We Our Carriers!
KST team members believe they have the best porters on the Kokoda Track. Having said that, KST’s porters are referred to as ’carriers’ given it better reflects the tradition of their grandfathers, the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, who provided such support and care to Australian soldiers.Just as they helped the Diggers across the track, so too do the carriers. For many students, their carrier becomes their shadow, helping to find firm footing among the tree roots and stopping a slide or two in the mud.
Carriers are an important part of the business – they are part of the team and KST insist they are treated with respect. With KST’s encouragement, villages in the Northern Beaches have formed a committee which has the responsibility for team selections. Carriers are chosen for many reasons – obviously they need to be physically fit and strong, however they have also had to develop skills in many other areas including customer service,teamwork, cooking, safety, etc.
Another criterion is community involvement – it’s not enough to do the right thing on the track, the carriers take their skills back to their villages and their behaviour must reflect community expectation. On occasion, boys who have found themselves with difficulties have been offered the opportunity to work with the trekking teams. The committee using this as a means of giving that individual an opportunity to get ‘back on track’. This is a wonderful way of dealing with youth who might otherwise become wayward and has been very successful thus far.
Carriers take their responsibilities very seriously. Theirs is an honoured profession and it is treated as such. KST love their thirst for learning and provide personal development opportunities when possible.
KST also love seeing the interaction between carriers and students as shyness levels break down and a relationship of trust, affection and respect is born.