Time and date
Monday 5 December 2022

This year, the Sambell Oration focussed on how a Voice to Parliament can positively impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This year, the Sambell Oration was held on Monday 5 December and focussed on how a Voice to Parliament can positively impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our Orators this year were Aunty Pat Anderson AO and Professor Megan Davis, both of whom were instrumental in the creation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017, which calls for a First Nations Voice to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution. Aunty Pat Anderson and Professor Megan Davis are now members of the working group set up to advise government on the path to a referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

The ideas of social justice, access to opportunity and empowerment of local community are close to the heart of BSL as we work to make lasting change for all people facing disadvantage in Australia. BSL supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and stands with all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people calling for a First Nations Voice to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution. We also support the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to enable a fair and truthful relationship between all Australians.

We are proud to accept the invitation to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a movement for a better future. A recording of the event will be made available in the coming weeks. 

The event was proudly supported by

2022 Sambell Oration Orators

Ms Pat Anderson AO

Ms Pat Anderson is an Alyawarre woman known nationally and internationally as a powerful advocate for the health of Australia’s First Peoples. She has extensive experience in Aboriginal health, including community development, policy formation and research ethics.

Ms Anderson has spoken before the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People, has been the CEO of Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT), and was the Chair of the CRC for Aboriginal Health from 2003 to 2009. She has published many essays, papers and articles, including co-authoring with Rex Wild QC of Little Children Are Sacred, a report on the abuse of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory.

In 2007, Ms Anderson was awarded the Public Health Association of Australia’s Sidney Sax Public Health Medal in recognition of her achievements; she was awarded the Human Rights Community Individual Award (Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Award) in 2012 and the Human Rights Medal in 2016 by the Australian Human Rights Commission. In 2013, she received an honorary doctorate from Flinders University and in 2017 Edith Cowan University conferred on Ms Anderson a Doctor of Medical Science honoris causa. In 2015, Ms Anderson won the public policy category Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She served as co-chair of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council and she is the current chair of the Remote Area Health Corporation.

Ms Anderson was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2014 for distinguished service to the Indigenous community as a social justice advocate, particularly through promoting improved health, and educational and protection outcomes for children. In 2018, the national NAIDOC
 Committee recognised her life-long contribution with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Professor Megan Davis

Prof. M Davis BA, LLB, Hon. LLD Qld., GDLP, LLM, PhD ANU, FAAL, FASSA

Prof. Megan Davis is the Pro Vice-Chancellor Society (PVCS) of University of NSW. She is the Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law and the Director of the Indigenous Law Centre. Prof. Davis is an Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court.

Prof. Davis is formerly Chair and expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2011-2016). As UNPFII expert she was the focal point for UN Women and UN AIDS. During this period of UN service, Megan was the Rapporteur of the UN EGM on an Optional Protocol to the UNDRIP in 2015, the Rapporteur of the UN EGM on Combating violence against Indigenous women and girls in 2011 and the UN Rapporteur for the International EGM on Indigenous Youth in 2012. Megan has extensive experience as an international lawyer at the UN and participated in the drafting of the UNDRIP from 1999-2004 and is a former UN Fellow of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

Prof. Davis is a constitutional lawyer who researches in public law and public international law. Her current research focuses on constitutional design, democratic theory and Indigenous peoples. Prof. Davis has been the leading constitutional lawyer working on Indigenous constitutional reform since 2011. In 2015 she was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Referendum Council and designed the deliberative constitutional dialogue process the Council undertook. In 2011, Megan was also appointed to the Prime Minister's Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution and continues to be involved in legal discussions on the constitutional issues relating to the referendum model.

Professor Davis was named in the 2017 Australian Financial Review annual power list and was awarded the overall winner in 2018’s Women of Influence. She was ranked number 7 on the Cultural power list for her work on constitutional reform and delivering the Uluru Statement from the Heart.