Gareth Evans Oration delivered by Lord Chris Patten

Watch the recording of the 2023 Gareth Evans Oration which was delivered by Lord Chris Patten on our ANU TV YouTube channel.

Chancellor of Oxford University and the last Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Chris Patten will deliver the 2023 Gareth Evans Oration. 

In his address, Lord Patten will point out that "my generation is fortunate to have lived in the better half of the 20th century. It has been a little like living during the decades after the Congress of Vienna in the 19th century. There has been an effective world order which has, for most of us, ensured rising prosperity and peace. By the late 1980s some claimed that liberal democracy had triumphed everywhere. This was a rather rash prediction since we now see the splintering of the post war system of international order, the rise of China with all its consequences as well as an increase in the number of authoritarian states around the globe. With American leadership how can we ensure that liberal democracies are able to create a global partnership which does not exclude China and other authoritarians but ensures the survival and success of open societies."

After the oration, Professor Gareth Evans will be in conversation with Lord Chris Patten and this will be followed by Q&A from the audience. 

Professor Janine O'Flynn, will deliver the vote of thanks.

Copies of Lord Patten's latest book Hong Kong Diaries (2022) will be available for purchase before and after the event. Lord Patten will be available for book signings from 5.30pm in the foyer of Cultural Centre.


More about the speakers

Lord Christopher Francis Patten was born in 1944, educated in London and at Balliol College, Oxford where he read modern history. After a scholarship in America, he worked in the Cabinet Office and the Conservative Research Department where he became the Director under Margaret Thatcher.

He became MP for Bath in 1979 and held several Ministerial posts, becoming Secretary of State for the Environment in 1989 and Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1990.

Lord Patten was Governor of Hong Kong from 1992 to 1997, overseeing the return of The Territory to China. He has since been Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland (1998-99), was appointed European Commissioner for External Relations (1999-2004) and Chairman of BBC Trust (2011-14)

He was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1998 and became a member of the House of Lords in 2005 and then became the Commandeur of the Legion d'Honneur in 2016.

He helped to co-ordinate the visit of Pope Benedict to the United Kingdom in 2010 and became Chairman of the Vatican Media Advisory Committee for Pope Francis in 2014.

He holds several Honorary Degrees, was Chancellor of Newcastle University from 1999 until 2008, and was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003. He chaired the International Crisis Group from 2004 to 2011 and became Co-Chair of UK-India Round Table in 2006 until 2014.

Lord Patten has written several books - The Tory Case (1982), East and West (1998), Not Quite The Diplomat (2005) and What Next?: Surviving the 21st Century (2008), First Confession (2017), Hong Kong Diaries (2022).


Professor Janine O'Flynn is the new Director of the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, the leading Public Policy school in the region. She is an expert in public administration and management, having advised governments around the world on issues ranging from the design of effective performance management systems through to collaborative approaches to policy design and implementation. She is a Fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration and the Institute of Public Administration Australia, and she sits on several advisory boards. Janine is an award-winning researcher and educator, and is committed to better understanding how government works, and contributing to improving the outcomes of those activities.


More about the Gareth Evans Oration

The Gareth Evans Oration, a public policy lecture, was established in honour of former ANU Chancellor Distinguished Honorary Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC. The inaugural lecture was delivered in 2019 by Ambassador Samantha Power.

Professor Evans was Chancellor of The Australian National University from 2010 until 2019. Prior to joining ANU, Professor Evans was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments from 1983-96, in the posts of Attorney General, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Transport and Communications and - from 1988-96 - Foreign Minister. During his 21 years in Australian politics he was Leader of the Government in the Senate (1993-96) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives (1996-98). From 2000 to 2009 he was President and CEO of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation.

Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2012 for his "eminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament". 



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Date and Times


Room: Manning Clark Hall