Kokoda spirit lives on

May 26, 2015

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Dean Miller, parent and Queensland Weekender host
Dean Miller, parent and Queensland Weekender host
David 'Luttsy' Lutteral, Old Boy and Nova FM breakfast host
David 'Luttsy' Lutteral, Old Boy and Nova FM breakfast host
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St Joseph’s Nudgee College Assembly was treated to a special presentation by Nova FM’s breakfast host Mr David ‘Luttsy’ Lutteral and Channel Seven’s Queensland Weekender host Mr Dean Miller following their recent journey through the Kokoda Track commemorating the ANZAC centenary.
 
Their pilgrimage followed in the footsteps of Australian soldiers who defended their country along the Kokoda track in 1942 and was captured for a Channel Seven television documentary.
 
Dean, a Nudgee College parent, said this experience highlighted the extraordinary tale of the battle of Kokoda when Australian soldiers were victorious against all odds.
 
“The documentary tells the story of the battle in 1942, but also our personal battles walking the 96 kilometres through the mountainous terrain in Papa New Guinea,” he said.
 
“Once we hit the track all the physical, emotional and mental preparation we thought we had made was tested from day one.”
 
As well as the most challenging thing he had ever done, Dean added it was also the best.
 
“No matter how hard it was to us in our personal battle, imagine what it would have been like all those years ago – being an 18 year old soldier, ill or injured and being chased by enemy fire,” he said.
 
During the presentation, Dean highlighted four words he considered absolute touchstones for success in life – courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice.
 
“These words are the keys to victory when taking on anything in life, whether it is a scholastic challenge, a sporting challenge, or walking the Kokoda track,” he said.
 
“We finished Kokoda with sore knees, some with missing toenails, but through the mud, blood, sweat and tears was a great sense of accomplishment with a new group of friends that will have a special bond for life.”

Nudgee College Old Boy ‘Luttsy’ then spoke of the ANZAC spirit and how he thought it had personified at Kokoda through first-hand experience of what the young soldiers did.
 
“This year I was lucky enough to meet Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts Smith – a modern day war hero,” he said.
 
“In Afghanistan in 2011, Ben put his life on the line to save his mates by single-handily storming enemy machine gun positions while his mates were pinned down and vulnerable to what could have been a fatal attack,” he said.
 
Luttsy highlighted how Ben’s actions demonstrated the four touchstones of courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice.
 
“Before leaving for Kokoda, I turned to Ben for advice and he said the ANZAC values such as toughness, mateship, egalitarianism and competiveness characterise the Australian digger, as well as the nation today, and I think it also characterises young Nudgee College men,” he said.
 
“The sign of faith has become more than a school motto over the past century here at Nudgee College.
 
“Like the spirit of the ANZACs, and what it means to be Australian, Signum Fidei represents a set of values - a character - that we as Nudgee College men and people associated with Nudgee College, can proudly identify as being something distinctly different from everyone else. Something that will stay with you from the rest of your life.”
 
Since his time at Nudgee College, Luttsy explained not a week has gone by that a fellow Nudgee College man who shares those same values hadn’t enriched his life.
 
“It could be your mates now, those that left the College years before, and those who won’t get here until you are long gone - probably a combination of all three,” he said.
 
Being a Nudgee College Old Boy, Luttsy’s enthusiasm for his alma mater was certainly evident when he joined in with the College war cry.
 
View the Kokoda 2015 documentary.
 
View Week 5 College Assembly
 
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