Kaitlyn Pobar is geared up to walk the Kokoda Track to raise funds for police mental illness.
Kaitlyn Pobar is geared up to walk the Kokoda Track to raise funds for police mental illness. John McCutcheon

Emotional trekker doing it for dad

EXCITEMENT is building in Kaitlyn Pobar's Mudjimba home for what is expected to be an emotional trek honouring her late father.

Mrs Pobar and her husband David are three weeks away from landing in a former war zone famed for a muddy, dangerous track which weaves across it.

Her decision to walk the Kokoda Track came a few weeks after her father, former Sunshine Coast police officer Detective Senior Constable Russell Sheehan, took his own life.

She is now a board member for police mental health support charity Blue Hope.

"I am doing it (the trek) for Blue Hope but I'm doing it in memory of my dad," Mrs Pobar, 30, said.

"He was really interested in war history."

The Pobars will take six current serving police officers from around Australia as well as a friend and administration officer with them on the eight-night adventure.

Mrs Pobar said the serving officers were all motivated by colleagues who had suffered from the mental health consequences of the job.

They leave for Papua New Guinea on August 18.

"It's supposed to be one of the driest, coolest times."

More than $10,000 has already been raised as a result of the trek to go to Blue Hope.

"Dad was well-known in our circles and the policing community.

"It's actually one of many fundraisers that have been done in his name, which is nice."

Between now and then she just plans to keep training hard.

She has been traversing hinterland trails for practice.

"It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"I'll obviously be appreciating what the diggers did over there but also missing dad."

For more information or to support the fundraising cause visit www.bluehope.com.au or www.mycause.com.au/events/kokodateamchallenge.

For support call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.


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