J C Bannon Oration


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Key Event Details

The 2023 JC Bannon Oration will be given by Professor Frank Bongiorno AM, Professor of History at the Australian National University and President of the Australian Historical Association. There is a profile of Professor Bongiorno here.

Professor Bongiorno will address the question of:
‘How robust is Australian democracy? Reflections on times of turbulence and transformation.’

The J C Bannon Oration is given in memory of the Hon. Dr John Bannon AO, Premier of South Australia from 1982 to 1992, and Master of St Mark’s College from 2000 to 2007.

Note: this event is now passed and can be viewed online here.

Time & Date

20th November 2023


Ballroom, Downer House
St Mark’s College


To Carol Atkinson by
15th November 2023


Note: this event is now past

2023 Orator

Prof Frank Bongiorno AM

Professor Frank Bongiorno AM is the Head of the School of History at ANU and is an Australian political, labour and cultural historian. He has a particular interest in the history of the Australian Labor Party, on which he has published widely. His books include The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia; The People's Party: Victorian Labor and the Radical Tradition 1875-1914; and The Sex Lives of Australians: A History. He was co-editor of Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections that Shaped Australia.

Frank is a regular contributor to the media, especially Inside Story and The Conversation, and he has appeared on The Drum. He has also written for Australian Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement, the Monthly, the Australian and Fairfax Media. Prior to joining the Australian National University, he lectured at King's College London. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia

Frank Bonjiorno V1

The Oration

John Bannon

The Hon Dr John Charles Bannon AO, former Premier of South Australia, was the Master of St Mark’s College from 2000 to 2007.

The enduring importance of education is a key theme that was carried throughout Dr Bannon’s life: through his university years, political career, teaching roles, and as an academic and historian.

The arts and sports always played an important part in Dr Bannon’s life and this passion is reflected in his other activities over the years, both in and out of politics.

He held numerous board, council and committee positions and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007.

With deep admiration for John Bannon and gratitude for his legacy, St Mark’s College is holding an annual J C Bannon Oration, open to the public and presented by distinguished individuals who are leaders in their fields. We are grateful to the Bannon family for seed funding for this oration.


The portrait of Dr John Bannon AO above, painted by Robert Hannaford AM, hangs in the St Mark’s College dining hall.


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