Ella’s ‘big’ walk de­liv­ers the ‘smalls’ for Kokoda Track

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY -

SCHOOL hol­i­days are a time to chill out, catch up on some sleep, and maybe take in a movie, right?

Not for St Ur­sula’s Col­lege stu­dent Ella Boyd. She spent the mid-se­mes­ter break trekking the ar­du­ous Kokoda Track, and hand­ing out the equiv­a­lent of one pair of un­der­wear ev­ery 100m to villagers along the way.

Ella is a young woman with a big heart, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and the pas­sion to im­prove the lives of those less for­tu­nate.

“My dad has walked the Kokoda Trail 16 times, and I al­ways knew it was some­thing I wanted to do – but then I re­alised I could use the walk to also help the villagers in Pa­pua New Guinea,” the Year 12 stu­dent said.

“I found out that women in these vil­lages do not have un­der­wear, and I thought how hard that would be, es­pe­cially dur­ing their men­strual cy­cles.

“Ini­tially I hoped to be able to take 96 pairs of un­der­wear with me so that I could hand out the equiv­a­lent of one pair per kilo­me­tre, but it ended up be­ing much more than that.” YOUNG LEADER: St Ur­sula’s Col­lege stu­dent Ella Boyd with un­der­wear col­lected for her Say No to Com­mando cam­paign.

Ten times more, in fact. The gen­er­ous Toowoomba com­mu­nity ral­lied be­hind Ella, and helped her col­lect more than 960 pairs of un­der­wear, weigh­ing 30kg, and re­quir­ing the ser­vices of an ad­di­tional porter along the trek.

One per­son who is par­tic­u­larly proud of Ella is St Ur­sula’s Col­lege prin­ci­pal Tanya Ap­pleby, who says the stu­dent’s com­mit­ment and

ser­vice are ad­mirable.

“Ella re­ally rep­re­sents the best of our school, and we could not be more proud of her,” she said.

“Part of our ethos here at St Ur­sula’s is em­pow­er­ing the girls to bring about pos­i­tive change in the world by us­ing their tal­ents and gifts. Ella has not only iden­ti­fied a need, but has worked hard to ad­dress that need.”

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