Inaugural ACT Heritage Oration 2023

Max Bourke AM
"Australian heritage at the cross-roads - looking back and forward without breaking my neck"

A copy of Max Bourke’s Oration is available here – Max Bourke Oration 20230417. A voice recording is not presently available.


About the Inaugural ACT Heritage Oration

The annual ACT Heritage Oration has been established by the National Trust (ACT) to celebrate World Heritage Day, which is observed around the world each year on 18 April.

The Oration provides an opportunity for a prominent heritage leader and thinker to deliver an address aimed at raising awareness and stimulating discussion about the current state and future directions of heritage nationally and in the ACT.

Max Bourke AM has had a long career in heritage and conservation. He was appointed Director of the Australian Heritage Commission from its inception in 1976. In this role he contributed to the creation of the Australian National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the Burra Charter.

Max participated in the preparation of Australia’s first nomination files for the World Heritage List. He was Australian President of ICOMOS in 1983-1984 and served as Deputy Chairman of ICOMOS International from 1984 to 1987.

Max later headed the Australian Arts Council and the Multicultural Affairs Office. In 1997 he founded Rural Funds Management Ltd and became the first director of the Thomas Foundation, an organisation dedicated to countering the decline of biodiversity in Australia.

Retired since 2012, Max continues his philanthropic involvement in several organisations dedicated to nature and the arts. As a passionate arborist, Max is closely associated with the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and the National Arboretum.

This Oration is support with funding made available by the ACT Government.

Free entry
Bookings essential

The 90 year Compton Organ will be played by Stuart Warner to welcome guests and the Oration will be followed by refreshments.