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Sir Zelman Cowen Oration and Dinner

Once a year AIIA Victoria holds an Oration and dinner, honouring former Governor-General and legal expert Sir Zelman Cowen. Sir Zelman’s storied career of academia and public service was one dedicated to international affairs and the people of his home country, Australia. In keeping with his legacy of engagement and curiosity in world affairs, AIIA Victoria’s annual Sir Zelman Cowen Oration features an eminent speaker discussing a topical issue that affects Australia’s role in the world.

The evening is an opportunity to meet old and new friends, to mingle with diplomats, academics, foreign correspondents and members of the international community in Melbourne, continuing the tradition of acknowledging the contribution of Sir Zelman Cowen.

Previous Orations:

2019 The Hon. Margaret Stone AO FAAL

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

Ethical Problems in Intelligence Collection

2018 The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO

Director of the Australian War Memorial

Centenary of Armistice: Honouring Service and Leadership

2017 Professor Margaret Gardner AO

President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University

International Education for Australia: From the Colombo Plan to the Asian Century

2016 The Hon Andrew Robb AO

Former Minister for Trade and Investment

Australia’s Asian Future Unlocked: Seizing the Opportunities of the Asian Century

2015 Mr Ahmed Fahour

MD & CEO, Australia Post. Patron, Islamic Museum of Australia

I’ll Ride with You: Social inclusion and resilience in an era of violent extremism

2014 Mr Peter Varghese AO

Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia’s National Interest in a Challenging World

2013 Mr David Irvine AO

Director General, ASIO

Protecting Secrets, Protecting People: The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in a Democracy

2012 Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC

Author, former Professor of Economic History and subsequently History, University

of Melbourne; Chair in Australian Studies at Harvard; Chair of the Australia Council,

the Australia China Council and National Council for the Centenary of Federation

The State of the World: is the ‘Good Cheer Barometer’ Rising or Falling?

2011 Mr Dennis Richardson AO

Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Policy in a Changing World

2010 Mr Michael Smith CBE

CEO, ANZ Banking Group

The Global Recovery: New Opportunities, New Risks

2009 Professor the Hon Robert Hill

Former Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Minister for Defence and

former Environment Minister

Australia’s Role in a World of Challenges

2007 The Hon Gareth Evans AC QC

Director, International Crisis Group; former Minister for Foreign Affairs

Ending Deadly Conflict –Dream or Delusion?

2006 Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas OBE

Director-General, Chatham House, London

Living with Two Mega Powers: The World in 2020