Kerferd Oration

The George Briscoe Kerferd Oration was first held in 2003 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the naming of Beechworth. The Oration is part of the Public Lecture Series of La Trobe University.

The Oration brings an eminent speaker to our regional community to discuss an emerging issue in the context of social justice in rural areas. The Oration honours George Briscoe Kerferd (1831 - 1889), an energetic community leader, Premier of Victoria and a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

The annual Oration is a free community event sponsored by Indigo Shire Council, La Trobe University, WAW Credit Union and Beechworth Neighbourhood Centre.

Dr Simon Longstaff

2015 Dr Simon Longstaff

The Executive Director of the Ethics Centre, Sydney, Dr Simon Longstaff, delivered the 2015 on Invisible People in the context of ethics. He asked why we pay attention to some people in our society and not others. He spoke about those who are 'invisible' — either because they make us uncomfortable, or because their vote 'doesn't count' or because they lack the economic presence to be recognised by a system that increasingly judges worth according to economic utility rather than intrinsic value. Farmers, rural and regional communities, Indigenous Peoples, those not living in marginal electorates — all these and others are increasingly joining the ranks of the 'marginalised' — made invisible through indifference, Dr Longstaff said. So, what might be said about them — and how might our society and its institutions need to respond in order that all at least enjoy the dignity of being 'seen'?


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The Honour Roll of Kerferd Orators
2003 The Hon John Harber Phillips AC
The North Eastern Victoria Republic Movement - Myth or Reality
2004 Ms Barbara Holborow OAM
Everyone's Children
2005 Professor Henry Brodaty AO
Ageing - It's all in the Mind
2006 Ms Cathy McGowan AO
Beechworth - Our Common Wealth?
2007 The Hon John Thwaites MP
Social Justice and Climate Change
2008 Professor Tim Flannery
The Climate Change Challenge
2009 Rev Tim Costello AO
Community Values for a World in Need
2010 Ms Jemima Richards
Revealing the Hidden Strengths and Talents of Community
2011 Justice David Harper AM
Sentencing: Public perceptions, the reality and their social implications
2012 The Hon Tim Fischer AC and
Dr Bill Wilson APM, OAM
Sir Isaac Isaacs: What can we learn today from this national legend?
2013 Mr Bernie Geary OAM
Young People: a resource we need
2014 Ms Jenny Coles
The true value of a cappuccino is the manner in which it is shared
2015 Dr Simon Longstaff
The Invisible People
Last updated: 16 March 2016