A group of Kokoda Track porters from Papua New Guinea toured Bendigo Senior Secondary College on Monday as part of the No Roads to Health program.
The No Roads to Health program aims at increasing health among villages along the Kokoda Track.
BSSC has a close relationship with the porters with student trekking groups visiting the Kokoda Track over the last two years.
The porters were treated to a barbecue breakfast, a school tour and performance at an assembly in the Ulumbarra theatre.
The visit was a chance for staff and students to meet the porters, listen to their incredible singing and hear about the special issues facing locals along the Kokoda Track.
No Roads guide George Buchhorn said for a lot of Papua New Guinean visitors, it was their first time outside of Port Moresby.
“They tour the city (Melbourne) and even things like seeing a tram or train, some of them have never seen something that big that is moving without blowing smoke or making a lot of noise,” Mr Buchhorn said.
“It's a bit of a shock but they take all that knowledge and experience back with them and it helps them with their standing in their community, their village and their families.”
No Roads has been operating since 2007 and works to give back to villages and communities along the Kokoda Track.
“We are one of the few companies that puts back into the track and that’s a big part of why porters come and visit here,” Mr Buchhorn said.
“We set up a program where we take doctors and nurses to the Kokoda Track and provide (medical) clinics in the different villages.
“In one clinic you can see 90 to 100 people come in with all sorts of ailments. This year we were able to bring two boys to Melbourne for surgery that they can’t get in Papua New Guinea.”
BSSC teacher Dan Hurrell said two student groups of 12 and 10 had visited the Kokoda Track.
“Student responses have been incredible. Students are amazed with the culture, the history and the way (they’re) welcomed to community,” he said.
The next BSSC trip to Kokoda is planned for 2017.
“It's a pretty big trip to prepare for but for the (students) that go it is a life-changing experience,” BSSC Net School teacher Jannah Staley said.
For more information visit www.noroads.com.au.