Dawn was a still just distant promise when we emerged from our tents in response to the call of the bagpipes. One of the trekkers had carried the pipes for many days, in order to honour his relative who had fought and died on Brigade Hill.
For each of the fallen there is a small marker, lined up proudly on the grassy and peaceful hill, once a scene of the horrors of war.
The days we had spent on the track had led us here. The hours in the hot sun, slippery mud, steep slopes and occasional drenching showers had brought us to this site of such significance to Australians and the PNG villagers whose forebears had also played such a crucial role in the campaign.
Our quiet reflection, as the sun rose pale and pink over the mountains, put everything back in perspective. Forgotten were blistered feet and sunburnt faces, wet clothes and muddy boots. In an emotional ceremony our thoughts were with the young Australians who lost their lives on the Kokoda track and the ones who made it out of the jungle to forever face their own demons.
I was proud to be able to walk the track to raise funds for Sir David Martin Foundation and I thought often of my father, the young people we support and all the sponsors who supported me on the journey.