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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 Foundation, together with University of Melbourne are delighted to announce Professor Paul Tracey will deliver the 2021 Menzies Oration.

Paul Tracey is Professor of Innovation & Organisation, Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation and a Fellow of Hughes Hall.

Exploring Social Innovation and Impact Investment, the 2021 Menzies Oration will take place on Wednesday 18th August 2021. Register Now!

View: The importance of social business for a better world

Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate 2006, Founder of Grameen Bank and Chairman of Yunus Centre, is interviewed by Professor Paul Tracey, Professor of Innovation and Organisation, and Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, about the inspiring journey to founding Grameen Bank, the motivation behind finding new ways of addressing poverty and financial exclusion, and how the microcredit model has evolved over the last 40 years.

Professor Yunus reflects on the concept of social business, how this can be supported by established corporations worldwide, and his economic vision for a better future. He concludes by sharing his thoughts on what business schools can do to support social business.


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.