James Martin Children's Walk

Wednesday 29th November 2023

James Martin - The Boy His story demonstrates the power of determination and education

Born in Ireland in 1820, James Martin's life took a significant turn when his father accepted a job as a horse groom for the Governor of New South Wales.

James Martin's potential was evident from a young age, but his location in Parramatta limited his options to continue his education. With no high school in the area, he had to consider several schools in Sydney. Despite the challenges, he was determined to attend high school and walked 13 miles to get there.

The James Martin Children’s Walk – Celebrating 175 years of Public Education in NSW.

James Martin Premier of new south Wales

James Martin as he walked the 13 miles to school!

While still in school, he started writing articles for The Australian and at the age of 19, he became the Acting Editor of the publication. G R Nichols, a well-known lawyer and editor, served as his mentor and profoundly impacted his life.

At the age of 28, he realised that he could venture into fields beyond journalism and law, which led him to pursue a career in politics. His political career began as the Attorney General of New South Wales, and in 1863, he was elected as the Premier of New South Wales for the first time. He was able to secure two more terms as Premier, with his final term ending in 1872.

The James Martin Children's Walk is a 25km symbolic walk from Parramatta Square to Martin Place. It took place on Wednesday 29 November 2023.

Students were encouraged to join some or all six legs of the walk that leads to Martin Place.