The annual Wilks Oration provides an opportunity for the community to hear from a prominent guest speaker. These events are held in honour of Graham Wilks, a founder of the ELC.

After being postponed in 2021, Stan Grant delivered the Wilks Oration on 25 February 2022, discussing key issues of our time including the Australian Identity and responses to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, with time for questions.

Please click here to view a video of Stan’s oration.

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About Graham Wilks

Graham Wilks was an inspirational South Australian leader and the founding secretary of the Effective Living Centre. Graham was a caring man who provided great inspiration whilst serving others. His passion for life and well-being had a far-reaching impact upon individuals and community groups alike.

Graham worked as a Presbyterian Minister in New Zealand and as a psychologist – both of which served his passion for building healthy relationships. Graham had a deep and searching Christian spirituality, and he felt there was a need for a forum to explore and express this kind of spiritual expression outside of traditional worship. He was an innovative and respected CEO of The Marriage Guidance Council in South Australia, and shepherded its transformation to Relationships Australia.

Graham was involved in the initial gathering of a small group from Christ Church Wayville and beyond who originally dreamt up the ELC concept. This group was seeking ways to create connections for South Australians seeking new expressions of Christianity, while also recognising our growing multi faith and “no faith” society.

Before the creation of the ELC, Graham sadly suffered a debilitating stroke that had a huge impact on his life and his contributions to the planning group. He sadly passed away in 2001 in St George’s (in their family home).

Graham was always known for being a great inspirer and mentor with a special knack for uplifting and challenging those around him. His inspirational thinking and hard work was key in the establishment of the ELC.

The annual Wilks Oration was created in recognition of his substantial contribution to the foundation of the ELC and his contribution to thinking and relationship-building in South Australia.

Past Orators & Topics

For more information about any of the following speakers and events, please contact the ELC office via email or phone (08) 8271 0329.

2022: Stan Grant – “The Politics of Identity”
Video available

2020 and 2021: Event cancelled due to COVID

2019: Professor Samar Akkach – “Humanism and the Sacred in search of common ground”

2018: Professor Henry Reynolds – “Australia’s Unnecessary Wars”
Audio available

2017: Julian Cribb – “Surviving the 21st Century” Humanity’s greatest challenge!
Audio available
Written version available

2016: Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs – “Revitalising a Commitment to Human Rights”
Written version available.

2015: Tanya Hosch – “It’s Time…to Recognise First Australians in the Constitution”

2014: Rev Prof Andrew Dutney – “Are We Still a Fair Go Society?”

2013: Rachael Kohn – “We Are All Believers Now”

2012: Hieu Van Le – “Australia’s Migration – Challenges and Opportunities”

2011: Event cancelled; planned speaker was Dr Tim Flannery.

2010: Hon Michael Kirby – “Why Are Australians So Worried About a Citizen Initiative Human Rights Charter?”

2009: Event cancelled; planned speaker was Hon Michael Kirby.

2008: Sue Park – “The New Empowerment Model and How It Works”

2007: Prof John Hirst – “Living With Difference: the Australian Story”

2006: Prof Colin McMullin – “The Wellbeing of Children Affected by Armed Conflict and Migration”

2005: Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue – “Reconciliation”

2004: Julian Burnside QC – “Human Rights – Yours, Mine or Ours”

2003: Prof David Tacey – “Emerging Spirituality in Australia Today”

2002: Inaugural dinner event with speaker Ian Cox