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NZ High Commissioner Annette King to deliver 2019 Paterson Oration 

26 March 2019

News and media


Dame Annette King

ANZSOG’s 2019 Paterson Oration will be delivered by New Zealand High Commissioner Dame Annette King in Melbourne on 28 March, with the theme of ‘Women in Leadership’ 

Dame Annette was a senior Cabinet Minister in the Clark Labour Government of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, with portfolios including health, police, transport and justice. She is New Zealand’s longest-serving female MP. 

ANZSOG Dean and CEO Ken Smith said that the Paterson Oration was an ANZSOG initiative which commemorated the distinctive contribution of Dr John Paterson AO to public administration and public sector reform in Australia. 

“The Paterson Oration is a chance for us to recognise the importance of a high-quality public sector, and to hear an inspirational speaker outline their vision for government,” he said. 

This year’s Oration will be co-hosted by the City of Melbourne at Federation Square, and Lord Mayor Sally Capp said it would be an honour to hear from the Hon Dame Annette King. 

“I’m delighted this year’s Paterson Oration will give us the opportunity to hear the insights of one of New Zealand’s parliamentary doyens,” Cr Capp said. 

“As New Zealand’s longest serving female MP, Dame Annette has had a fascinating political career and been a leading role model for women. I’m looking forward to being informed and inspired.” 

Professor Smith said that Dr Paterson had been a ‘legendary and fearless public servant’. 

 “He was a public servant who brought not only his ferocious intellect and wicked sense of humour but also his great store of moral courage to the task of public management,” he said.  “He had the rare combination of capacity to articulate a persuasive vision of a better future for public services and the managerial and operational nous to see how the vision could be implemented.”   The event will be held in conjunction with the awards ceremony for the 2017 cohort of ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public Administration.  “The EMPA is one of foundation programs, and has provided public sector managers with the theoretical and practical tools they need to deliver public value and help the communities they serve,” Professor Smith said.  “EMPA graduates are a highly-motivated, passionate and engaged group, and this ceremony will mark their effort in completing the program.”  

Past Paterson Orations have been delivered by Professor Peter Shergold, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and former High Court judge Michael Kirby. Last year’s Oration was delivered by New Zealand State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes on the topic of “The Spirit of Service”  NB: The Paterson Oration was originally scheduled to be delivered by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, The Rt Hon. Jacinda Ardern, but Ms Ardern is understandably unable to deliver the Oration.