Field Mining Services successfully completed their Kokoda Track hike in April 2023, raising over $18,000 for the Bravery Trust ANZAC Day campaign.
Rainee Shepperson, a spokesperson for FMS, explained that the company had originally planned to hike Kokoda in 2020 but due to Covid-19, the trip had to be postponed.
“We have a PNG Division with about 50 staff working in PNG with the local workforce, so we wanted to give some of those staff an opportunity to complete Kokoda and experience that history of the country where they work,” explained Rainee.
“It was decided to throw the opportunity out to our other divisions in CQ and WA as well, and 10 people were selected who put their name forward and showed interest. These 10 people are a mix of directors, corporate office staff and site tradespeople from CQ, WA, and PNG divisions.”
In terms of fundraising for the Bravery Trust, FMS had organised a range of activities, including donation boxes, raffles, staff barbecues, and fundraising events.
“At FMS we have a monthly BBQ to raise money for a charity or organisation, so it was easy to use this planned BBQ as a way to raise funds for Bravery Trust. These BBQs are a big part of our culture here at FMS as we like to give back to the community as much as possible,” said Rainee.
The Kokoda trek was very physically and mentally challenging, with approximately six hours of hiking each day in rough terrain and high altitude.
A big part of the challenge was pushing forward each day even when hikers were physically and mentally exhausted. It was important for the team to come together and support each other throughout the journey and motivate each other to keep going.
To ensure safety during the hike, the FMS group packed strategically with plenty of medical supplies and medications. The hikers had completed plenty of research to ensure they were aware of the conditions and completed the trek with Aurora Adventures and were accompanied by porters. The hikers had also completed group training sessions for months to increase their fitness levels and endurance. None of the FMS group had completed the trek previously, so they relied on their training and the guidance of their tour group.
The main purpose of all of FMS’s fundraising efforts is to give back to organisations that help those who live in their community. The Bravery Trust provides emergency financial relief and financial counselling to serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force who have an injury or illness as a result of their service. FMS’s fundraising efforts were aimed at supporting their important work.
Shepperson explained, “We are big on investing back into the region where our staff live and work. Team culture and providing positive opportunities for our staff is also a priority for the company and something like this is part of that culture strategy and a way to promote it.”
FMS’s commitment to giving back to their community and fostering a positive team culture was on full display throughout the trek. One of FMS’s staff members, Jordan Hunter, went on the trek and documented the journey through videography, including interviews with the hikers. The content was posted on FMS’s social media pages to share their experience with others and we recommend checking it out.
All in all, it was an awesome adventure for a great cause!