Mr Max Charlesworth (1925-2014) was a founding Patron of Foundation House in 1987. His support was invaluable in establishing a service for survivors of torture and trauma in Victoria. We are indebted to Max and proud to have had him as a friend. Max was an esteemed philosopher and bioethicist as well as a thoughtful, dignified and intellectually courageous man. In honour of Max we have named our annual mid-year event the Max Charlesworth Oration.
The Oration, which began in 2006, was originally conceived to mark both Refugee Week and the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Each year the Oration brings together many who are committed to human rights. Since 2006, we have been privileged to hear the thoughts and expertise of a number of esteemed speakers.
In 2018 (June 28, 2018) our orator will be: Dr Helen Szoke AO. Helen is the Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia.
2016: Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG
International jurist, educator and former judge
Former Justice of the High Court of Australia
“Tackling hard ethical issues calmly. Max Charlesworth, Bioethics, Refugees and Sexuality”.
Click here to read the full text of the Oration.
2015: Professor Spencer Zifcak
Allan Myers Professor of Law and Research Co-ordinator
Thomas More Academy of Law, Australian Catholic University
“Preventing Mass Atrocities: Ethical, but Practical?”
2014: Ms Erika Feller
Inaugural Max Charlesworth Oration
Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s School of Government
Former UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection
“The challenges of global forced displacement in the current era”
2013: Professor Tim McCormack
Professor of Law at the Melbourne Law School
Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to the
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague
“What Prospects for the Pursuit of Global Justice”
2012: Mr Richard Towle
Regional Representative for Australia, NZ, PNG and the Pacific, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
“Regional Challenges in Refugee Protection: A UNHCR Reflection”
2011: The Hon. Catherine Branson QC
President of the Australian Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Commissioner
“Asylum seekers and detention, what are the human rights challenges?”
2010: Mr Petro Georgiou MP
Member for Kooyong
“Exploring the dynamics of Australian policies towards asylum seekers and refugees: Reflections of an insider”
2009: Professor James C. Hathaway
Dean of Law, Melbourne University Law School
“Making international refugee law relevant again”
2008: Mr Martin Flanagan
“A Journalist’s view on the return of torture”
2007: No oration – 20th anniversary celebrations
2006: The Hon Lex Lasry QC
Former barrister and Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria