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Principal to take on Kokoda Track

​Paul Blinkhoff and daughter Sophie are ready to tackle the Kokoda Track to raise money
and awareness of Motor Neurone Disease

ST Oliver Plunkett School, Cannon Hill, principal Paul Blinkhoff is about to take on the challenge of a lifetime – walking in the footsteps of Anzacs who defended the treacherous 96-kilometer Kokoda Track in WWII.

Paul will fly to Papua New Guinea to tackle the track, which involves climbs of up to 2190 metres (Mt Bellamy), in hot temperatures and high humidity.

His aim, to raise much-needed money for MND and the Me Foundation, who support people and their families living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in Queensland.

Paul will be joined by 14-year-old daughter, Sophie, a former student at Mater Dei School, Ashgrove West, his brother and sister and his 15-year-old niece, as well as group of 23 friends.

He said he was under no illusions about the task he faced.

“It will no doubt be a huge challenge, both mentally and physically,” he said.

“But nothing compared to the battle with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) that acclaimed foreign correspondent and family friend Sean Dorney was currently fighting.

“As such, we’re trying to make a difference and support the MND and Me Foundation - a cause we really care about.

“We’ll cover more than 96km in just nine days, with approximately 12,000m in total elevation – 6,000m up, and yes 6,000m back down again."

Paul said he was feeling really excited, but incredibly nervous.

“We’ve been training four to five mornings a week – doing long circuits around Mt Coot-Tha and the stairs at Kangaroo Pt,” he said. (to check out their training regime visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqkJWSpxKkM&feature=youtu.be)

He said in a way the trip will be a coming home for him.

“It’s where I grew up,” he said.

“(As kids) we used to play out where the track starts/ends, ride horses around Bomana War Cemetary and swim in the Goldie River (where the military barracks are still located).

The group will depart for PNG on April 16th and return April 28th and will be on the trail for ANZAC Day.

Paul said he and Sophie, currently in Year 9 at Mt St Michael’s College, Ashgrove, had surpassed $2,300 in their fundraising efforts and their group had topped the $50k mark.

He thanked all those within BCE for their generous donations and said there was still time to donate to help them continue their important work.

To donate visit https://ttcmnd.everydayhero.com/au/trekking-to-cure-mnd-4 “We'd really appreciate it if you could help through sponsoring us,” Paul said.


Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101