Can Australia Deliver? | John Menadue Oration by Professor Megan Davis | October 2020

2020 John Menadue Oration by Professor Megan Davis

Can Australia Deliver?

The third instalment of CPD’s flagship event, named after our founding Chairperson John Menadue AO, reflected the world in which it took place. With Zoom meetings a way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 John Menadue Oration was held as a virtual event.

Professor Megan Davis delivered a powerful and impassioned response to the question: ‘Can Australia Deliver?’. Professor Davis addressed the future of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the ongoing journey toward Constitutional reform, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous Australians.

The evening was moderated by CPD CEO Travers McLeod and featured an introduction from CPD Board Member Kirsten Gray, as well as a lively moderated conversation and Q&A session between Professor Davis and renowned Indigenous leader Aunty Pat Anderson AO. The Oration concluded with closing remarks from former Senator and co-chair of Reconciliation Australia Fred Chaney AO.

Background on Professor Megan Davis

Professor Davis is the Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law and Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). She is also an Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court and an expert member of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Professor Davis is formerly Chair and expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Professor Davis’ renowned work on the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution will be known to many of you. As a constitutional lawyer and a member of the Referendum Council and the Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution, she helped craft the Uluru Statement. She is very much the constitutional legal scholar for our times.

Professor Davis is also a Commissioner on the Australian Rugby League Commission, and supports the North Queensland Cowboys and the QLD Maroons. You can read her full bio here.

Related Links

2017 John Menadue Oration with Marty Natalegawa, ‘Can Democracy Deliver?’

2018 John Menadue Oration with Maria Mazzucato, ‘Can the State Deliver?’

After the protest, what comes next?, Megan Davis, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 2020

Cautious High Court decision has no immediate practical effects, Megan Davis, The Australian, February 2020

Constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians must involve structural change, not mere symbolism, Megan Davis, The Conversation, February 2020

Give us space to honour the past and embrace the future, Megan Davis, Noel Pearson and Pat Anderson, The Australian, July 2017

Megan Davis says there is growing support for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, 7:30, June 2020

New agreement won’t deliver the change Indigenous Australians need, Megan Davis, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 2020

Some say a voice to parliament is toothless. But together our voices are powerful, Megan Davis, The Guardian, August 2020

Reconciliation and the promise of an Australian homecoming, Megan Davis, The Monthly, July 2020

The quest for justice and respect driving Megan Davis, Tanisha Stanton,, September 2020

The Uluru Statement from the Heart

Together our voices are the most powerful of all, Megan Davis, IndigenousX, August 2020

Uluru voice means hard-headed changes, Megan Davis, Financial Review, July 2019