"My Boys"

Remembering those from the First World War

Their Stories

Cowey–Selman Kokoda Scholarship

The Cowey – Selman Kokoda Scholarship is a scholarship made available to Year 11 students at secondary colleges throughout the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

The scholarship will enable a Yarra Ranges’ student to walk the Kokoda Trail in 2025.

Closing date for entries is the 22nd March 2024. Read the full details of the scholarship and the application requirements here.

Welcome to Monbulk RSL

Monbulk RSL is a traditional RSL Sub Branch located within the small hills township of Monbulk, in the Yarra Ranges.

Situated in the main street, the memorial gates and 1950's RSL Hall stand as symbols of the high regard that the Hills community has for those who served in the World Wars and wars thereafter. The Sub Branch continues to sponsor the wellbeing of veterans, serving and ex serving men and women of the forces and the wider community organisations and individuals.

Besides being a convivial meeting place for the locals the Monbulk RSL is a venue for Legacy and the Country Women's Association (CWA).

Monbulk RSL is located at 48 Main Road Monbulk VIC 3793 (see map).

Postal address: PO Box 105 Monbulk 3793

Telephone: (03) 9752 1100

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

President: Mr John Surridge 0419 517 030

Secretary: Mr Craig VandenBerg 0408 311 165 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Where to find us:



39 Battalion Association logoGetaway Trekking logoRSL logo 300


The Cowey - Selman Kokoda Scholarship is available each year to Year 11 students who are enrolled in a secondary school or college within the Shire of Yarra Ranges. The scholarship provides the opportunity for students to join a Kokoda trek at no cost to themselves other than their personal medications, spending money and gifts for the Papua New Guinea locals. The successful students will be offered assistance with training prior to the trek.

The award is the initiative of the 39th Infantry Battalion (1941-43) Association Inc. and the Mount Evelyn, Monbulk and Lilydale RSL sub-branches.

The Competition

This competition, held annually within the Shire of Yarra Ranges, was first held in 2022 and is named after two Yarra Ranges’ residents, Jim Cowey and Geoff Selman who served with the 39th Infantry Battalion in Papua New Guinea. The competition is open to all Year 11 students from secondary schools and colleges within the Shire of Yarra Ranges. Each winner will receive a fully sponsored, escorted trip to Kokoda to learn first-hand something of Australia’s history.

The concept came from similar competitions:

  • Baw Baw Shire (the George Collins Kokoda Award).
  • Cardinia Shire (the Harold Bould/Wilma Young (Cardinia) Kokoda Award).
  • East Gippsland Shire (the Arthur Grassby Award).

The purpose of the competition is to encourage young people to research and understand the sacrifice by so many ordinary people, like residents from the Shire of Yarra Ranges and Papua New Guinea, made in WW2 to keep our nations free.

The Diggers

James Cowey MC was born in 1890. In WW1 he served in Egypt, Gallipoli and across the Western Front. He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry near Hamel on 18th/19th September 1918 in Northern France. He re-enlisted for WW2 and served as a Staff Sergeant with the 39th Battalion. A resident of The Patch, we believe Jim is the only enlisted man to actively serve at both the Gallipoli Landing and crucial 2nd Battle of Kokoda. Jim passed away in 1968. Further detail of Jim Coweys’ life and service can be accessed here.

Harold Geoffrey (“Geoff”) Selman was born in 1921 and served as a Private in the 39th Battalion. A resident of Lilydale, he was Killed in Action at Gona on 14th December 1942. Geoff is buried in Bomana War Cemetery, Port Moresby and remembered on the cenotaph in Lilydale.



James CoweyJames Cowey

Harold SelmanHarold Selman


2022 Competition

The inaugural winner of the scholarship was Cameron Liligan from Cire Community School in Mount Evelyn. Cameron trekked the Kokoda Trail in October 2022. Cameron’s story and an article on the scholarship award ceremony can be accessed here

Kokoda Trek Details

The trek takes 10 days (8 days of trekking) and covers 96km of difficult country. A reasonable level of physical fitness is required, along with mental endurance and determination. Airfares, accommodation costs, travel insurance, trek costs and equipment (boots, clothes, passport, if necessary) will be covered. Personal spending money, snacks, personal medications and gifts for the local Papua New Guinea people (e.g. nail polish and lipstick for the girls and small, light toys for the boys) are to be met by the successful candidate.

Details of the trek and the Kokoda Trail may be found at https://getawaytrekking.com.au/

How To Apply

Students in Year 11 in 2023 wishing to apply for the scholarship should download and read the application details document. When submitting your application, ensure all documents are provided to your high school or college. You can complete an entry using any medium desired (e.g. PowerPoint, art, poetry or essay of up to 600 words), answering two questions in relation to the Kokoda and Northern Beaches Campaign:
  1. What was the importance of the Kokoda Campaign in the Battle for Australia?
  2. Why would you like to trek the Kokoda Trail?
Entries are to be submitted to the candidate’s school/college, with each participating school/college submitting up to two short-listed entries to Monbulk RSL sub-branch (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by the 24th March 2023, together with the candidate’s Parental permission and a confidential reference from the school / college Principal.


In February 2022, a successful plant sale was held at Lilydale Baptist Church on the corner of Hull and Swansea Roads in Lilydale. Many thanks go to Craig Vandenberg, who was the convenor and nurseryman on site, and all of the wholesale nursery donors for this event:

Vandenberg Wholesale Nursery, Silvan
Shipseys Nurseries, Monbulk
Rhodo Glen Nurseries, The Patch
Patch of Pride Nursery, The Patch
DNA Propagation, Silvan
Flash Plants,Mount Evelyn
Humphris Nursery, Mooroolbark
Collings Wholesale Nursery, Silvan
Larkman Nurseries, Lilydale
Warners Nurseries, Narre Warren North

Financial supporters and sponsors are required in order for the scholarship to continue. Businesses are asked to commit to a yearly amount over 4 years to support the long-term viability of the program. Pledges can be made to Matthew Crymble (President Mount Evelyn RSL), Bill Dobson (President Lilydale RSL) or Bill Ford (President Monbulk RSL). All funding is held and managed by the Mount Evelyn RSL sub-branch. Donations and sponsorships may be tax deductible.


References, to assist students research the Kokoda and Northern Beaches campaign, can be accessed here.

Scholarship Sponsors and Supporters

The Scholarship Committee of Management would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors and supporters for their generous support. Without this support, the scholarship would not be possible.

YRC logo     The scholarship is supported by Yarra Ranges Council with funding provided via the 2020 Grants for Community program.
BB logo    

Community Bank Mount Evelyn
2/35-39 Wray Crescent Mt Evelyn VIC 3796
David Watt, Manager: 9737 1833

Community Bank Mount Evelyn : Bendigo Bank

LM logo    

33 Hutchinson Street, Lilydale


PC logo    

Best coffee in Mount Evelyn!!
3/55 Wray Crescent, Mount Evelyn


LBC logo    

Lilydale Baptist Church
305 Swansea Road (Cnr. Hull Road), Lilydale

9735 2233

 OT logo     Specialists in preparing outdoor equipment for all kinds of expeditions.
26B Research Drive, Croydon South
Mitchell Pratt 1300 279 959
 Monbulk Bowling Club logo    

Monbulk Bowling Club
Bowls, Bar and Bistro
11 Moores Road, Monbulk

 Healesville RSL logo      

Healesville RSL
Bistro open every day - lunch and dinner
275 – 279 Maroondah Highway, Healesville 3777
Phone: (03) 5962 5017

 Upper Yarra RSL logo      

Upper Yarra RSL
Open for Lunch and Dinner 7 days
119 Settlement Road, Yarra Junction
Phone: (03) 5967 1771

Gardeners Run logo    
Chirnside Park Country Club
Family Style Restaurant
68 Kingswood Drive, Chirnside Park
Phone: (03) 9726 7788
Gardiners Run Golf Course
130-132 Victoria Rd, Lilydale

Professionals logo    
Professionals Real Estate
Croydon: (03) 9725 0000 / Lilydale: (03) 9735 3367
Mooroolbark: (03) 9726 8888 / Mount Evelyn: (03) 9736 3999
Yarra Valley: (03) 5967 1800


Monbulk CWA


Contact for more information:
      Wendy Dennison: (03) 9756 7012

Monbulk RSL Newsletter


MembershipMonbulk RSL needs your membership. Membership is just $30 a year and can be:

  • Social
  • Service
  • Affiliate

Our members are:

  • Serving men and women
  • Ex-service men and women
  • Relatives of ADF service personnel
  • Emergency Services personnel
    (serving and ex)
  • Social members from the community


For more information contact:
    Memberships Manager
    Peter Frazer - 0408 000 073


LegacyLegacy assists our widows and families with caring, compassionate support.

Worth a Look

Silas roll call painting

Why not visit the 'Gallipoli and the Anzacs' web site created by the Dept of Veterans Affairs. It has a wealth of information on the history of Gallipoli with photos, maps and other memorabilia.

Go to www.gallipoli.gov.au and explore.

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