The inaugural Green Oration was delivered by Dr David Suzuki at the Hobart Town Hall on Wednesday 20 October 2010.
David is an internationally renowned scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster who has spent more than 40 years educating people about science and environmental issues.
His 2010 sold-out Green Oration focussed on the lessons of his book The Legacy: the summation of lessons he’s learned over the years that he thinks will be useful for future generations.
In a sobering but inspiring oration he described the state of the environment and the challenges we face to preserve our rich biodiversity with rapid population growth, continual economic growth and over-consumption, and exploitation of the planet’s finite resources.
Those things that matter the most to us are not measurable in economic terms. Our challenge is to slow down, improve communication, think about future generations and re-imagine the future for a more sustainable, harmonious and balanced life.
In 2011 Ingrid Betancourt delivered the second Green Oration.
Ingrid was born in Colombia and raised in France and in 1989 returned to Colombia to pursue a career in politics, following in the steps of her politician parents Gabriel Betancourt and Yolanda Pulecio.
In 1994 she was elected to the legislature on an anti-corruption platform and launched Oxigeno Verde, the Green Oxygen Party. In 1998 she was elected to the Senate with more votes than any other candidate.
Before launching her campaign for president in 2001 she delivered a keynote speech at the Global Greens conference in Canberra, inspiring all who heard her.
While campaigning for the Colombian Presidency in 2002, she was kidnapped by FARC rebels and held hostage for 6½ years. She was rescued in 2008 by the Colombian army and recently released Even Silence Has an End, a memoir of her experience.
Since her release she has also committed to campaigning for the release of a remaining hostages held by the FARC and to helping those released adapt to their old lives.
In its third year, then senator Bob Brown gave the 2012 Green Oration, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Tasmanian Greens and speaking about his vision for the next 40 years.
His oration was held exactly 40 years after the world’s first Greens party meeting – a tumultuous affair – was held on 23 March 1972 in the Hobart town hall.
Bob outlined his vision for the future of the Greens and Global Democracy and his optimistic plan for future governance.
In 2012 the Greens had 10 MPs in the Australian Parliament, 25 in state parliaments, including two ministers in Tasmania, and more than 100 local councillors, and had come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1972.
In 2013 Nobel Laureate for physics Professor Brian Schmidt delivered the 4th Green Oration, The Accelerating Universe.
Leader of the High-Redshift Supernova Search Team, he described the discovery of ‘Dark Energy’ and how astronomers have used observations to trace our universe’s history back more than 13 billion years, leading them to ponder the ultimate fate of the cosmos.
In 1998 two teams traced back the expansion of the universe over billions of years and discovered that it was accelerating, a startling discovery that suggests that more than 70% of the cosmos is contained in a previously unknown form of matter called Dark Energy.
Special interlude: Michael Kieran-Harvey plays Donald Kay on the grand piano.
On 30th March 2017, Prof Gillian Triggs gave the 7th Hobart Oration in Hobart's Town Hall.
Despite a concerted campaign by the Daily Telegraph and assorted right-wing commentators and politicians to have the event cancelled, it sold-out and Prof Triggs' speech, both searing and inspiring, received a standing ovation from a packed Town Hall audience.