The Sambell Oration has been delivered each year since 1981. Named after former BSL executive director, Geoffrey Sambell, the event reflects his concern for social justice.

Attended by leaders from the community, business and government, and our BSL supporters, the Sambell Oration provides a unique opportunity to be engaged in discussing important social justice issues affecting Australia.

2022

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

We’re delighted to announce that our Orators this year will be 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, and look forward to your participation by streaming this important occasion.

Register now to join the live stream


2019

Towards a just future – reimagining social and economic policy for our insecure times

Hon Jenny Macklin, offers a frank perspective on social and economic policy trends in Australia. The challenges ahead to enable economic security for all. How we rebuild declining trust in our institutions in an era of remarkable – yet stubbornly uneven – prosperity.

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2018

Investing in Indigenous Children

Leading educator Chris Sarra outlines his philosophy to deliver a stronger, smarter future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

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2016

Rhonda Galbally, health development, social services and disability rights advocate

The genesis of the NDIS: bringing competing agendas together

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2015

Maurice Glasman, English political theorist and academic

The common good

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2013

Professor Paul Smyth, General Manager Research and Policy Centre, the Brotherhood of St Laurence

Social policies for tougher times

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2012

Professor Roz Hansen, urban planning expert

A tale of two Melbournes? The disparities of place and how to bridge the divide

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2011

Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive Business Council of Australia

Sharing prosperity

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2010

Ruth Lister, Emeritus Professor in Social Policy, Loughborough University, UK

Towards the inclusive society

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2009

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

One year on from the crisis: economic and social policy challenges for Australia

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2008

Economist Professor Ross Garnaut

Climate change as an equity issue

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2007

Economist Saul Eslake

Social policy in a fully employed economy: the economic and social imperative — tapping the potential of disadvantaged Australians

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2006

Former Premier of Western Australia Professor Geoff Gallop

Right and responsibilities: towards a genuinely Australian understanding

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