J C Bannon Oration


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Key Event Details

The 2024 J C Bannon Oration will be given by Professor Anne Pender, Kidman Professor of Australian Studies and Director of the J M Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide.

She will speak on ‘The Costs of Comedy and the Future of the Arts in Australia.’

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.

The Oration (which will be followed by drinks) will be held in the Ballroom, Downer House, at St Mark’s College, and may also be viewed online.

Date:  5.15pm Tuesday 19 November 2024

All are welcome. There is no charge for this event.

RSVP here or register for the online event here.  Please contact Carol Atkinson on 08 8334 5610 with any questions.

Time & Date

19 November 2024


Ballroom, Downer House
St Mark’s College


To Carol Atkinson by
13th November 2024


Register here

2024 Orator

Prof Anne Pender

Anne Pender holds the Kidman Chair in Australian Studies and is Director of the J M Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide. Anne was National Library of Australia Fellow, 2021, Fulbright Senior Fellow at Harvard University in 2018, and is a former Australian Research Council Future Fellow 2012-2016. A Menzies Scholar to Harvard and graduate of the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales and Harvard University, Anne was Visiting Distinguished Professor in Australian Studies at the University of Copenhagen in 2011-2012 and taught Australian Literature at King’s College London in 2002-2003. Anne’s books include Seven Big Australians: Adventures with Comic Actors (2019), Players: Australian Actors on Stage, Television and Film (2016), From a Distant Shore: Australian Writers in Britain 1820-2012  (2013), One Man Show: The Stages of Barry Humphries (2010), Nick Enright: An Actor’s Playwright (2008) and Christina Stead: Satirist (2002).

P1065729 Anne Pender

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.