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.
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
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, NRL.com, September 2020
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