Walking 96 kilometres is no easy job, but 13 year old Matt Isherwood has achieved just that and more, and all for a good cause.
For the month of March, Matt, who hails from the Mallee town of Sea Lake, spent much of his free time getting his steps up whilst raising money for veterans and their families.
"This cause is so important because everybody needs somebody, and if I can help at least one veteran in some way or another, then that is a good thing to do."
Matt chose to walk 96 kilometres, the length of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, to honour the courage and sacrifice of our veterans.
The Kokoda Track marks the course of one of the most important battles for Australians in WW2, which saw more than 600 Australians die, and over a thousand wounded in the four months of fighting.
The teen started his journey in Nandaly and made his way through a number of towns over the month, ending his epic journey at the Sea Lake RSL Sub Branch.
Matt had many keen volunteers walk alongside him over the month, including the Sea Lake RSL Sub-Branch President Peter Stewart, who shared in the last 8.6 kilometres of the walk.
"It was an honour and pleasure to walk the last part with young Matt on his walk to raise funds for veteran mental health. Matty is a very caring young man, who shows a lot of initiative in finding ways to help others."
Not only did Matt end up walking more than three times the length of the Kokoda Track, but he also raised over $4,000, which will go towards veteran programs.
"This young man is a fine example of how every generation can make an effort to contribute towards supporting our veteran community."
Dr Robert Webster OAM
“Not only has Matt been able to raise some much-needed funds, but he has also importantly raised the profile on veteran needs,” Dr Webster said.
At the end of his walk, Matt was given a police escort into Sea Lake by a local police officer, and was warmly received by family, friends and supporters.