Keeping the Spirit of Kokoda Alive

Established in 2004 by Doug Henderson and his wife Anna, The Kokoda Youth Foundation (KYF) supports Australians by inspiring them to do extraordinary things. Through hiking endurance events, local youth programs and two outdoor education facilities, we challenge deeply held beliefs, allow limits and abilites to be explored, and provide opportunities for growth.

The Kokoda Challenge events are operated by the Kokoda Youth Foundation with the mission to achieve three main things; keep the spirit of Kokoda alive through educating participants about the history of the Kokoda Campaign in 1942, raise funds our local youth programs that transform the lives of kids in our community and deliver Australia's toughest team endurance event for our competitors so they too can push their own physical and mental limits while walking in the footsteps of our diggers. 

Central to KYF is the Spirit of Kokoda, embodying Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice. These values take their origin from Australian soldiers who fought on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea during WWII. Still relevant today, KYF's central mission is to reignite these timeless values into our communities:


our mission

To change lives through the spirit of Kokoda.

The Kokoda Youth Foundation is an Australian charity that runs a variety of youth programs. These programs encourage youth in our local communities to undergo life changing experiences, allowing them to reach their full potential as young adults.

Programs are focused on getting young Australians to engage with the Kokoda values of ...

Courage - endurance - mateship - sacrifice

Brisbane Kokoda Challenge



To step outside your
comfort zone and stand
up for what's important.



To stay the
journey and never
give up.


To act with integrity,
embrace diversity and have
each others back.


To serve a
cause greater
than self.


KYF is a registered charity and Public Benevolent Institution, relying on fundraising, volunteer support, sponsorship and government funding. The bulk of our funding comes from the fundraising efforts of our Kokoda Challenge Events participants; particularly from 'The Kokoda Challenge', the 96 kilometre event held on the Gold Coast each year. Our participants support KYF, supporting young Australians. The Spirit of Kokoda demonstrates that when we work together, look out for each other and show commitment to a task, things that at first seem impossible suddenly become achievable.



Our Founder and Chairman, Doug Henderson OAM, has been on the forefront of veteran’s issues for more than fifteen years. He was inspired to start KYF in July 2004 after listening to a guest speaker at an RSL conference talk about the Battle of Kokoda and the Pacific Campaign. Compelled by the story, Doug teamed up with the Gold Coast Bushwalking Club and hosted our first cross-country fundraising event to sponsor twelve 'Kokoda Kids' to walk the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea in 2005. KYF has now grown from this single youth program and event to a range of youth programs, events and camps around Australia.