Wilks Oration


photo of Graham WilksThe Wilks Oration is an annual event in memory of Graham Wilks who passed away in July 2001. Graham was the founding secretary of the Effective Living Centre, and was a caring man who provided great inspiration whilst serving others. His passion for life and well-being had a far-reaching impact upon individuals and community groups alike. More about Graham…



 2017 Oration

We were delighted to have Julian Cribb’s as our Wilks Orator for 2017.
The title of Julian Cribb’s oration is ‘Surviving the 21st Century’

Humanity’s greatest challenge!
How must we change to ensure life on earth survives the devastation we are inflicting upon it?

Julian Cribb is an Australian science writer, the author of nine books and over 8000 media articles. He has received more than 30 awards for journalism including the Order of Australia Association Media Prize.

Click here for a flyer to share with your church or friends. Book on trybooking.com/289910



Previous Orations


“Revitalising a Commitment to Human Rights”

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, with a five year appointment. She was Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney from 2007-12 and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from 2005-7. She is a former Barrister and a Governor of the College of Law.

Professor Triggs combines an academic career with international commercial legal practice and has advised the Australian and other governments and international organisations on international legal and trade disputes. Her focus at the Commission is on the implementation in Australian law of the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party, and to work with nations in the Asia Pacific region on practical approaches to human rights.

This Wilks Oration was held on Friday 29 July at the Effective Living Centre and was sold out. Professor Triggs has generously agreed to make her paper available here for downloading. A copy of the audio recording of the evening will also be made available here soon.



Tanya Hosch, Joint Campaign Director for Recognise – the movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our Constitution.
The title of Tanya’s oration was “It’s time… to Recognise First Australians in the Constitution”
This Wilks Oration was very popular. Music was provided by Aboriginal artist Vonda Last in the auditorium before the oration. Drinks in foyer. Supper afterwards. June 2015


Professor Andrew Dutney, President of the Uniting Church in Australia, and Professor of Theology at Flinders University and the Adelaide College of Divinity. The title of his oration was “Are we still a fair go society? ‘The Global Ethic in Australia Today’”. He discussed this issue with a focus on refugees, asylum seekers and our indigenous people. Guitar trio JUCE played from 7:00pm. Drinks in foyer. Supper afterwards. May 2014


Rachael Kohn  from the ABC Radio National on  ‘We are All Believers Now’ with the Harp and Guitar duo Telenntri  playing in the auditorium from 7.00pm.  Drinks in foyer. Supper.  May 2013. Sold out 2 weeks prior, approx. 135 attended (still had people paying at door!)


Hieu Van Le, Lt Gov of SA spoke on  ‘Australia’s Migration – Challenges and Opportunities’ with the Sostenuto String quartet playing in the auditorium. Canapes and drinks served from 7.00pm. Supper.  June 2012


Dr Tim Flannery – changed the date from June to October – then had to cancel due to an overseas engagement, with new date to be organized in early 2012, unfortunately he again had to cancel in Feb. 2012.


Hon. Michael Kirby spoke on ‘Why are Australians so worried about a citizen initiative Human Rights Charter?’ with Human Rights group-folk singer/guitarist Claire Gurry joined by Don Loffler on double bass playing in the auditorium while drinks and canapés were served.  Supper. May 2010.  The May minutes recorded that 150 attended, with 125 tickets were sold and 25 people coming to the door on the night.


Michael Kirby was to speak in October however he was called to London and had to cancel.


Sue Park CEO of Uniting Care Wesley spoke on ‘The New Empowerment Model and how it works’.  Supper.  September 2007


Professor John Hirst from La Trobe University spoke on ‘Living with difference: the Australian story.’  Supper. August 2006


Professor Colin McMullin from Flinders University spoke on ‘The well-being of children affected by armed conflict and forced migration.’ Supper. October 2006


Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue spoke on ‘Reconciliation’, with a Women’s choir singing Aboriginal songs and drinks and nibbles being served. Supper. October 2005


Julian Burnside QC spoke on ‘Human Rights – Yours, Mine or Ours’. The oration was held in Maughan Church  on a Sunday afternoon as we had hoped for a very large crowd. 150 attended. Sept. 2004


Professor David Tacey from La Trobe University spoke on ‘Emerging Spirituality in Australia Today’, with a quartet from Concordia college playing in the foyer while drinks and canapés were served. Supper. 130 people attended.


A dinner was held to honour Graham Wilks with an after dinner speaker Ian Cox from SA Families and Community Department. It was held at a city restaurant.