Australasian Union of Jewish Students

Sir Zelman Cowen Memorial Oration

Sir Zelman Cowen Memorial Oration


The Oration is an annual lecture celebrating the life and legacy of Sir Zelman Cowen, a distinguished scholar, educator, civic leader and – for five years – Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. 

In 2017, The Oration will be delivered by The Hon Kim Beazley, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Australian Leader of the Opposition and Ambassador to the United States. The topic of the Oration will be Australia and US Relations, Asia and The Era of Change.


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About the Oration: 

Sir Zelman Cowen was a towering figure in the Australian community. Sir Zelman Cowen graduated from the University of Melbourne with first class honours in Law and Arts. He was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, and was passionate about education, becoming a lecturer at Oxford and the Dean of Law at The University of Melbourne at age 31. Among many other achievements, he was the 19th Governor General of Australia and he was an admired leader by all.

The Oration is a forum for learning and debate on matters of public interest and themes relevant to Sir Zelman’s life, including law, justice, leadership, community, education, public policy and Australian identity. 

Mr Beazley is one of Australia's most iconic and respected modern day political and diplomatic figures and an acclaimed orator. With growing national debate on Australia's relationship with the US and its role in Asia, particularly with a new Trump US administration, Mr Beazley's expertise in International Relations and Diplomacy promise to provide us with a fascinating Oration.

The Oration is supported by patron the Honourable Josh Frydenberg MP, and Lady Cowen and the Cowen family.


General admission – $10
Students – $5

Register and purchase tickets online –


The Oration is a project of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students.

AUJS is the representative body of Jewish students in Australia and New Zealand – representing thousands of students on more than 25 university campuses.