Public Orations

The History Trust of South Australia presents three named Orations with a strong historical focus that connects our past with the present. The orations celebrate and acknowledge the work and societal impact of 3 significant South Australians – Dame Roma Mitchell, Gladys Elphick and Jennifer Cashmore.

Dame Roma Mitchell Oration

The Dame Roma Mitchell Oration is a means of honouring Dame Roma Mitchell, Australia’s first female Supreme Court judge and instrumental in Australian legal and human rights reform. The Oration provides a forum to consider the intellectual and theoretical bases for Human Rights and Equal Opportunity laws in Australia. It brings into the public discourse new developments and perspectives on equity and discrimination from eminent people in their fields. Over the years, the Mitchell Orators have all made significant contributions to the growing body of knowledge on the theory and practice of Human Rights and Equal Opportunity in their own rights.

The Dame Roma Mitchell Oration will be delivered on an annual basis.

In 2022 Emerita Professor Ngaire Naffine delivered the Oration on Civil Society and the Role of the Legal Scholar. You can view Ngaire’s 2022 Oration on our YouTube channel.

Gladys Elphick Oration

The Gladys Elphick Oration honours the legacy of Gladys Elphick MBE, a woman of Kaurna-Ngadjuri descent who was the founding president of the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia. Auntie Glad, as she was known to the community, was a highly respected elder, known for her quick wit, and shrewd mind.

The inaugural 2022 Oration was delivered by Simone Tur, academic, artist, and community leader. Born into the Yankunytjatjara community, Simone is currently Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous at Flinders University. Like Auntie Glad, she is known for her fierce intellect and her commitment to education. Simone explored the role of First Nations women in elevating voices.

The Gladys Elphick Oration will be presented on an annual basis.

Jennifer Cashmore Oration

The Jennifer Cashmore Oration is delivered in honour of Jennifer Cashmore AM, a former member of the South Australian House of Assembly and Minister of Health and Minister of Tourism.

Each day individuals and families face hard decisions about end of life. The dedication of Ms Cashmore to ensuring the right of each of us to specify our wishes is worth recalling.

As a parliamentarian, Ms Cashmore was the critical figure of her times in cementing the transformative principle of patient consent to medical treatment that has shaped our modern societal responses. Her work from the opposition benches brought together all sides of politics to support major changes that culminated in the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995. This became the foundation of our contemporary law on informed consent, advance care directives, medical powers of attorney, and palliative care.

The Jennifer Cashmore Oration will be presented on an occasional basis. The relationship between the medical and the societal, with a strong historical perspective, will be the theme of future Orations

You can view the 2022 Oration delivered by Professor Gregory Crawford on our YouTube channel.