On August 2, two guest speakers visited to speak with Year 9s about their experiences walking the Kokoda Track.
Peter Kirkwood, who started the charity Trekking for Melanoma, and Shayne Chisholm did the walk in April. Peter briefly spoke to us about his involvement in raising awareness of the most serious skin cancer, melanoma.
Peter was diagnosed with melanoma three years ago, and underwent treatment three weeks after diagnosis. During this time, he was able to reflect on the different perspectives and mindsets he could take towards this significant turning point in his life.
He told us, he could ask himself ‘Why me?’, as most people do. Instead, he spoke about how he made it his mission to raise awareness in Bendigo about the cancer and to raise funds for the Bendigo Health Foundation to make Bendigo an accessible place for treatment for the condition. This linked the Year 9 empathy theme for this semester.
Peter spoke about the Kokoda Track, and how the children that live along the track weren’t phased by what they don’t have, and we’re very grateful for everything that Peter and Shane gave them, no matter what the size. Shane also informed us about his recent experiences of reenacting the experiences of World War 2 soldiers who worked and fought along the Kokoda Track.
We are very grateful that Shane and Peter were able to come in and share their experiences with us, it has demonstrated true gratitude. Thank you to both Peter and Shane, your stories have definitely made us rethink our attitude towards the things we do have, compared to what we don’t have, and we appreciate you taking the time to share these wonderful observations with us.
— Alex and Mietta, 9R