Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration

Named in honour of The Hon Joan Kirner AC (1938-2015)

Courageous, ceaseless, clever, compassionate - over many years, and in many theatres, The Hon. Joan Kirner AC fought for community, equality and social justice.

Joan was perhaps best known for her work as the front-woman for the grassroots campaign for educational reform in Victoria in the 1970s, and later as that state's first female Premier.

She was also prominent in the nation-changing struggles for social inclusion, women's equality, environmental protection, and community-driven community development.

Having played an integral role in the development of the social fabric of Australia, Joan remained to her final days an enduring community activist and champion for the forgotten and the downtrodden.

Please enjoy the following Joan Kirner Social Justice Orations, each a highlight of the Communities in Control conference at which it was delivered.

You can learn more about Joan and the speeches she was personally involved in, here.

Added 21 May 2019

Prof. Helen Milroy

The 2019 Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration

How can we improve as a society if we avoid taboo topics of discussion? How can we improve as a society if our default is denial and disbelief? The wicked issues of our time will never go away until we as a society face them head on and pledge to address them. It's time to make some noise.

Added 29 May 2018

Prof. Gillian Triggs

Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration 2018

Sometimes, those who try to change the world for the better are forced to deal with criticism from those who would much rather things stayed the same. Professor Gillian Triggs' five-year stint at the helm of Australia's human rights watchdog exemplifies this. We all need to ignore the critics if we are to lead change.

Added 30 May 2017

Andrew Denton, Virginia Trioli

Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration 2017

"Everyone is entitled to a healthy death!" However good our public health care, however careful we are of our diet, however low the road toll falls, the all-causes death rate is, eventually, 100%. However far off the horizon looks for you now, we'll all have to to go through that vanishing point, and we should all take an interest in the boundary conditions. It's the biggest social justice issue of your life.

Added 30 May 2016

Waleed Aly

Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration 2016

"You have enemies?" Winston Churchill reportedly said. "Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Waleed Aly probably has a few enemies, judging by how often and how strongly he stands up for what he believes in. The oration, named in Joan's honour and the first since her death, provoked, challenged and inspires at a time when we as a nation desperately need it.

Added 26 May 2015

Lieutenant Colonel USMC (Retired) Dan Mori

The 2015 Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration

Lieutenant Colonel USMC (Retired) Dan "Michael" Mori delivered the 2015 Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration, expanding on lessons learned through a life dedicated to the defense of the universal right to equal access to justice.

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