Sir John Downer Oration

The University of Adelaide established the Sir John Downer Oration in 2012 as a biennial public lecture in honour of Sir John Downer.

Sir John Downer was a notable South Australian. A leading barrister in Adelaide, Sir John was first elected to the South Australian House of Assembly in 1878 and was twice elected Premier of South Australia. In 1901 he was elected as one of the first South Australian senators in the Federal Parliament. He served one term as a senator and then in 1905 was elected to the South Australian Legislative Council where he served until his death in 1915.

Beyond these public offices, Sir John also played a major role in the debates and constitutional conventions that took place throughout the 1890s. Together with Edmund Barton and Richard O’Connor he was responsible for drafting the Australian Constitution during the 1897-98 Convention in Adelaide.

Sir John Downer 2019 Oration - presented by The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP
Treasurer of Australia and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party

Date: Thursday 14 November 2019
Duration: 55 minutes 51 seconds
Where:  AHMS G030 Lecture Theatre, North Terrace campus

Previous Sir John Downer Orations

Sir John Downer 2017 Oration - presented by The Hon Julie Bishop

Hon Julie Bishop MP, former Australian Foreign Minister

Date: Friday 6 October 2017
Duration: 45 minutes 50 seconds
Where: Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building

Sir John Downer 2014 Oration - presented by The Hon Tony Abbott

Hon Tony Abbott MP, former Australian Prime Minister

Date: Thursday 21 August 2014
Duration: 37 minutes
Where: The Braggs Lecture Theatre, North Terrace campus

The inaugural Sir John Downer 2012 Oration - presented by The Hon John Howard

Hon John Howard MP, former Australian Prime Minister

Date: Tuesday 2 October 2012
Duration: 1.15 hours 
Where: Elder Hall