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Annual Lectures

The Arthur Cobbold Memorial Lecture honours the memory of Professor Arthur Cobbold, a seminal figure in the establishment of medical education at the University of Tasmania, and health policy and administration in Tasmania.

Professor Arthur Cobbold was an inspirational lecturer, a highly competent researcher, and an excellent administrator. He was much loved by his students and over three decades had immense influence on all medical issues in the State. From 1964, when he arrived as Foundation Professor of Physiology, to his retirement 21 years later he very much shaped the School and the lives of many of those in it. He served as Dean of Medicine for 13 years.

The lecture was established in 2011 two years after Professor Cobbold’s death, and each year provides an annual opportunity for the community to gain an insight into contemporary developments in medicine.

The Lectures are funded through the Arthur Cobbold Memorial Lecture Appeal. For more information or to donate to the Appeal please visit

Click on the links below to watch the lecture recording.

Previous Speakers

2020 - Professor Dale Fisher - Sandy Bay to Singapore: A COVID-19 Story

2019 - Professor Roger Byard - Lessons from the Mortuary

2018 - Professor Tom Marwick - Hospital Admission and Readmission for Chronic Cardiovascular Disease: An avoidable cost for our heath service

2017 - Professor Alison Venn - Preventing and Managing the Consequences of Obesity: Are we there yet?

2016 - Professor Ray Lowenthal AO - How to Cure Cancer: In praise of clinical trials

2015 - Professor Peter Brooks AM - Health Reform: Creating a Sustainable Health System

2014 - Professor Mike Calford - Lessons from Neuroplasticity: Science and Behaviour

2013 - Professor Kim Rainsford - Pain, Pills and Ageing

2012 - Professor Peter Rathjen - Stem Cells and Regeneration of the Ageing Body

2011 - Professor Ed Byrne AO - Advances in Brain Medicine: A journey of many disciplines

An annual public forum jointly presented in conjunction with the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and the Australian Marine Science Association as part of National Science Week.

Click on the links below to view a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2019 - Plastics in the Ocean: Finding solutions by linking science and community - Dr Heidi Auman, Dr David Griffin, Dr Lauren Roman, Councillor Bill Harvey

2018 - Observing our Oceans and Ice: High Tech Solutions for a Hostile Environment - Dr Beatriz Peña-Molino, Dr Guy Williams, Dr Mark Curran

2017 - Big Changes in Big Places: Oceans and Ice - Dr Stephanie Downes, Dr Felicity Graham, Dr Mathieu Mongin

2016 - What’s happening down south and why should we care? - Dr Guy Williams, Professor Matt King, Dr Delphine Lannusel, Dr Mary-Anne Lee

2015 - Feeling the Effects of the East Australian Current on Tasmania - Dr Mike Pook, A/Prof Gretta Pecl, A/Prof Neil Holbrook

2014 - El Niño: History, Impacts and Prediction - Professor Neville Nicholls, Dr Gary Meyers, Dr Alistair Hobday, Dr Fiona Ling, Professor Holger Meinke

The biennial Dick and Joan Green Family Award for Tasmanian History Lecture is hosted by the University of Tasmania and presented in partnership with the Green Family.  The lecture provides the opportunity for the Award recipient to present a public lecture on their contributions to Tasmanian history and cultural heritage.

The Dick and Joan Green Family Award has been set up for the establishment of perpetual awards to promote and celebrate Tasmanian history and cultural heritage, and its contribution to the Australian cultural and intellectual life. The first initiative has been to establish the Dick and Joan Green Family Award for Tasmanian History in conjunction with the University of Tasmania.

The award was inaugurated in 2018, and the first lecture was delivered in 2019.

Click on the links below to view a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2019 - Associate Professor Rebe Taylor - Into the Heart of Tasmania: Journeys in history writing

Each year the University of Tasmania partner with the Australian-American Fulbright Commission to present an annual lecture delivered by a Fulbright visiting scholar.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship foreign exchange scholarship program of the United States of America, aimed at increasing binational research collaboration, cultural understanding, and the exchange of ideas.

Click on the links below to watch a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2020 - Trust in Government After COVID-19 - Professor Jonathan Mendilow

2019 - Sea Rescue: Marine species partnerships restoring our coastal ecosystems - Professor Brian Silliman

2019 - Public Health Consequences of Surface Coal Mining - Professor Michael Hendryx

2019 - Heavens, What a Mess! Understanding and Dealing with the Problem of Space Debris - Professor William P. Schonberg

2017 - Why Women Matter to National Security - Professor Valerie Hudson

2016 - Australian and US Federalism: What Each Can Learn from the Other - Professor Carol Weissert

2015 - Wireless Power Transfer: Could you leave your AC adapters at home? - Professor Richard Ziolkowski

The Giblin Lecture is a partnership between the University of Tasmania and the Economics Society of Australia – Tasmania Branch. It is named for the eminent Australian economist, Lyndhurst Falkiner Giblin, who was born and died in Hobart.

Giblin led a most eventful life; he served through the entirety of the First World War, mined for gold in the Klondike and ran an orchard in Tasmania. He then trained in statistics at King’s College Cambridge and began his career as statistician and economist in 1919.

He went on to exercise significant influence over economic policy making in Australia and made many substantial contributions to theory which are still applied today. He was an important figure in designing the fiscal equalisation policies adopted in the Australian Commonwealth to distribute funds to the States and relieve the Great Depression. He corresponded extensively with John Maynard Keynes in Cambridge on this subject, and their lively correspondence about the role of the multiplier now sits in the archives at Cambridge University.

While he was never formally a part of the Department of Economics at the University of Tasmania, Giblin was very influential in its development. In fact, Giblin and three of his colleagues, James Brigden, Douglas Copland and Roland Wilson, formed a personal and intellectual bond at the University of Tasmania between 1919 and 1924.

Giblin and colleagues were pivotal in the shaping of economic thought and policymaking in Australia, and helped to bridge the gap between academic economics and public policy in Australia. The annual Giblin lecture is presented in this tradition.

Click on the links below to watch a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2019 - Professor John Hewson - Whither or Wither Broad Based Policy Reform?

2018 - Rod Sims Companies Behaving Badly?

2017 - Dr John Williams - The Global Growth Slump: Causes and Consequences (Transcript)

2016 - Professor Timothy J. Hatton - The Migration Crisis and Refugee Policy in Europe

2015 - Professor Jacob Goeree - Market Design: Creating Better Institutions

2014 - Professor Jeff Borland - The Australian labour market: The more things change

2012 - Associate Professor Judith Yates - Housing and the Distribution of Wealth

2011 - Dr Ken Henry - Opportunities, Challenges and Policy Responses

2010 - Professor Charles Goodhart - Financial Regulation and the Crisis

2009 - Professor Eric Hanushek - Do Better Schools Lead to More Growth?

2008 - Professor Warwick McKibbon - Climate Change Policy Post 2012

2007 - Professor Harry Campbell - Economics, Property Rights and Fishery Management (transcript PDF 101.5KB)

2006 - Professor Douglas Allen - The Duel of Honour: Screening for Unobserved Social Capital

2005 - Professor John Quiggin - The Information Revolution and the Moral Economy of Innovation (transcript PDF 157.2KB)

2004 - Professor Robert Frank - Does Rising Inequality Harm the Middle Class? (transcript PDF 146.3KB)

2003 - Professor Allan Fels - The Past and Future of Competition Law (transcript PDF 273.2KB)

2001 - Mr Ian MacFarlane - Movements in the Interests Rates (transcript PDF 38.4KB)

2000 - Professor Ian R. Harper - The E-Business Revolution (transcript PDF 105.7KB)

1998 - Professor Anne Krueger - Implications of the Asian Currency Crisis and the Debt Crisis of the 1980s (transcript PDF 53.4KB)

1997 - Professor William J. Baumol - Privatization, Competitive Entry and Rational Rules for Residual Regulation (transcript PDF 98.9KB)

1996 - Professor Geoffrey Brennan - The Economics of Politics and the Politics of Economics (transcript PDF 53KB)

International Women's Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. The United Nations designated 8 March as International Women’s Day in 1975, later adopting a resolution calling on nations to annually mark a day for Women's Rights and International Peace.

Since 2013, the University of Tasmania marks this occasion by inviting a person contributing to the advancement of women to deliver a public address relating to the occasion.

Click on the links below to watch a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2020 - IWD Public Forum - #EachforEqual

  • Kym Goodes - Principal, 3P Advisory & Former CEO, TasCOSS
  • Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas, Tasmania’s Australian of the Year
  • Caroline Sharpen, Chief Executive Officer, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
  • Distinguished Professor Maggie Walker, palawa community, University of Tasmania

2019 - The Honourable Lara Giddings -  #BalanceForBetter: Why is gender equality so hard to achieve?

2018 - Dr Jessica Manuela - IWD Address: A personal journey of resilience

2017 - Rosalie Martin - Three Steps to Kind Communication

2016 - Jane Hutchinson - Valuing Women and Nature

2015 - Helene Chung Martin - A Chinese Tasmanian Heritage: Women Past, Present and Future

2014 - Eva Cox AO - Has progress stalled so we need to restart the feminist revolution?’

2013 - The Hon. Bob Carr

The annual James Martineau Memorial Lecture provides insight into developments in moral theory and religion. The thirty-year-old series was made possible by a bequest from the estate of Samuel Lovell (1851-1936). Born in New Norfolk, Tasmania, Lovell began his career as a rural teacher and was later an inspector of schools. Lovell’s bequest was intended for the study of the philosophy of James Martineau (1805-1900), who “was regarded as the foremost spokesman of Unitarianism in England”. The scope of the Martineau Lecture has been interpreted loosely by the Philosophy discipline throughout the year, as encompassing topics ranging from philosophy of religion to moral philosophy.

Click on the links below to watch a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2019 - Professor Sharon Rider - On Boundaries and Bonds: How 'global thinking' really works

2018 - Professor Neil Levy - Not so Hypocritical After All: How we change our minds without noticing

2017 - Associate Professor Marguerite La Caze - Judging in Times of Crisis: Wonder, admiration, and emulation

2016 - Professor Philip Gerrans - Addiction and the Self: Perspectives from neuroscience and philosophy

2015 - Professor Celia Deane-Drummond - Evolution, Humans and Other Animals: Questions at the Interface

2014 - Professor Raymond Gaita - Human Rights and Human Dignity

2013 - Professor Genevieve Lloyd - Asylum Seekers and the Rhetoric of Compassion

2011 - Mick Gooda - The Power of Identity: Naming oneself, reclaiming community

2010 - Phillip Adams, AO - An Atheist Defends Religion

2002 - Andrew Benjamin - Refugees, Cosmopolitanism, and the Place of Citizenship

1984 - Richard Langdon Franklin - New Horizons: Reflections on the future of religion and science

1983 - Eugene Kamenka - A religion for the twentieth century?: Ludwig Feuerbach and the content of religious belief

1980 - JJC Smart - Ethics and Science

1978 - Selwyn A. Grave - The dismantling of religion

Hosted by the University of Tasmania, this annual lecture honours the life and work of the late Japanangka errol West, an internationally recognised poet and scholar. Japanangka errol was a leading Tasmanian Aboriginal academic, known for his scholarship in the field of Indigenous methodologies and pedagogies. He articulated the Japanangka teaching and research paradigm, based on knowledge entrusted to him by Walpiri elder Japanangka Rex Granites and incorporating an understanding of the learning paths critical to the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Western education.

Japanangka errol West was a leader in what has become a global body of scholarship unashamedly framed from Indigenous perspectives. It is this legacy of alternative narratives and scholarship that this annual lecture seeks to represent. It also seeks to embody another characteristic of Japanangka errol: his unstinting intellectual generosity to all within his orbit.

Click on links below to watch a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2020 - Associate Professor Sana Nakata -  'Tragedy of the Inarticulate’: Exploring the politics of Indigenous knowledge

2019 - Dr Chad S. Hamil - Coyote Made the Rivers

2018 - Professor Marcia Langton - The Scholar as Educator, the Educator as Disruptor (Watch Livestream)

2017 - Indigenous Research Methodologies (Watch Livestream)

  • Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith CNZM
  • Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith CNZM
  • Professor Huia Tomlins-Jahnke

2016 - Dr Kū Kahakalau - Pedagogy of Aloha: Trusting in our Native Traditions (Watch Livestream)

2015 - Associate Professor Scott Manning Stevens - Memory and Presence in Native America Today (Watch Livestream)

The Launceston Historical Society in  partnership with the University of Tasmania host the annual John West Memorial Lecture, inaugrated in  1988.  The lecture  is named in honour of the Reverend John West, a Congregational minister who is notable for his association with the Examiner newspaper (1842-1854) and for his The History of Tasmania (Launceston, 1852) which documented the colony’s transportation system.

Click on links below to access the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2020 - The Notion of Humanity as a Constraint on the Conduct of War - Professor Tim McCormack

2019 - Transportation re-visited: lessons for modern penal policy? - Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC Governor of Tasmania

2018 - Beyond the Crown: History and Australia’s Republican Future, Professor Mark McKenna

2017 - Education, Productivity and Economic Performance, Saul Eslake

2016 - The Power of Small Voices: The Struggle for the Senate’s Centre, Michelle Grattan AO

2015 - We can do much better, Julian Burnside, AO QC

2014 - From Launceston to Launceston – Perspectives on the Cornish in Australia - Professor Philip Payton

For lectures prior to 2014, please visit the archives section of the Launceston Historical Society website.

The Red Cross Oration springs from a collaboration between the University of Tasmania and Australian Red Cross.  The organisations have joined together to present an annual oration. The purpose is to contribute to the advancement of public understanding and interdisciplinary dialogue concerning issues of human significance in the contemporary world. The Oration is presented by an internationally renowned speaker and has the primary purpose of introducing to the wider community issues that connect broadly with the values and principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

While the speaker may come from any discipline, the focus of the Oration is on an important contemporary issue that has a distinctly human meaning and significance whether related, for instance, to some aspect of human distress or suffering, human dignity or respect, or human understanding and human engagement.

Click on the links below to watch the lecture recording.

Previous Speakers

2020 - Amanda McKenzie - Impacts of Climate Change for the Future of Australian Society

2019 - Professor Melissa de Zwart - From Star Wars to Space Command

2018 - Jono Nicholas Loneliness in the Digital Age: Sustaining healthy communities in the 21st Century

2017 - Dr Alice Edwards - How to Win Friends and Influence States: Social change through treaties

2016 - Anne Carey - The World Needs the Courage to be Kinder

2015 - Dr Helen Durham - Facing the Future: Challenges to International Humanitarian Law

2014 - Professor Tim McCormack - A Century of War and Peace: Australian Red Cross & the Development of International Humanitarian Law

2013 - Tadatoshi Akiba - A Nuclear Weapons Free World - A Perfect Vision with a Deadline

2012 - Waleed Aly - Diversity in Australia today: A conversation with Waleed Aly and Helen Durham

2011 - Yves DaccordConflict and violence in a changing world: the challenges for humanitarian response

2010 - Hugh Evans and Simon Moss - 1.4 billion reasons to end extreme poverty

2009 - Professor Penny Sackett - Our future climate - living with fires now and into the future...: Understanding the science of fires in Australia and celebrating the spirit of renewal and recovery

2008 - Justice Michael Kirby - The growing impact of international law on Australian Constitutional values

2007 - Professor Henk Ten Have - The Challenge of Bioethics in a Globalised World

The late Dr Richard (Dick) Jones made an outstanding contribution to environmental awareness in Australia and beyond. He played a pivotal role in the Lake Pedder Action Committee and in the formation of the United Tasmania Group (the world's first comprehensive Green party) in the early '70s, both of which provided the groundwork for the later successful national campaign to prevent the damming of the Franklin River.

Dr Jones was also instrumental in establishing the community-based Tasmanian Environment Centre (now Sustainable Living Tasmania) and he played a leading role in converting the Australian Conservation Foundation into one of the nation's most dynamic environmental organisations.  Further, in establishing the postgraduate Centre for Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania, Dr Jones did much to promote problem-oriented, interdisciplinary environmental research that has provided the community with valuable information and innovative ideas.

The Richard Jones Memorial Trust

Colleagues, students, graduates, and friends from the Centre for Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania in conjunction with the Tasmanian Environment Centre established a trust (following a community appeal) administered by a volunteer committee of academics and community members.

You can contact the committee through Sustainable Living Tasmania

Click on the links below to view a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2020 - Amanda Cahill -  Embracing the Cracks  in the Pavement

2019 - Emeritus Professor Bill Gammage - Who Made The Wilderness?

2018 - Paul Hawkens - The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming

2016 - Jane Hutchinson - Lofty Ambitions, Great Expectations and Achieving Carbon Neutrality

2015 - Helena Norberg-Hodge - Towards an Economics of Personal and Ecological Wellbeing

Click here for a full list of past lectures.

The Richard Selby Smith Oration is an annual event to celebrate the life and work in education of Professor Richard Selby Smith. The Oration is a high profile public lecture, organised by the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian College of Educators and supported by the Selby Smith Family and the University of Tasmania.

Professor Selby Smith made significant contributions to education nationally and in Tasmania over a long period. He was a foundation member of the Australian College of Educators and an active and long serving member of the Tasmanian Branch. He was a Fellow of the College.

Click on the links below to watch the lecture recording.

Previous Speakers

2019 - Professor Toby Walsh - Artificial Intelligence and Education

2018 - Robert RandallImproving learning for all young Australians: Reflections on national efforts and success

2017 - Lisa Rodgers - Refocusing our achievement lens - the real progress story

2016 - Professor John Hattie - Education Futures in an Island State

2015 - Professor Erica McWilliam - The Future is Not What it Used to Be

2014 - Professor Ian Chubb AC - Science Education in Australia: An Investment In The Future

2013 - Professor Geoff Masters - Reforming Educational Assessment: Imperatives, principles and challenges

2012 - Mark TreadwellEmergent Schooling for the 21st Century

2011 - Professor Alan Reid - >The national education agenda for schooling: Does it foster or inhibit equity?

2010 - Professor Brian J. Caldwell - Where have creativity, innovation and passion gone in the great education debates of the 21st century?

In June 2010, Sandy Duncanson, the principal solicitor of the Tenants' Union of Tasmania, died aged 37, after surviving cancer for 16 years.

The University of Tasmania holds a public lecture in Sandy's name each year, raising awareness of social justice issues amongst UTAS students and staff, legal practitioners and other professionals, and across the wider Tasmanian community.

The lecture also coincides with the announcement of the Sandy Duncanson Social Justice Bursary, which provides funding for a social justice project or activity undertaken by University of Tasmania students and helps ensure that Sandy's commitment and passion for social justice is passed onto future generations.

Click on the links below to watch the lecture recording.

Previous Speakers

2020 - Behrouz Boochani  -  Isolated from Justice

2019 - Elizabeth Broderick - Challenges of Reaching Gender Equality

2018 - Reverend Tim Costello AO Fullness of Life: Building just societies for  all people to thrive

2017 - Rodney Croome - The Long Road Home: How marriage equality will unlock a better future for Australia

2016 - David Morrison AO - Seeing the Unseen and Hearing the Unheard

2015 - Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AM, Governor of Tasmania - Family and Gender Violence and the Limits of Law Reform

2014 - Janet Holmes à Court AC - Asylum seekers: How did we come to this?

2013 - Professor Gillian Triggs - Human Rights in Australia: The Role of Public Education and Advocacy

2012 - Andrea Durbach - A Common Purpose - Inching the Law towards Justice

2011 - The Honorable Michael Kirby AC CMG - My Journey with Social Justice

Sir James Plimsoll was one of the most distinguished diplomats in the history of Australia’s Department of External Affairs (later the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). The previous Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, has labelled him ‘Australia’s greatest ambassador’.

After serving in the AIF in the Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs, Plimsoll was appointed to the Far Eastern Commission, tasked with overseeing the Allied Council for Japan during the occupation of that country. In 1948 he was appointed a First Secretary of the Department of External Affairs, and in 1950 was sent as the Australian representative to the United Nations Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea (UNKURK), where he formed a close working relationship with Sygman Rhee, the South Korean President.

Plimsoll was appointed as Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 1959, and became Australia’s High Commissioner to India and Ambassador to Nepal in 1962. He was chosen to be Head of the Department of External Affairs in 1965. In 1970, Plimsoll was appointed as Ambassador to the United States, and in 1974 he became Ambassador to the USSR. He was appointed as Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the EEC in 1977 and in 1980 became High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. His final diplomatic post was as Ambassador to Japan in 1981 and 1982.

He later served as the highly popular and respected Governor of Tasmania from 1982 until his death on 8 May 1987 – only shortly after having his initial five-year term extended.

Click on the links below to watch the lecture recording.

Previous Speakers

2019 - European Union Ambassador His Excellency Dr Michael PulchHow Australia-EU relations will fare in the era of Brexit (Watch Livestream)

2018 - NZ High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Chris Seed - New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia will explore trans-Tasman relations

2017 - Ms Frances Adamson

2016 - Ambassador (ret.) Jeffrey Bleich - New Leadership: Insights into a Post-Obama America

2014 - The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG - The Challenge of Getting Action on Human Rights Abuses in North Korea

2013 - Mr Peter Varghese AO - The Challenges of Multilateralism

2012 - His Excellency José Ramos-Horta - Reflections on the past 10 years in Timor Leste and how to position the country for the future

2011 - The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP

2010 - Paul Kelly - The Keating - Howard Inheritance: The Strategic Foundations of Australian Foreign Policy

2007 - The Hon. Alexander Downer MP

The biennial Abercrombie Lecture is hosted by the University of Tasmania in partnership with the Planning Institute Australia (PIA) – Tasmania in honour of one of the most distinguished town planners of the 20th century: Professor Sir Patrick Abercrombie.

Abercrombie has strong connections with Tasmania. Sir Patrick’s son, Neil (a highly regarded planner in his own right), was the Town and Country Planning Commissioner in Tasmania in the 1960s. Neil donated his father’s books to the University of Tasmania library, where they form part of the Special & Rare Collections. Two of his daughters still live in Tasmania.

Abercrombie is perhaps best known for the two great London plans after World War II, alongside proposals many other UK cities and regions. Further afield, Abercrombie worked on plans for Dublin, Hong Kong, Addis Ababa, and Sri Lanka. He consulted to the British Government on the distribution of the industrial population, and he founded the Council for the Preservation of Rural England. He was also President of the International Union of Architects.

In 1945 Abercrombie was knighted, and the following year he received the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture; he received the Gold Medal of the American Architects in 1950 and that of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1953. The London University awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, and he was appointed a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur by France in 1956 for his services to society.

Click on the links below to view a recording of the lecture.

Previous Speakers

2020 - Professor Donald Shoup and Dr Rana Roy -  Planning, Cities and Economic Recovery: Mobility in a time of global disruption

2018 - Professor Billie Giles-Corti - What would it take to make Hobart Australia’s most Liveable City?

2016 - Professor Roz Hansen - Marrying Public and Private Interests for Planning: Getting the balance right for mutual benefit

2014 - Jane Frances Kelly - The Cities We Deserve

2012 - Stephen Alchin - Infrastructure Planning & Housing Supply – Challenges & Opportunities

2010 - Gail Connolly - Metropolitan plans: how to avoid getting stuck on the shelf

2008 - Lars Gemzoe - Principles for City Planning in the 21st Century

2006 - Professor Brendan Gleeson - Revaluing Planning - a project for our times