The Wentworth Lecture

The Wentworth Lecture is held in honour of the Honourable W C Wentworth AO. It was established in 1978 to pay tribute to Mr Wentworth's contribution to Indigenous studies in Australia and as a means to encourage all Australians to gain a better understanding of issues that go to the heart of our development as a nation.

Mr Wentworth argued for a comprehensive effort by the Australian Government to record the culture of Australian Indigenous peoples in 1959. As a result of Mr Wentworth's political skills, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies was established by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Act in 1964, with an interim Council set up in 1961.

Past Lectures

2019 Professor Marcia Langton AM, Innovation – Indigenous genius then and now

2017 Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM, The promise of 1967: Commonwealth Public Administration of Indigenous Affairs 50 years on

2012 Dr Megan Davis, To recognise or not to recognise: The place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution

2010 Justice The Hon. Michael Kirby AC, CMG, First Australians, law and the High Court

2008 Ms Terri Janke, Guarding ground: a vision for a National Indigenous Cultural Authority

2006 Emeritus Professor Robert Tonkinson, 'Difference' and 'Autonomy' - Then and now: Four decades of change in a western desert society

2004 Professor Martin Nakata, Indigenous Australian studies and higher education

2002 Dr Peter Sutton, Unusual couples: Relationships and research on the knowledge frontier

2000 Mr Patrick Dodson, Beyond the Mourning Gate: Dealing with Unfinished Business

1998 Ms Marika Marika

1996 Justice Robert French, Native Title: the beginning or the end of justice

1994 Mr Michael Dodson, The end in the beginning: Re(de)finding Aboriginality

1992 Ms Marcia Langton, Aborigines and policing: Aboriginal solutions from Northern Territory communities

1990 Dr Nicolas Peterson, Studying man and mans nature: The history of institutionalisation of Aboriginal anthropology

1988 Mr Ken Colbung, Not land rights: but land rites

1986 Professor DJ Mulvaney, A sense of making history: Australian Aboriginal Studies 1961-1985

1984 Dr L R Hiatt, Aboriginal political life

1982 Professor R M Berndt, Looking ahead through the past

1980 Ms Margaret Valadian, Aboriginal education: for Aborigines by Aborigines?

1978 Dr Rhys Jones, Calories and bytes: Towards a history of Australian Islands