• Organisation

The Lutheran Church of Australia


The Lutheran Church is a branch of the Protestant church, and was founded in Germany in the 16th Century by Reformationist Martin Luther. The Lutheran Church was first established in Australia by German Lutherans arriving in South Australia in 1838. Separate Lutheran churches were founded in Victoria from the 1840s, and Queensland from the 1850s. A smaller number of German Lutherans moved to Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia.

In 1921 efforts were made to unify the various Lutheran Church synods across the country, leading to the formation of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia (UELCA). In 1966 the UELCA combined with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia (which had formed in 1874 as the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia), to become the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Initially, German was the primary language of the Lutheran Church in Australia, used and taught in their worship, business, missions, and schools. From the early 1900s the English language was introduced into the church, and by the end of World War Two, pushed by anti-German sentiment in Australia, German was no longer used by the church.

The Lutheran Church has a history as a care provider through the establishment of Aboriginal Missions, including the Finke River and Hermannsburg Missions in the Northern Territory, the Hope Vale, Hope Valley, Bloomfield River, Cape Bedford, and Wujal Wujal Missions in Queensland, and the Koonibba, Killalpaninna, and Yalata Missions in South Australia. The Lutheran Church also ran several children’s Homes, including Luther Lodge in Queensland, Lutheran Children’s Homes in Victoria, and the Lutheran Emergency Home for Children and Lutheran Girls’ Hostel in South Australia.

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