On Saturday 16th July 2016 one of GeoLINK’s ecologists, Jessica O’Leary, joined with a team from Pacifico construction company to tackle the Kokoda Challenge in the Gold Coast hinterland. Jess has performed both the Environmental Coordinator and Ecologist role for Pacifico over the past 18 months on the Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads Pacific Highway Upgrade which is being constructed by Pacifico.
The Kokoda Challenge Gold Coast, is hailed as the toughest team endurance event in Australia. Teams of four tackle 96km (the distance of the Kokoda Track) through the Gold Coast hinterland within a time limit of 39 hours (in honour of the 39th Militia, who were the first Australian response unit at Kokoda). The roots of the event lie in the Kokoda Campaign of World War II, and the bravery and sacrifice our Australian Diggers displayed to hold off the Japanese invasion in Papua New Guinea. The part our heroes played almost certainly protected Australia from direct invasion. Each team is required to fundraise a minimum of $1,600 towards the Kokoda Youth Foundation, funding their youth programs and the kids that participate in them.
Jess and her three teammates, aptly named “Terrifico Pacifico” completed the gruelling course in 32 hours, 30 mins. To quote Jess: “Very glad to have finished considering I hobbled for the last 40kms! It was the most gruelling and painful experience of my life! But yes the feeling of accomplishment and completion of the course is a pride worthy moment.”
Congratulations Jess on an amazing effort!