Nelson Bay police officer Marguerite Behan trekking Kokoda to give back to NSW Police Legacy

EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME: Senior Constable Marguerite Behan, from Nelson Bay, on the Tomaree Head walk, which she used to train in preparation for walking the Kokoda Trail. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME: Senior Constable Marguerite Behan, from Nelson Bay, on the Tomaree Head walk, which she used to train in preparation for walking the Kokoda Trail. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Anzac Day this year will be a special one for Nelson Bay police officer Marguerite Behan.

When dawn breaks on April 25, senior constable Behan, her son Ethan and a contingent of 31 other police officers and legatees will be standing at the war memorial in Port Moresby having just finished walking the gruelling 96 kilometre Kokoda Trail.

"To finish and all be there on Anzac Day having come through the trek as a group will be very special, something we'll all remember for years to come," senior constable Behan said.

"I had family that fought in Papua New Guinea during the war [WWII].

"It will be special to be there and to do the trek experience what they did, though, we'll have it a lot easier."

The trek is also providing the Port Stephens-Hunter Police District officer a chance to "give back" to the charity that has supported her family during the years.

NSW Police Legacy entered Behan's life following the death of her husband, retired police officer Lance Behan, in 1998.

Senior Constable Marguerite Behan, from Nelson Bay, on the Tomaree Head walk. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Senior Constable Marguerite Behan, from Nelson Bay, on the Tomaree Head walk. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

"Police legacy has been part of our lives since Ethan was 8 months old," Behan said.

"They've been a big support to both of us. We wanted to give back.

"This trek is a great opportunity to do it with Ethan and to support police legacy."

NSW Police Legacy is a charity that helps police families, whether that be through covering the costs of children's education, providing referrals to bereavement counselling and other social services, or introducing them to other police legacy families in their area.

Legacy has provided Ethan, now 21, with education grants while Behan has made life-long friends through legacy events.

Behan became a legatee in 2001.

She remained a legatee when she joined the NSW Police Force in 2011.

Behan is believed to be the first widowed legatee to join the police force.

Senior Constable Marguerite Behan, from Nelson Bay, on the Tomaree Head walk. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Senior Constable Marguerite Behan, from Nelson Bay, on the Tomaree Head walk. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

The senior constable is one in a group of 33 to walk Kokoda Trail to raise funds for NSW Police Legacy.

The contingent began their 10-day trek on Monday.

Along with Behan and Ethan, now 21, the group includes NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, NSW Police Legacy chair Gary Merryweather and 10 NSW Police Legatees.

In an unplanned twist, three friends Behan has made at Legacy events during the years are also part of group.

As of Tuesday, the Go Fund Me page established by the group had raised $28,700, just shy of its $30,000 target.

In preparation for the trek, Behan undertook training which included "a lot of walking up Tomaree Head", walks along the Port's fire trails and treks in the Blue Mountains.

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