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Two local students will next year tackle the Kokoda Track after being named 2017’s Harold Bould Memorial Award winners.
Chairo Christian School Pakenham’s Emily Bloxidge and Izaiah Roch from St Francis Xavier College, Beaconsfield, were presented with the prestigious awards at an afternoon tea at Eastern Victoria Region MP Edward O’Donohue’s Pakenham office on 5 December.
The annual literacy competition, in memory of Cardinia resident Harold Bould, has been running since 2008.
Private Harold Bould who served in B Company, 39th Battalion, was killed in action at Kokoda Village on 29 July, 1942, only eight days after the Japanese invasion of Papua New Guinea. He has no known grave.
The competition in his honour is open to Year 10 students from all the secondary schools within the Cardinia Shire.
Students are invited to submit an essay of about 600 words addressing the issues ‘why would you like to trek the Kokoda Track?’ and ‘what was the importance of the Kokoda Campaign in the Battle for Australia?’
Its winners receive a fully sponsored trip to Papua New Guinea to trek the Kokoda Track.
A spokeswoman for Edward O’Donohue said it was very pleasing to see so many past recipients of the award present to at the award’s ceremony to share their experiences with Emily and Izaiah.
She said the awards were made possible by the generosity of organisations and individuals within the Cardinia community including as the Cardinia Shire Council, Pakenham Racing Club, Pakenham and Kooweerup RSL Clubs, Rotary Clubs of Pakenham and Kooweerup/Lang Lang, Pakenham Branch of the Country Women’s Association, Michael Duff), Ted and Phyllis Bould and anonymous local benefactors.
Emily and Izaiah will walk the Kokoda Track during the 2018 June/July school holidays.

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