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Libby Harricks Memorial Oration

We haven’t yet worked out the topic and speaker for the Libby Harricks Memorial Oration in 2022. In the meantime, you can catch up on last year’s event.

The legendary Professor Harvey Coates AO presented the 2021 Libby Harricks Memorial Oration in a webcast in March from Perth in Western Australia.

His topic: Indigenous Ear and Hearing Health — Tackling the Silent Epidemic.

Watch the video –

Open Captioned version

Auslan interpreter version

The Libby Harricks Memorial Oration is presented in 2021 by the Deafness Forum of Australia, Deafness Council of Western Australia, and Audiology Australia. Since 1999, it has featured the world’s leading academics, researchers, policy-makers, advocates, and commentators. It raises awareness of issues of hearing health, deafness, and ear and balance disorders.

This year’s orator Harvey Coates has a lifelong interest in otitis media in Aboriginal children since completing his training at the Mayo Clinic. This has included clinical outreach in remote parts of Australia and the South Pacific, as well as working with the WHO, and Committees nationally and internationally. He has well over 100 publications and remains within the top ten cited Australian otolaryngologists. He has received many National and Society honours including Officer of the Order of Australia.

Deafness Forum of AustraliaAudiology Australia

The series honours the memory of the first President of the Deafness Forum of Australia. For her work on behalf of hearing-impaired people, Libby Harricks was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1990. Read her story

Orations by year


COVID-19 health pandemic caused the cancellation of the Oration in 2020.

2019: ‘Global Hearing Health: challenges and opportunities’

Professor Andrew Smith’s presentation to the Indigenous Hearing Health Symposium, Australian Hearing Hub, Sydney.

2018: ‘Sisters are doin’ it for themselves’

Dr Graeme Innes AM at the 23rd Audiology Australia National Conference, Sydney.

2017: ‘Hearing and Mind: What should we do about hearing loss to promote cognitive wellbeing in older age?’

Piers Dawes’ presentation to the 17th Alzheimer’s Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference, Melbourne.

2016: The 18th Libby Harricks Memorial Oration

The Honourable John Howard OM AC, 25th Prime Minister of Australia presented the Oration at the 9th National Deafness Summit, Sydney.

2015: ‘Towards a new model for the deaf inclusion of leadership in early hearing detection and intervention services’

Dr Christine Yoshinago-Itano (8th Australasian Newborn Hearing Screening Conference, Sydney)

2014: ‘Making connections’

Professor Susan Brumby (XXXII World Audiology Congress, Brisbane)

2013: ‘The consequences of being born Deaf in the 21st Century’

Dr Laurie S Eisenberg (Australian Hearing Hub Inaugural Conference, Sydney)

2012: ‘A report card on the social wellbeing of Deaf and hearing-impaired people in Australia’

Dr Anthony Hogan (7th National Deafness Sector Summit, Melbourne)

2011: ‘Molecules, managers or mentors: how can we minimise noise damage in the workplace’

Dr Robert Patuzzi (11th National Rural Health Conference, Perth)

2010: ‘Early identification of hearing impairment in Australia: Well begun is not all done’

Professor Greg Leigh (6th National Deafness Sector Summit, Sydney)

2009: ‘The bionic ear: from an idea to reality’

Professor Graeme Clark AC(General Practice Continuing Education conference, Sydney)

2008: ‘Access, equity and hearing loss in Australia in 2008’

Professor Bob Cowan (5th National Deafness Sector Summit, Canberra)

2007: ‘Hearing and communication: a primary concern in aged care’

Richard Osborn (9th Rural Health Conference, Albury NSW)

2006: ‘Hearing Loss: the silent epidemic. Who, why, impact and what can we do about it’

Professor Harvey Dillon (4th National Deafness Sector Summit, Perth)

2005: ‘Deafness and disability transformed: an empowering personal context’

Alex Jones (Blue Mountains conference, NSW)

2004: ‘A sorry business: lack of progress in Aboriginal hearing health’

Dr Peter Carter (3rd National Deafness Sector Summit, Brisbane)

2003: ‘Disability law and people with hearing loss: we’ve come a long way but not there yet’

Donna Lee Sorkin (Macquarie University, Sydney)

2002: ‘The prevalence, risk factors and impacts of hearing impairment in an older Australian community’

Professor Paul Mitchell (XXVI International Conference of Audiology, Melbourne)

2001: ‘The politics of deafness’

Senator the Honorable Margaret Reid (National Press Club, Canberra)

2000: ‘Recent advances in the understanding of Meniere’s disease and tinnitus’

Professor William P R Gibson AM (International Federation of Hard of Hearing Conference, Sydney)

1999: Inaugural Libby Harricks Memorial Oration

Professor Di Yerbury AM (Sydney)