were held at both schools on 31 August, attended by students, teachers, local officials, community members and representatives from the Australian High Commission.

Business training for Kokoda guest house owners

The two-day sessions were funded by the Australian Government through the Kokoda Initiative and took place in three villages along the track; Isurava in Oro and Efogi and Manari in Central. 

The presentations were led by Heather Vanua, a business lecturer from the Pacific Adventist University, and covered identification of business opportunities, business planning, record keeping and cash flow. 

K3.4m school buildings for Kokoda

Funded by Australia through the Kokoda Initiative, the K3.4 million project includes a double classroom each for Kokoda Elementary and the Kokoda Skills and Technical College, seven staff houses and a general maintenance package to upgrade existing buildings. The project also incorporates the installation of water tanks, toilets and new furniture for all buildings.

Kokoda guesthouse owners empowered with training

In April, more than 60 guesthouse owners from along the Kokoda Track attended small business training seminars in Manari, Efogi and Isurava to help manage their businesses more profitably.

The training was delivered by the Tourism Promotion Authority, the Kokoda Track Authority and an expert contractor. The Kokoda Initiative supported trainers with logistics and supplies.

Former Pacific Adventist University business lecturer Heather Vanua delivered presentations on product pricing, budgeting, record keeping, time management and value adding for customers.

Improving health services along Kokoda Track

 The Village Health Volunteers conduct health patrols along the track about every three months, with the support of the Kokoda Initiative. 

On their last patrol in November 2016, they saw a total of 623 people, diagnosed two with Tuberculosis (TB) and provided antenatal support to eight new mothers.

The latest health census will provide valuable information to improve future patrols, and help Sohe and Hiri District health officials in Oro and Central provinces to better plan the services provided by clinics and health centres.