In the past, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod supported mission work in Australia through a partnership with the Lutheran Church of Australia in the Pitjantjatjara translation and literacy project. This support included translating the Scriptures, publishing Bible-based reading primers and the Pitjantjatjara Picture Dictionary, and holding regular training courses for Pitjantjatjara church leaders.
Australian Lutheran roots go back to 1838, when their forebears arrived after fleeing the Prussian union. Their background, therefore, is similar to that of the LCMS. Post-World War II migration also brought a number of Lutherans from other European countries. In more recent years, many Asians have immigrated to Australia.
A split in the church occurred in 1846. In subsequent years, pastors came from various places, including different German mission societies and a number of the Lutheran synods in the United States. In 1966, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Australia merged with the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia to form the Lutheran Church of Australia.
Since that time, the church body has related to world Lutheranism on a case-by-case basis, apart from having altar and pulpit fellowship with the two church bodies in Papua New Guinea. The Lutheran Church of Australia is an associate member of both the Lutheran World Federation and the International Lutheran Council. Currently, 533 pastors (including retired) serve the Lutheran Church of Australia’s 648 congregations in 298 parishes and its more than 60,000 regular worshipers.