sambell oration

The Sambell Oration has been delivered each year since 1981. Named after former Brotherhood executive director, Geoffrey Sambell, the event reflects his concern for social justice.

Sambell Oration Dinner 21 November 2019: Towards a just future – reimagining social and economic policy for our insecure times

The Honourable Jenny Macklin, who has been at the frontline of social policy debates for more than three decades, is our guest speaker this year. A former federal government minister and now a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne, the Honourable Jenny Macklin will offer a frank perspective on social and economic policy trends in Australia.

Table Sponsorships and Supporter Packages are still available

Attended by leaders from the community, business and government, and our Brotherhood supporters, the Sambell Oration provides a unique opportunity to be engaged in discussing important social justice issues affecting Australia, whilst enjoying dinner and some light entertainment.

Pre Dinner drinks commence 6:30pm for Dinner 7:00pm, Melbourne Museum.

Ticket prices are:
Adult: $140
Not for Profit: $120
Concession $25
Table of 10: $1,200 (When booking a table of 10 online, if you do not know your final guest names, please enter your name against each guest entry in the interim.)

Reserve your place by booking online or by contacting the Events Department
Phone: (03) 9483 1183
Email: events(at)

Reserve your place

Proudly supported by

Sambell Oration Dinner 2019 speaker Honourable Jenny Macklin

This year, we are delighted to have as our speaker the Honourable Jenny Macklin, who has been at the frontline of social policy debates for more than three decades.

Ms Macklin, now a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne, will offer a frank perspective on social and economic policy trends in Australia. What are the challenges ahead to enable economic security for all? How do we rebuild declining trust in our institutions in an era of remarkable – yet stubbornly uneven – prosperity?

Jenny Macklin has been at the frontline of social policy debates in Australia, both in and outside Parliament, for more than three decades. During a 23-year career as a federal MP, she served as Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform. Ms Macklin was a key architect of the NDIS – one of the most significant social policy reforms Australia has seen in the modern era. As a cabinet minister, her achievements included helping deliver Australia’s historic Apology to the Stolen Generations. Political commentator Michelle Grattan summed up her legacy thus: ‘Jenny Macklin is one of those politicians really into public policy – understanding it and promoting ideas. A person of good heart and good grace.’

past sambell orations


Investing in Indigenous Children

Leading educator Chris Sarra outlines his philosophy to deliver a stronger, smarter future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Read more


Rhonda Galbally, health development, social services and disability rights advocate

The genesis of the NDIS: bringing competing agendas together

Read more


Maurice Glasman, English political theorist and academic

The common good

Read more


Professor Paul Smyth, General Manager Research and Policy Centre, the Brotherhood of St Laurence

Social policies for tougher times

Read more


Professor Roz Hansen, urban planning expert

A tale of two Melbournes? The disparities of place and how to bridge the divide

Read more


Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive Business Council of Australia

Sharing prosperity

Read more


Ruth Lister, Emeritus Professor in Social Policy, Loughborough University, UK

Towards the inclusive society

Read more


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

One year on from the crisis: economic and social policy challenges for Australia

Read more


Economist Professor Ross Garnaut

Climate change as an equity issue

Read more


Economist Saul Eslake

Social policy in a fully employed economy: the economic and social imperative — tapping the potential of disadvantaged Australians

Read more


Former Premier of Western Australia Professor Geoff Gallop

Right and responsibilities: towards a genuinely Australian understanding

Read more

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes