|Special journey: Blaxland MP Jason Clare at the Australian War Museum for the launch of the 2013 Mateship Trek.|
BLAXLAND MP Jason Clare will host the Mateship Trek in Papua New Guinea this Anzac Day.
Mr Clare is walking the Black Cat Track from Wau to Salamaua in Papua New Guinea with a group of Australians to commemorate the 70th anniversary of World War II campaigns in the area.
The Mateship Trek is a bipartisan program established four years ago to bring together young Australians from different backgrounds to learn about each other, their potential and Australian military history.
The trek will conclude with a dawn service at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Lae, where about 2800 men and women have been laid to rest. Almost 700 were killed in action on or around the Black Cat Track.
In January 1943, Australian forces defended the Wau airstrip against the Japanese.
On Anzac Day the order was given to surge towards Salamaua across what became known as the bloody ranges of northern New Guinea. Salamaua was taken by the Allies on September 11, 1943.
"The story of Kokoda is well known. Unfortunately, the heroic efforts of the Australian soldiers on the Black Cat Track a few months later have been largely forgotten," Mr Clare said.
"We need to fix this.
"That's what this trek is about. Walking in the footsteps of Australian soldiers, honouring them, learning their stories and making a commitment to live a life worthy of the sacrifices they made for us."
The Mateship Treks are held every two years.
The first, in 2009, was along the Kokoda Track. In 2011 the group retraced the path of the World War II prisoners of war in Borneo during the Sandakan Death March.