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Author Valerie Volk with Australian Lutheran College Principal, Pastor James Winderlich, who was MC for the event, and Lutheran Education Australia executive director Stephen Rudolph, who launched 'Bystanders'.

Out of the shadows

Bystanders may not always be innocent but they are often forgotten in the annals of history.

Author, poet and educator Valerie Volk is keen to ensure that’s not the case for 15 characters featured in her new book, Bystanders – Echoes of Stories Past.

Bystanders introduces people on the fringes of major biblical events and, through their experiences, she invites the reader to enter into well-known stories as though for the first time.

The book was launched after the close of Thursday’s business sessions in front of more than 200 delegates, visitors, staff and volunteers—who enjoyed the added incentive of tasting the wares of Lutheran winemakers!

Launching the paperback, Lutheran Education Australia executive director Stephen Rudolph said, ‘Valerie has provided a series of deep and delightful pieces which absorb and move the reader.

‘[This] book will promote and engage Bible study by individuals and groups.’

Dr Volk said she hopes and believes Bystanders, her sixth book, can play another role, too.

‘I see this book as having potential as an outreach’, she said.

Published by Wakefield Press, it is available online through Australian Church Resources, Wakefield Press and at