David Parkin Oration

The annual David Parkin Oration for Sport and Social Change honours the significant contribution of Dr David Parkin OAM to Australian society in leadership, sport and education and promotes the advancement of public knowledge by exploring the challenges and opportunities for sport to act as a driver of social change.

The Oration was established in 2012 to highlight the potential of sport as a platform to advance social change across a wide range of high profile and grass roots contexts. In the contemporary ‘global sports entertainment industry’ there exist unique opportunities to promote social change and social justice agendas. Simultaneously, sport and physical activity are used across a wide array of grass roots initiatives to promote a range of equity and peace agendas.

The central concern of the Oration is to consider the ways in which international sport and social change initiatives may contribute to policy, practice and debate in an Australian context, against a backdrop of global engagement.

Dr David Parkin

David Parkin has over thirty years experience in teaching and coaching education. Originally trained as a primary teacher, he obtained a Diploma of Physical Education from the University of Melbourne in 1971 and a Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Western Australia in 1975. He has been a lecturer at Deakin University since 1992, having earlier experience at Burwood Teachers College, State College of Victoria and Victoria College. He is a level 3 Australian Coaching Council accredited coach in Australian Football.

In 2013, David was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to knowledge and practice across a wide range of sporting communities, higher education, school education, coaching and sports management.

Further acknowledgement of David's significant contribution to Deakin University was recognised in the establishment of an annual Oration in his name. 'The David Parkin Oration for Sport and Social Change' now sits beside the Seaby and Brooks Orations as  the third Oration on the Deakin calendar.

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David’s accomplishments as a football player and coach are outstanding. He played 212 games for Hawthorn Football Club and captained the team for six years, leading them to the 1971 premiership.

He has coached Hawthorn, Carlton and Fitzroy Football Clubs and is one of only five coaches to have coached more than 500 VFL/AFL games. David coached premiership teams in 1978 at Hawthorn and in 1981, 1982 and 1995 at Carlton. He was also Victorian State coach four times and All Australian coach once.

In 2002, he was inducted into the Australian Football League’s ‘Hall of Fame’ and was an inaugural member of the Hawthorn Football Club ‘Hall of Fame’ in 2003.

David was responsible for the development of Deakin’s Sport Coaching course, the first of its kind in Australia to give students the theoretical and practical skills to coach the sport of their choice. David’s lectures take students to the advanced coaching level, looking at tactics, how human behaviours affect performance, analysing the student’s own coaching performance and conducting performance testing. David invites elite coaches in a variety of sports to give lecturers in the course, widening the perspectives of students.

One of David’s particular interests is physical activity in children. He has served on the Board of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and is a member of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

He is a great advocate of leadership and mentoring and the transference of sporting leadership skills to the corporate sector and everyday life. David co-authored ‘What Makes Teams Work’, released in 2004 by Pan Macmillan, which explores lessons from highly successful business and sporting teams. He has written or contributed to more than a dozen books on the areas of Australian football, coaching, team work, children’s sport and leadership.

Although no longer coaching actively, David maintains his involvement in sport through providing special comments on ABC radio football broadcasts, acting as an AFL Coach Ambassador mentoring young coaches throughout Australia, providing ongoing mentoring to many past students and motivational speaking in the sporting and corporate sectors. David is a member of the AFL Research Board.

2019 – First among equals

Four-time Olympian and Australia’s only winner of the Tour de France and the UCI Road World Championships, Cadel Evans AM, delivered the 2019 Oration.

In conversation with renowned sports broadcaster and writer Mr Gerard Whateley, Mr Evans shared his experiences and discussed some of the major sporting challenges and opportunities of today.

David Parkin Oration 2019

First among equals

Past orations

Previous Orators include Ric Charlesworth (The pursuit of excellence and importance of culture), Caroline Wilson (Tackling the sport of men), the Hon. Jeff Kennett (Professionalism of sport – a threat to good health), Kevin Sheedy (Opportunities and challenges in building a game for all Australians) and Andrew Demetriou (The game has a civic responsibility).

2018 - David Parkin Oration

Addressing the importance of women’s representation and reflecting on her contribution to women’s sport, Ms Alberti received a standing ovation for her speech - the first during the oration’s history.

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2017 - The pursuit of excellence and importance of culture

Ric Charlesworth reflected on his career in sport and, in particular, his role as coach of the Australian women’s and men’s hockey teams. As an athlete and coach, and writer of a number of books, Ric has long been committed to the pursuit of excellence.

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2016 - Tackling the sport of men

Caroline Wilson, recipient of two Walkley Awards, an Australian Sports Commission lifetime achievement award and the 2014 Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year, speaks about how she embarked upon her chosen career in sport and in doing so entered an all male arena.

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2015 - Professionalism of sport – a threat to good health

The Hon. Jeff Kennett reflects on his work with beyondblue to address the impact that sport and sporting figures can play in raising awareness of depression and anxiety.

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2014 - Opportunities and challenges in building a game for all Australians

Kevin Sheedy AM, one of the Australian Football League's most prominent and respected figures, reflects on his 46-year involvement in Australian Rules Football and his role in promoting a culture of inclusion both on and off the field.

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2013 - The Game has a Civic Responsibility

Andrew Demetriou, Australian Football League CEO, speaks about the challenges and opportunities the League has encountered in driving social change around the codes of civic responsibility and the plight of Aboriginal Australians.

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