Federal Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare MP is taking two members of the Auburn Tigers AFL Club on the Black Cat Track in Papua New Guinea next month.
Amna Karra-Hassan and Lael Kassem are two of the six young people from Western Sydney selected to accompany Jason on the Black Cat Mateship Trek.
This is the third Mateship Trek Jason has organised. In 2009 he took young people from Bankstown along the Kokoda Track. In 2011 Jason took students from our local high schools to retrace the footsteps of World War Two POWs along the Sandakan Death March.
This year the Mateship Trek will return to Papua New Guinea to walk the Black Cat Track over the Anzac Day period and will involve six young people from Western Sydney.
Black Cat Track was the scene for a series of bloody battles during 1943. Although not as well known as the Kokoda campaign, the battles fought along the ‘Black Cat Track’ were some of the most important fought by Australian forces in the Second World War.
Mr Clare said this is an important opportunity for young people to understand the significance of our military history and share their very different experiences of being Australian.
“I am doing this to help young people in our local community. They are our future leaders,” Mr Clare said.
“I know that the Mateship Trek is working when the young people I have taken to Kokoda and Sandakan all tell me that ANZAC day is now so special for them.
Amna and Lael co-founded the first female AFL team in Sydney’s western suburbs, the Auburn Tigers.
The Auburn Tigers is a team made up of young women from different backgrounds. As team manager and coach both Amna and Lael continue to be positive role models for young women in our community.
Ready to tackle Mateship Trek head on, both girls braved the wet weather and travelled to the Blue Mountains to train in preparation for Papua New Guinea.
Amna Karra-Hassan from Granville said she wanted to be challenged by this experience.
“I want young women to see me as a role model with limitless aspirations. I want to inspire them to dream big and believe they can achieve anything they set their mind to,” Ms Karra-Hassan said.
Lael Kassem from Guildford said she was proud to have been chosen to be a part of the 2013 Mateship Trek.
“The conditions we faced in the Blue Mountains over the weekend were just a taste of what we can expect on the Black Cat Track – I can’t wait,” Ms Kassem said.
Media contact: Chris Zogopoulos 02 9790 2466