32nd Annual Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture: The Voice referendum

Date & time
6–8pm Tuesday 3 October 2023

Theatrette, NSW Parliament, 6 Macquarie St Sydney, NSW

Professor Megan Davis
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Public lecture

Part of the Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture series

32nd Annual Lionel Murphy Lecture

Australians will vote on 14 October 2023 in the first referendum held in the 21st Century. They will be asked to say Yes or No to whether the First Peoples of Australia should be recognised in the Constitution through the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

As Australians prepare to go to the polls, one of the leaders of this historic reform process, Professor Megan Davis, will deliver the 2023 Lionel Murphy Lecture.

Drinks and canapés will be served in the nearby Fountain Court.

The Lionel Murphy Lecture

The Lionel Murphy Lecture is sponsored by the Lionel Murphy Foundation to honour the contributions to public life of The Hon Lionel Murphy.

Lionel Murphy was a lawyer, politician, Parliamentarian and Judge. He held the office of Commonwealth Attorney-General and was a High Court Justice. He was an advocate for social justice and human rights and as Attorney-General he initiated a range of law reforms including the introduction of the Family Law Act and establishment of the Family Court, freedom of access to government information, abolition of the death penalty and legislation outlawing racial and other discrimination. He also set up the legal aid system and the Law Reform Commission.

The first Memorial lecture was delivered by the Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG in 1987 and has been delivered by many distinguished Australians since.


  • Professor Megan Davis »

    Professor Megan Davis is Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law, UNSW. Prof Davis is an Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court. Prof Davis is currently an expert member of the United Nations Human Rights Council's Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Prof Davis is formerly Chair and expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2011-2016).

    Prof Davis is a constitutional lawyer who was a member of the Referendum Council and the Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution. Megan is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and a Commissioner on the Australian Rugby League Commission. Megan supports the North Queensland Cowboys and the QLD Maroons.

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