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.


Hard Heads and Warm Hearts

Federal Treasurer, The Hon Jim Chalmers MP, spoke about the importance of responsible economic management and compassion being complementary, not at odds. He also foreshadowed some details from the upcoming release of Australia’s first national wellbeing framework, ‘Measuring What Matters’.

Sambell Oration 2023 - Treasurer’s Speech

Response to the Oration by Executive Director Travers McLeod

Watch the full BSL Sambell Oration 2023 video here (Duration: 1:25:38)


How a Voice to Parliament can positively impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

A conversation with two key architects of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Aunty Pat Anderson AO and Professor Megan Davis, on how the Uluru dialogues were designed and run and how we can work together to help deliver a First Nation’s Voice to Parliament.

Sambell Oration 2022 Transcript

Watch the video here


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.

Read more


Investing in Indigenous Children

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

Read more


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

The genesis of the NDIS: bringing competing agendas together

Read more


Maurice Glasman, English political theorist and academic

The common good

Read more


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

Social policies for tougher times

Read more


Professor Roz Hansen, urban planning expert

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

Read more


Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive Business Council of Australia

Sharing prosperity

Read more


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

Towards the inclusive society

Read more


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

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

Read more


Economist Professor Ross Garnaut

Climate change as an equity issue

Read more


Economist Saul Eslake

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

Read more


Former Premier of Western Australia Professor Geoff Gallop

Right and responsibilities: towards a genuinely Australian understanding

Read more