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Maryanne’s Post Kokoda Q&A

  • Adroit Insurance and Risk
  • October 20, 2022

Maryanne Cleasby, Head of Business Improvement and IT in our Adroit Head Office was recently a volunteer mentor with Geelong Youth Engagement, youth resilience program.

With Maryanne having now completed the trek, we caught up with her to see how she has been feeling post-trip and find out all about her experience.


How are you feeling post Kokoda?

Good, my blistered feet still aren’t too pretty but they will be good in time. Mentally its hard to believe we actually did it, seems very surreal still.


What was the first thing you did when you got back to the hotel?

Long hot shower of course, it took at least 3 showers to get rid of the dirtiness!


What was the biggest thing you learnt about yourself while walking Kokoda? 

I am not capable of walking whilst looking around at the scenery it’s a dangerous game I tried playing and usually ended up with me almost falling over the edge or just falling on my butt.


What was your biggest challenge?

Walking in the direct sun in 37 degrees was really hard, in the shade of the jungle it was great but in the direct sun was a killer. Of course the hills that just keep going up up and up weren’t very nice either but you didn’t really notice these as much due to just looking at the persons feet in front of you and not looking up to where you need to go.


Do you feel the training helped you prepare for the actual trek?

Absolutely, though we could have done more on going down/over/under high steps so I didn’t have to army crawl over or just flop some of them. All the squats even though I didn’t like them at the time were a life saver.


How did the participants of the program react to the trek?

We had an amazing group of people on the trek, everyone got along and entertained each other through the tough ups and laughed off any falls (when they knew they were ok).  All the young people did an amazing job, their compassion to others and coming out of their shells was amazing to watch. The team work from everyone is what got us all through in the end.


Do you feel everyone who participated left feeling more resilient in themselves?

Yes I think so, getting themselves mentally prepared every morning to tackle what was to come was a big effort for some, so getting to the end was a huge achievement.


Now that the whole experience has come to an end, would you recommend this program to others going forward?

Yes for sure, the people you trek with young and not so young are now like a second family, everyone is ready to jump in and help each other and hopefully this will continue should anyone need anything going forward. It was something I was actually doing to challenge myself, but it ended up about helping and challenging everyone involved.


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