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Menzies Oration

Established in 1991, the Menzies Oration on Higher Education at the University of Melbourne honours the late Sir Robert Menzies, whose contribution to the development of universities is among his most remembered achievements as Australian Prime Minister.

It is especially fitting that the annual Menzies Orations are held in partnership with the University of Melbourne, where Robert Menzies, as a leading law student, was President of the Students Representative Council in 1916, and where he served as University Chancellor in later life.

In line with the Foundations new focus areas, the Oration will now provide an opportunity to invest in initiatives of high national importance, exploring Entrepreneurship in science, Leadership in schools and Australia’s response to complex global legal issues.


The 2020 Oration was presented by Dr Tina Seelig, a world-renowned Stanford University Professor, speaker and best-selling author on innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. This was delivered on Wednesday, 7th October, virtually via zoom and can be viewed here.

Dr Seelig, drew on insights from a workshop with a group of Australia’s next generation entrepreneurs, where she consider the power of ‘creativity with constraints’ and challenged us to unlock our potential and creativity to innovatively pivot to a reimagined future.


The 2019 Oration was presented by Professor Brian David Johnson, Futurist in Residence and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s School of Future and Innovation in Society on the topic: The Future of Risk, Security and the Law. This was delivered on Tuesday, 8th October at the University of Melbourne and can be viewed here

As an outcome of this important work, we are delighted to present the Regional Cyber Futures Initiative: The Future of Risk Security and the Law – Threatcasting Report 2019.

We welcome you to join Menzies Foundation CEO Liz Gillies in conversation with world renowned futurist, Prof. Brian David Johnson as they discuss how leaders and businesses best prepare themselves to take on worldwide cyber security threats and what is the legal landscape for action. They also explore what leadership will look like 10 years from now and how leaders today best prepare for tomorrow. Listen now

Visit University of Melbourne for a list of previous orations and transcripts.