Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

Description

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is a unique tribute to the bravery of Australian troops who fought through atrocious conditions and against vastly superior enemy numbers in the Papua-New Guinea campaign of July 1942-January 1943. With support from the United States, the Australians inflicted on the Japanese Imperial Army its first defeat. The fighting on the Kokoda Track was one of the vital elements which saved Australia from invasion in the Second World War.

The Papua campaign, including the Kokoda Track, Milne Bay, Buna, Gona and Sanananda resulted in total Australian and United States casualties of 8546. Casualties from malaria were more than 27,000 and from tropical diseases at least 37,000. More than 2000 Australians and 600 Americans were killed. During the four months of fighting in the Owen Stanley Ranges, the Australian infantry lost 607 killed and 1015 wounded.

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway covers more than 800 metres from Rhodes Station to Concord Hospital in Sydney's inner-west, and runs along the mangrove-studded shores of Brays Bay on the Parramatta River. The centrepieces are magnificent granite walls bearing photographic images of the campaign. There are 22 stations or plaques along the walkway, each describing a significant place or engagement. The walkway has been planted with lush tropical vegetation simulating the conditions of the Kokoda Track.

Objectives of the Memorial Walkway:

  • To provide a lasting memorial to all veterans who served in the Second World War, with a particular focus on the South West Pacific area.
  • To provide an educational experience on this magnificent part of our Australian heritage for current and future generations.
  • To improve access to the hospital for patients, visitors and staff who travel by rail to Rhodes station.
  • To provide facilities for healthy lifestyle programs and act as a tourist attraction for visitors to the region.

Designed by D.M. Taylor Landscape Architects Pty Ltd, the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway features:

  • Memorial Centrepiece - A striking series of granite walls on which images from the New Guinea Campaign have been sandblasted. Water also forms an integral part of the centrepiece, with it cascading alongside the granite walls.
  • Rainforest Area - Includes a watercourse leading into a pond overlooking the Parramatta River.
  • Rose Garden Entry Area - A peaceful and beautiful entrance, featuring two semi-circular memorial walls among beds of roses. On the walls are plaques dedicated to the memory of individuals who served in the war. The Rose Garden is linked to the Walkway by the Bruce Kingsbury V.C. Path.
  • Stations - Places of significance in the New Guinea campaign where important battles were fought or events occurred. There are 22 stations along the Walkway, each providing historical accounts and images of the New Guinea campaign.
  • Information Centre - A state of the art building where visitors may enjoy a cup of coffee and purchase merchandise.
  • Mangrove Boardwalk - A timber boardwalk into the mangroves provides a feel for the vegetation in New Guinea.

This excerpt has been taken from the Kokoda Memorial Walkway website.

Inscription

Entry wall

Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway. Rhodes Park.

Entry plaque

The following companies have proudly contributed towards the construction of this entry feature wall to the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway: Paynter Dixon Constructions (AUST) Pty Limited; De Martin & Gasparini Pty Ltd; Boral Masonry; Canterbury Plastering; Apply Painting; Signature Design; One Steel Pty Ltd; Cheap & Quick Waste; Boral Concrete.

Dedication plaque

Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

This memorial is dedicated to the men and women who served Australia during Wolrd War II. They fought a war in defence of the country they loved. They bequeathed to their children the opportunities which they had been denied. They passed on a tradition and a faith for all of us to live by. The ideals of courage and self sacrifice. The conviction that wherever we come from in this great land we are one, we are Australians. The campaign in Papua from July 1942 to January 1943 which included Milne Bay and typified byt the Kokoda Track is seen as a defining moment in Australian history. The Kokoda Track formed a huge part of the campaign and with respect to the direct security of Australians, it was the most important ever fought by Australian soldiers. 

Centrepiece walls

“Forward Scouts”

“The Golden Stairs”

“Return From Isurava”

Centrepiece plaque

Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway Memorial Centrepiece. Unveiled on 3 October 1996 by The Hon Bruce Scott MP Minister for Veteran’s Affairs. Peter Woods OAM, Mayor of Concord. Alan Kinkade, KTMW Committee. Rusty Priest, RSL State President (NSW).

Plaque

The Kokoda Track

This walkway named the Kokoda Track is a lasting memorial to the eternal memory of those Australianse who served in World War II on the sea, on the land and in the air. Dedicated by the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs The Hon Con Sciacca and the Mayor of Concord Council Councillor Peter Woods OAM on 2nd November 1994.

Plaque

Constructed and presented in gratitude to World War II Veterans by Vietnam Veterans Stonemasonry Class 20/08/07.  Geoff Graham, Stan Malicki, Don Schiemer, Ian Crangle, Bob Bailey, Peter Westwood, Lindsay Gazzard, Kris Cadogan – Stonemasonry Teacher, Col Eglington – Outreach Co-Ordinator Ryde TAFE Outreach Program.

Sign

Welcome to the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway. The memorial centrepiece and the stations along the entire length of this track are sacred to the memory of those who served in the defence of Australia in World War II. Please treat it with honour and respect.

Plaque

These picnic areas were improved by the Rotary Club of Concord, in conjunction with the Concord Municipal Council and were officially opened on the 23rd February 1980 by the Right Honourable William McMahon, GCMG., CH, MP, to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of Rotary International.

Plaque

Rotary Club of Concord

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Charter of the Rotary Club of Concord on The 24th of September, 1956. A tree was planted in this park for each president. 1956 – 57 George Bouffler; 1957 – 58 Cec Dillon; 1958 – 59 Ted Cullen; 1959 – 60 Geoff Saunders; 1960 – 61 Ellis Fisher; 1961 – 62 Colin Dodds; 1962 – 63 Noel Mather; 1963 – 64 Alan Bird; 1964 – 65 Perc Murray; 1965 – 66 Doug Dixon; 1966 – 67 John Flanagan; 1967 – 68 George Rider; 1968 – 69 Herb Peters; 1969 – 70 Wal Lewis; 1970 – 71 Ken Worsley; 1971 – 72 Frank McDonald; 1972 – 73 Mick Beakey; 1973 – 74 Ian Hall; 1974 – 75 Vig Selig; 1975 – 76 Les Davis; 1976 – 77 Don Strathdee; 1977 – 78 Keith Jenkins; 1978 – 79 Ron Routley; 1979 – 80 Cec Haynes; 1980 – 81 Graham McIntosh; 1981 – 82 Jim Dobson.

Address
Rhodes Park
Killoola Street
Concord West NSW 2138
Local Government Area
  • Canada Bay, City of
Setting
  • Garden/park
Memorial type
  • Walkway
  • Wall
Recorded by
Peter Levarre - Waters
Established Date format: 
$e_original_date = $entity->field_established['und'][0]['value']; if (!empty($e_original_date)) { $changed_date = strtotime($e_original_date); $new_date = date("d F Y", $changed_date); print '
Established date
'; print $new_date; } else{ print ''; }
Dedication date: 
1994-11-02
Dedication date
02 November 1994
Conflict/s
  • Second World War, 1939–45

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