Elaine Walker
23-Nov-2005 17:53

It's a year since Jim died and although the time has flown in one way, it's been a reflective 
lifetime in another. While we all miss him terribly there are moments when we have a wry 
smile or a goosebump of pride about the way his life was lived and the quiet way he went 
about being a decent man. The Jim Walker Foundation has swung into action ­ providing 
tangible assistance for girls in Vietnam so that they can advance from the limitations of a 
primary school education into high school. As you know, compulsory education in Vietnam 
only goes as far as primary school for girls ­ but now there are 100 direct beneficiaries of the 
Jim Walker Foundation. The Jim Walker 100 -­ let¹s call it that because although it sounds like 
a stock index, it has a human value that is beyond measurement ­ represents the chance of 
a lifetime for these young girls from a Vietnamese village. The programme is being run in 
conjunction with the respected organization, A Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org), 
and the excitement of the girls as they break through a barrier they once thought 
impenetrable can only be imagined. This great chance to play an important role in their 
village and in their country, and to show the benefits of a more complete education is 
heartwarming and, at the same time, stimulating. We can hardly wait to see the results in 
five or six years time, and in the years to come. This is the sort of investment Jim would 
approve of. In fact, we really can¹t wait. Jim's daughter Sophie and myself are hoping to 
visit Vietnam in the Christmas-New Year holidays or certainly some time next year. Just the 
smallest glimmer of hope that we are all playing a role in helping an emerging generation of 
women who can change their country, is something we can all be proud of. Jim would be 
particularly proud as it mirrors so many things he loves. Sophie and her Vietnamese 
ancestry, his true and genuine love of Vietnam as a country, and a reflection of Sophie's 
own life ­ she is thriving at the Sydney girls school Ascham and will go into high school next 
year. The year has flown, and while there is so much we miss, there is so much to be 
grateful for ­ we will never be able to thank all of you enough. 

Love Elaine