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The Selu Family: Guardians of the Kokoda Track

The Selu family has long been deeply rooted in the lands of Koiari and Biage, maintaining close ties to the clans and serving as the guardians of the people traversing the Kokoda Track corridor for generations. Their legacy is a tapestry of leadership, valor, and service that has shaped the history and development of the region.

Origins and Early Legacy

The Selu family’s involvement with the Kokoda Track began with their great-great-grandfather, a respected clan elder and warrior. His leadership and bravery established the family as prominent figures in the area, laying a foundation of respect and authority that would be carried through subsequent generations.

Kekeve Selu: From Warrior to Community Pillar

Kekeve Selu, the son of the clan elder, embraced Christianity and played a crucial role during World War II. As a carrier, he supported the Allied forces in the Kokoda Campaign, a contribution that went beyond the war itself. After the conflict, Kekeve established a trade store that became a central hub for the community. He also played a pivotal role in the construction of the Kagi Air Strip, which enhanced connectivity and economic opportunities for the region.

Vovovi James Selu: Law, Order, and Governance

Kekeve’s son, the late Vovovi James Selu, continued the family’s tradition of service and leadership. As a senior constable in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, he dedicated himself to upholding law and order. His career later transitioned into politics, where he served in the Central Provincial Government, managing various portfolios that addressed community needs and development. Vovovi’s political journey culminated in his significant role within the Koiari Local Level Government (KLLG), where he served as president, furthering his impact on local governance and development initiatives.

Modern-Day Stewards: Kenneth and Lawrence Selu

Today, Kenneth and Lawrence Selu, sons of the esteemed Hon Vovovi J. Selu MBE, own and run Niugini Adventure Tours. They carry forward the family’s legacy, providing seamless and enjoyable experiences for international trekkers. Their tours respect the trail’s nature as both an outdoor adventure and a pilgrimage site to honour the soldiers of WWII.

Their father, Hon Vovovi J. Selu MBE, played a key role in establishing the Kokoda Track Authority (KTA), ensuring the preservation and sustainable management of this historic trail. This initiative underscores the broader governmental efforts to boost tourism and economic activity in the region, promising a brighter future for residents and a richer experience for visitors.

One Vision, One Goal: Preserving the Kokoda Legacy

The Selu family’s vision aligns with a common goal: to maintain one Kokoda Track and one Papua New Guinea. Their commitment to this vision highlights the importance of unity and shared objectives in preserving the track’s legacy while fostering development and opportunity.

The Selu family’s story is a testament to their enduring guardianship of the Kokoda Track, blending tradition with modern stewardship. Their efforts ensure that the track remains a vital part of Papua New Guinea’s heritage, honouring the past while looking forward to a promising future for the region and its people.

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