William Redfern Oration

The William Redfern Oration is AFPHM’s keynote address at the annual RACP Congress. The Oration is named after Dr William Redfern, a surgeon, who was born in c1774 in Trowbridge, England and died in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1833.

Redfern was sent to Australia as a convict in 1801/1802 after escaping the death penalty for his role in the Mutiny of Nore in 1797 and pleading to be transported after languishing for four years in jail in England. He was granted a pardon in 1803 and appointed Assistant Surgeon in the Colony in 1808.

William Redfern was both a pioneer in public health and represents the earliest beginnings of the first medical specialty to develop in Australia - that of preventive medicine. William Redfern greatly improved the health conditions in the settlement through basic public health interventions.

The William Redfern Oration was instituted in 1994 by the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine in acknowledgement of the debt owed by Dr William Redfern for his pioneering work in public health medicine in Australia.

AFPHM William Redfern Orations by year

Year Speaker Title
1994 Dr George Salmond Pioneer and Champion of the Public Health
1995 Dr Khum Mechai Viravaidya
Public Health, Thai Style: An Unconventional Approach
Dr Alessandro Liberati
Cochrane and Clinical Epidemiology or Evidence-Based Medicine
1997 Professor Anthony McMichael
Global Change in the Coming Century: How Sustainable are the Recent Gains in Human Health?
1998 Dr Michael Wooldridge
New Directions in Public Health in Australia
1999 Professor Bruce Armstrong
Diet and Cancer
2000 Sir Michael Marmot
Structural Determinants of Health
2001 Professor David Penington
Striving for a Rational Policy on Illicit Drugs
2002 Laureate Professor Alan Lopez
Priority Setting in Health: The Global Burden of Disease
2003 Dr Mark Chassin
Improving the Quality of Public Health: Fact or Fantasy?
2004 Professor Margaret Whitehead
Challenging Inequities in Health: From Ethics to Action
2005 Dr Ichiro Kawachi
Globalisation and Health: Making Sense of the Evidence
2006 Professor Ernest Hunter
Back to Redfern: Atonement and the 'middle e' in relation to Aboriginal health
2007 Dr Pekka Puska

Global Chronic Disease Prevention – From Science to Effective Programmes and Policies

2008 Professor Annette Dobson
Congress Oration (Population Health Congress – in place of Redfern)
2009 Dr David Pencheon
The Health Sector’s Role in Promoting Sustainable Development and Mitigating Climate Change
2010 Dr Richard Smith
Rediscovering Public Health through Global Health
2011 Professor Kerry Arabena
Acceptable Loss: Accomplishing the Mission
2012 No Redfern Oration
Population Health Congress features combined oration – no Redfern Oration
2013 Professor Dawn Bessarab
What’s race got to do with ‘it’? Health care and Aboriginality in the 21st century
2014 Dr Rhys Jones
Decolonising Medical Education and Practice to Advance Indigenous Health
2015 No Redfern Oration
Population Health Congress features combined oration – no Redfern Oration
2016 Dr Sue Morey AM
2016 William Redfern Oration - What would Redfern think? (PDF)
2017 No Redfern Oration (World Congress on Public Health)
2018 Professor Alistair Woodward
Climate Change - Risk and Disruption
2019 Professor Sandra Eades Health across the lifespan: Indigenous Australian children, youth, young and older adults
2020 Professor Tony Capon Planetary Health: Protecting and Promoting Health in the Anthropocene Epoch (PDF)
2022 Professor Nicola Spurrier Lessons from the Pandemic
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