2014 Reid Oration

Member Events - 6 Oct 2014

The 2014 Reid Oration was delivered on Monday 6th October 2014 by Mr Stephen Smith, Winthrop Professor of International Law at The University of Western Australia, and former Australian Defence and Foreign Affairs Minister.

The presentation focused on "Looking out and looking in - some public policy challenges of change in our region."

Over 300 people including WA's first female Governor, Western Australia Governor Kerry Sanderson AO, attended the 2014 Reid Oration in partnership with The University of Western Australia (UWA).

The Oration was opened by UWA's Winthrop Professor and WA's first female Premier, Ms Carmen Lawrence.

In his speech, Professor Smith addressed the domestic implications of global trends shaping Australia and WA's economy.

"...it won't much matter if this Century is described as the China Century, the Asia Century, the Asia-Pacific Century, or most correctly, the Indo-Pacific Century, if Australia is not a part of it, if Australia does not play a role in its peace, security and stability, and most importantly, takes its share of the prosperity unleashed by the growth in our region for the benefit of our own people," Professor Smith said.

"I say the Indo-Pacific Century because this inherently acknowledges the rise of China and the ongoing central importance of the United States, but also the rise of India and the emergence of Indonesia. It also acknowledges that Australia is an island continent which touches not just the Pacific but the Indian Ocean as well. It also acknowledges the strategic and economic importance of the Indian Ocean Rim, including Africa, itself destined to be a continent of over a billion people."

Stephen Smith, Winthrop Professor of International Law, is a UWA Law and Arts Graduate, and has a Masters in International Law from the University of London (LSE). He is Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and a Barrister of the Bar of England and Wales. He is a Member of the Board of the Perth USAsia Centre and a Member of the Advisory Board of Perth law firm Lavan Legal. He was the Member for Perth in the Australian Parliament from 1993-2013 and Minister for Foreign Affairs and then Minister for Defence during the period 2007-2013.

The Reid Oration was established by the Institute of Public Administration Australia (WA Division) in 1991 to honour Professor Gordon Reid’s contribution to public life. Gordon Reid, AC, was a distinguished scholar in the areas of Politics, Public Administration and Comparative Government. He was Professor of Politics for many years at The University of Western Australia as well as serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor. From 1984-1989 he was Governor of Western Australia. He was also a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, serving as a member of the WA Division as well as Councillor, Vice-President and President.

The Oration aims to encourage public interest and research into public policy and contemporary thinking of our times; not dissimilar to the work of Professor Gordon Reid. The Reid Oration is a joint collaboration between the WA Institute of Public Administration Australia and The University of Western Australia.

Read more about the Reid Oration here.


View recorded lecture here.

View speech notes here.