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2015 Brookes Oration

One of the biggest occasions on Deakin’s annual event calendar, the Brookes Oration honours the significant contribution of Sir Wilfred Brookes, grandson of Alfred Deakin, the second Prime Minister of Australia.

With a view to encourage thoughtful debate about the contribution of corporate Australia in the global community, the oration was established by the Deakin Graduate School of Business in 2006.

Professor David Shilbury, Associate Dean International at Deakin’s Faculty of Business and Law says that corporate Australia is a key contributor to the Australian lifestyle and therefore collectively makes a significant contribution to the lives of many Australians economically, in employment terms and through consumer demands.

‘We need to think about broader economic and lifestyle trends as they impact on jobs of the future and employments trends, all of which is central to corporate Australia. Economic prosperity is also linked to the success of corporate Australia and the liveability of Australia,’ he says.

This year, well-known social commentator Mr Bernard Salt spoke to the audience about Changing lifestyles: how Australians are choosing to live today.

A popular columnist with The Australian newspaper for over ten years and author of five best-selling books on social, cultural and generational change, Salt has a knack for bringing statistics to life with a gentle wit, coining the now ubiquitous terms ‘Sea Changers’, ‘Man Drought’, and ‘the Goat’s Cheese Curtain’ for example.

‘Bernard Salt presented a wonderful, thoughtful and engaging overview of changing lifestyles in Australia, and how we need to adapt our policies, systems and structures to changing circumstances in areas such as health, education and employment.

‘As he has previously pointed out, more than 40% of the jobs of the future are as yet unknown,’ Professor Shilbury says.  

Salt highlighted that ‘the future belongs to loveable geeks, people who command good technical and social skills,’ and shared his thoughts on the fact that as a society we need to be ‘cultivating the entrepreneurialism’ of Gen Y as they are the connected generation.

He said that ‘Australia is ultimately a fusion culture that brings together cultural elements from different migrant groups – it’s a society obsessed with lifestyle.’

As part of the oration this year’s Brookes Scholars were also announced. Congratulations to Deakin MBA students James Hood and Kane Hooper on their outstanding achievements.

The event was also live tweeted via @Deakin under #BrookesOration.