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Kokoda Youth Foundation 3 mins read
Parents verse their children in the crate stack activity as part of the Digital Detox camp.

In an age where children spend up to 30% of their waking hours glued to screens, the Kokoda Youth Foundation is taking a stand with its innovative Digital Detox Program (DDP). This initiative echo’s the messaging of News Corp’s ‘Let Them be Kids’ campaign and comes as a timely response to the growing concerns over the impact of digital overuse on the physical and mental well-being of young Australians, aged 5-17.

The Kokoda Youth Foundation is proud to announce the 11th  iteration of its Digital Detox Program (DDP), an initiative promoting balanced technology use among young Australians. As research continues to highlight excessive screen time’s impact on our young people, the DDP stands out as a practical, cost-free solution offered during school holidays.

The 8-day DDP, set amidst the natural backdrop of Coffs Coast Adventure Centre, combines mindfulness, educational workshops, and exciting outdoor adventures. It’s a holistic approach designed to foster self-awareness and the importance of real-world connections.

Thanks to the support of Kokoda Challenge participants, funds raised from the October 12th Lake Macquarie Kokoda Challenge will enable the Kokoda Youth Foundation to provide this incredible program at no cost to families.

“We’re dedicated to providing life-changing experiences that empower our youth,” says Johllene Cooper, CEO of the Kokoda Youth Foundation. “In the wake of increased digital consumption, the DDP offers young people a chance to reset and gain perspective on their screen time. Our 11th program is a significant achievement, showcasing our ongoing dedication to fostering healthy digital habits.”

The Foundation is now accepting applications from the Lake Macquarie region for the next DDP, scheduled for the September school holidays. Since its inception, the program has seen nine successful iterations, with the last two days of each camp involving parents to promote a family-wide approach to technology management.

Harry, a participant from the January 2023 program, shares, “I thought I had my screen time under control, but I learned a lot. The activities were amazing, and I made great friends. I now use technology more carefully. I’d encourage any 12-14 year old to attend—you’d miss out on a lot if you didn’t.”

In a step towards creating a healthier digital generation, the DDP equips families with the tools to navigate the digital landscape positively, mitigating the risks of digital dependency and fostering mental health resilience.

Amanda, a parent whose child participated in the April 2024 program, expressed her gratitude, “The most heartfelt thank you to the Kokoda Foundation and to the entire crew of DDP9 - you are changing lives and this needs to be shouted from all the rooftops what an amazing effort you are all doing!”. 

The NSW Digital Detox Program camp will take place from October 6th to 13th. Applications can be made through the foundation’s website at

Digital Detox Program – October School holidays for New South Wales teenagers

Dates: 6th – 13th of October 2024

Eligibility: 12 to 14-year-olds as of the October school holidays

Cost: Free (Funded through proceeds of the Lake Macquarie Kokoda Challenge)

Location: Coffs Coast Adventure Centre, 226 Bonville Station Road, Bonville, NSW, 2450

Key Facts:

Free 8 day camp for young people aged 12-14 who struggle with impact of technology overuse.

Series of outdoor activites and workshops that provide practical solutions for families to adopt.

Fully funded by funds raised in the Lake Macquarie Kokoda Challenge.


About us:

About Kokoda Youth Foundation: First established in 2004, the foundation is a registered charity which offers transformative youth programs to young people aged 12-18. Inspired by the values of Courage, Endurance, Mateship, and Sacrifice exemplified by the soldiers of the Kokoda Campaign in WWII, the foundation is predominately self-funded through the yearly Kokoda Challenge team endurance events in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Lake Macquaire (NSW). Through its Youth Programs, Outdoor Education facilities and the Kokoda Challenge events, the foundation fosters resilience, teamwork, and personal growth.

Contact details:

Chris Emert

Digital Detox Coordinator

Ph: (07) 5539 4141


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