Hon Linda Burney MP to deliver annual Oration

Hon Linda Burney MP will deliver the 15th annual Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration at Bonython Hall in Adelaide on Tuesday 31 May during National Reconciliation Week.

The Oration honours the influential Aboriginal leader, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE DSG and gives a voice to vital issues for our nation’s first people.

Ms Burney, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services and the first Indigenous woman elected to the Federal House of Representatives, has chosen as the title for her address ‘The Way Forward – Informed by the past’.

Chairperson of the Don Dunstan Foundation, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, said the Oration was an important way to inspire action for a fairer world.

“We are delighted to have Linda Burney as our guest orator at this year’s event, which will be a highlight of National Reconciliation Week,” Dr Lomax-Smith said.

“Each year we feature an eminent speaker who has made a significant contribution to the social fabric of Australia.

“Ms Burney is not only a trailblazer for Aboriginal people, particularly women, but a leader who is working to make Australia a better and fairer place for everyone.”

About Hon Linda Burney MP

A proud member of the Wiradjuri nation, Linda Burney was the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the New South Wales Parliament, and the first Indigenous woman elected to the Federal House of Representatives.

Ms Burney’s commitment to Indigenous issues spans more than 30 years. 

Before being elected Federal member for Barton in 2016, Ms Burney had a 14-year career in the NSW Parliament, serving in several senior portfolios and later Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

She began her career as a teacher in western Sydney. In 2002, Charles Sturt University awarded Ms Burney – its first Aboriginal graduate – an Honorary Doctorate in Education.

Ms Burney has a long-held commitment to preventing domestic and family violence and has detailed publicly her personal experiences.

About the Oration

Each year the Don Dunstan Foundation, together with The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and Reconciliation SA, presents the Oration, named in honour of Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue.

Dr O’Donoghue AC CBE DSG is a Yankunytjatjara woman who has dedicated her life to improving the welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

In 2021, Dr O’Donoghue was presented with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University (honoris causa) by The University of Adelaide.