Australia’s Lutheran schools have backed ALWS’s Walk My Way since the concept was born during a teachers’ leadership tour in an African refugee camp in 2016. And 2021 is no different with 19 school communities walking.
It’s not difficult to understand why. One of Lutheran Education Australia’s values is justice. Through genuine concern and developing a conscience for the rights and wellbeing of everyone in the human family, seeking justice requires understanding and responding to the reasons behind injustices as well as responding to unjust conditions.
It requires integrity between beliefs, words and actions.
It may necessitate taking a stand and acting with courage.
It is wonderful to see students and staff from Lutheran schools and early childhood services making that connection and responding to the needs of other children through Walk My Way. This is one step on the shared road to justice that we can walk together.
My dad was born in a refugee camp but came to Australia and spent time in Bonegilla Migrant Centre (from which ALWS was born), before receiving an education, including at a Lutheran school. I have been the beneficiary of that as a good education changes the lives of generations.
All children should have that chance, no matter where or when they are born. I want these children in Africa to have the education my dad had, and their children to have the opportunities I’ve had. That’s why I walked. And I wonder about the stories of other walkers too. You can’t tell people’s stories under the sun hats and bright blue T-shirts, but we’ve all got one.
Walk My Way Barossa was a wonderful day of getting together and trying to make a difference for someone we will never meet. For one day, we were all part of that same story.
Associate Professor Lisa Schmidt is executive director of Lutheran Education Australia.
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