ABN 22 346 252 276
P.O. Box 2478,
Bakery Hill VIC 3354



2022 Coates Oration - 

Professor Peter Doherty will present this year's Coates Oration at 6.00pm on Wednesday, November 16 at the Mount Helen Campus of Federation University Australia, Ballarat. Booking details to be advised shortly.

Peter Doherty is Australian immunologist and pathologist who, with Rolf Zinkernagel of Switzerland, received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1996 for their discovery of how the body’s immune system distinguishes virus-infected cells from normal cells. After leading a research group at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, and teaching at the University of Pennsylvania (1975–82), Peter headed the department of experimental pathology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra (1982–88) and served as chairman (1988–2001) of the department of immunology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he still holds the Michael F Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research. In 2002, he joined the faculty of medicine at the University of Melbourne, and from 2014, has been at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the university and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Peter is the author of many books, including The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: A Life in Science (2005), Sentinel Chickens: What Birds Tell Us About Our Health and the World (2012) The Knowledge Wars (2015), The Incidental Tourist (2018) and most recently An Insider’s Plague Year (2021).

The Coates Oration is presented in Ballarat by Federation University Australia, in association with the Coates Trust. The Oration is a free event open to the public. The Coates Trust Oration Dinner is is a paying event, normally held immediately after the oration. Details of the booking arrangements for the dinner will be advised shortly.

Contact the Coates Trust

Coates Trust Email and Postal Lists - Information

To be placed on the Coates Trust mailing list or to enquire about the 2022 Oration you can call the ACMT Secretary on 0474799991 or email the Trust at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Previous Orations

2021 Coates Oration - Cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

2020 Coates Oration - Cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

2019 Coates Oration - Her Excellency, the Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC

The Governor spoke of the multi-dimensional talents and interests exhibited by Sir Albert Coates (surgeon, soldier, teacher, orator) and linked this to a review of the idea that "we need people whose knowledge spans a significant number of subjects.  People able to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.  We need more polymaths."  The oration expolred this theme from perspectives of ensuring children's education spanned both the arts and sciences, noting ideas put forward by CP Snow in the fifties. She cited Leonardo da Vinci as a grand example of a polymath and argued for the opportunities in the future for education and career paths to benefit from a different perspective on how we learn and what we learn as children and as adults.  The full text can be read at the Governor's website. (www.governor.vic.gov.au/all-speeches)

2018 Coates Oration - Sir Angus Houston

The 2018 Oration was presented by Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret'd) on the subject of 'Leadership Matters'.  Sir Angus Houston is a disinguished Australian leader who served as Chief of the Defence Force from 2005-2011 and has continued to serve the nation in many leadership roles, particularly the national responses to the MH370 and MH17 disasters.

2017 Coates Oration - The Hon. Tim Fischer AC

One Hundred Years Ago Who Won World War One?  Tim Fischer suggested eight key people (plus one) who played a part in bringing World War 1 to an end.  With each individual their contribution was described.  Arthur Currie and the CEF, John Monash and the all volunteer AIF, Munitions Minister Churchill and the new tanks, but not so much the late on parade Yanks.  Included in the presentation was a brief biography of Sir John Monash and the argument for his posthumous elevation to Field Marshall.

2016 Coates Oration - Lt. General David Morrison AO (Ret'd)
Lt. General David Morrison AM was the presenter of the 2016 Coates Oration held on Monday, October 10th, 2016. He spoke on gender equity and cultural diversity issues in the context of the Australian Army and his own process of developing greater awareness of the importance of these issues in the defence forces. He discussed his work in begining the process of cultural change in the army and described the challenges that exist in bringing about change.  Some 220 people attended the oration, making this the best attended event to date.

2015 Coates Oration - Dr. Lachlan Grant 
The 2015 Coates oration was held on Thursday, October 22nd.  The speaker was Dr. Lachlan Grant, Historian, Australian War Memorial who spoke on "Voices from the Past: recovering memories of POWs for The Changi Book, 70 years on. Over 100 people attended to hear the moving testimony of Changi prisoners who wrote of their experiences whilst in the POW camp.  A highlight of the talk was the film footage taken at the camp in the days after it was liberated in 1945.  The Changi Book can be purchased from the Australian War Memorial online shop.

2014 Coates Oration
The 2014 Oration was presented by Lt. General Ken GillespieAC DSC CSM (Retired). Lt. General Gillespie retired as Chief of Australa's Army in 2011 and currently chairs the Commonwealth Government's Centenary of ANZAC Committee.  He spoke on "Serving Australia: the ANZAC Legacy of Albert Coates", reflecting on what makes genuinely great Australians and issues surrounding the commemoration of the ANZAC centenary.  An audience of over 100 people attended the oration, held at the School of Mines Campus of Fedration University Australia.

2013 Coates Oration
The 2013 Coates Oration was presented by Dr. Rosalind Hearder on Thursday, October 24th.  Dr. Hearder spoke on "Coates and Co., Australian Doctors in Japanese Captivity during the Second World War."  The Oration was presented in the Court House Theatre, SMB Campus, University of Ballarat, Lydiard Street South, Ballarat.   As in previous years the Oration was followed by the Oration Dinner with an audience of around 100 people.  The dinner comenced at 7.30pm and was held at the Old Gaol Union Building, SMB Campus, University of Ballarat.

2012 Coates Oration

The Coates Oration was presented this year by Lynette Silver on Thursday, October 25th at the Brewery Theatre, SMB Campus, University of Ballarat at 6.00pm.  The presentation was entitled "Beyond the Call".

2011 Coates Oration
This year's oration was held at the University of Ballarat on Thursday, November 10th at 6.00pm.  The speaker was Prof. Mark Hogarth, Burnett Institute.  He spoke on "Medical research and 21st century biotechnology.  A triumph over adversity?".

2010 Coates Oration
The speaker at the 2010 Oration was Associate Professor Bruce Waxman.
The topic of the oration was "Triumphs and disasters: journeys of a Surgeon's life"

2009 Coates Oration
Dr Lynn Hemmings delivered the 2009 Oration at the Brewery Theatre, SMB Campus, University of Ballarat on November 12th.  Her presentation focussed on an oral history project that involved 20 of the 43 nurses who served in the Vietnam War.  The near capacity audience was spellbound by the presentation which featured extensive quotations from the nurses about their experiences and the impact these had on their lives.

2008 Coates Oration
The 2008 speaker was Major General Steve Gower, Director of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. The Oration was delivered at the School of Mines Campus of the University of Ballarat on Tuesday, November 25th, 2008.

 2006 Coates Oration -
Professor Kwong Lee Dow AM  "Contrasting education in the Time of Albert Coates with Education Today."

2004/2005 Coates Oration -
Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC "Australia in Peril: Pearl Harbour to the Coral Sea."

2003 Coates Oration  -
John E H Edwards  MMus, BA  "Ethics, Morality and Other Things."

2002 Coates Oration -
Professor  Robin Sharwood AM - "Finding the Way"

2001 Inaugural Orator -
Professor  Bruce Barraclough  FRACS - "Sir Albert Coates - A Life"

Visit the Federation University website for award application details. Visit (federation.edu.au/current-students/starting-at-federation/scholar...-coates-scholarships)

Previous Luncheon Speakers

The Lunch with Speaker functions could not be held from 2020 to 2022 due to the pandemic.

The 2019 Lunch with Speaker was Dr Misty Jenkins who heads an Immunology Laboratory at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical research in Melbourne.  Born and educated in Ballarat, Dr Kenkins completed her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology.  She spoke on the latest developments in treating brain cancer where CAR T cells are being engineered froma patient's own T cell to recognise and attack cancer cells.

The 2018 Lunch with Speaker address was given by Judge Sara Hinchey, State Coroner, Victoria. She spoke about the role of the state coroner and the work conducted by the organisation, clarifying common miconceptions about what coronors actually do and explaining the range of cases investigated and how findings from these cases are used to improve the safety of the public.

The 2017 Lunch with Speaker address was presented by Kate Torney, CEO, State Library of Victoria.  She spoke on the role of libraries in contemporary society and the major developments occuring in the State Library of Victoria over the next few years.  The lunch was attended by one hundred guests.

The 2016 Lunch with Speaker address was presented by The Hon. Rob Knowles AO on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.  He spoke on Bullying in the Professions. The Hon. Rob Knowles chaired the inquiry, set up in March, 2015, into the issues surrounding bullying conducted for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). Rob Knowles is a former Victorian Health Minister and current Chair of the Royal Children's Hospital.  He represented the Ballarat Province as Minister for Housing & Aged Care (1992-1996).

The first 2015 Lunch with Speaker presenter was Paul Sheahan, on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.   The presentation was titled "Flotsam & Jetsam" and focused on the changing context for young people today and the way education needs to adjust approaches to engage effectively.  115 people attended.
The May, 2014 Lunch with Speaker presenter was Wayne Rigg who spoke on his role working with the aviation arm of the Country Fire Authority.  He spoke of the technology involved and the many challenges faced by those helping to fight fires from the air.

The September, 2013 Lunch with Speaker presenter was Rev. Bryan Nichols who spoke on his role in Chaplaincy and as a Justice of the Peace. He also shared some of his interest in military history and travelling to former battlefield sites.
The March, 2013 Lunch with Speaker presenter was Andrew Thomas, photographer and graphic designer speaking on "Wonderland of Waterfalls: A Roving Camera in Victoria's Highlands". 

© Copyright 2007 - 2018 - Albert Coates - Master Surgeon, Teacher, Humanitarian
This website is presented by the Albert Coates Memorial Trust, PO Box 2478, Bakery Hill, Victoria, 3354