The Institute of Public Administration (IPAA) is delighted to announce a new annual oration, created with the generous support of IPAA Partner, Boston Consulting Group, to be named after Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia and delivered on the United Nations Public Service Day.

The inaugural Frances Adamson Oration will be delivered by Her Excellency Frances Adamson in Canberra on 23 June. The Oration will engage the broader public sector to reflect on and celebrate the critical role played by the public service and the institutional and individual integrity, resilience, and challenges in the service.

“This oration is an opportunity for constructive, forward-thinking analysis and reflection on the role of the contemporary public service,” says Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM, IPAA National President. “We wanted to name the oration after a person who has experience in, and empathy for, public service in Australia in its varying dimensions, and who embodies the values of the public service in their own actions and leadership. Frances Adamson is an ideal role model and we are thrilled that she has accepted this mantle.”

In 2016, Her Excellency was appointed Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, pursuing Australia’s interests as world powers shifted and the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. She led the department through a period of cultural change, encouraging more women into senior ranks. She has also been International Adviser to the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff to the Foreign Minister and Defence Minister.
In June 2021 she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to public administration through the advancement of Australia’s diplomatic, trade and cultural interests.
Her Excellency served as President of IPAA ACT from 2017 to 2019 and during this tenure she oversaw both its expansion and diversification of its programs and activities, as well as its move to become a company listed by public guarantee. Her Excellency was recognised as an IPAA National Fellow in 2019 for her contribution to the organisation and the public service generally.
In accepting the proposal of having an oration named after her, Her Excellency noted, “I am genuinely delighted at the prospect of a structured opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the role played by the public service, whether globally, nationally or locally.”

Her Excellency will deliver the inaugural Frances Adamson Oration on 23 June 2022 in Canberra.

For further information and enquires please contact  Caroline Walsh, National Executive Director, IPAA  at

Image Credit: Frances Adamson at Elder Park for the announcement of her appointment as South Australia’s next governor.(ABC News: Sara Tomevska)

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