IPAA Victoria’s Oration was established to acknowledge and honour significant and enduring contributions to First Nations communities and public administration in Victoria.

2022: The Uncle Reg and Aunty Walda Blow Oration

To further recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members who have made an outstanding contribution to Victoria, the Jackomos family and the IPAA Victoria Aboriginal Advisory Committee have established a biennial Oration series. The Orations will examine the role that public administration can play in driving improved outcomes for, and supporting leadership by, First Nations peoples. 

Uncle Reg Blow

A caring and pragmatic healer, Uncle Reg Blow was a Kombumerri and Gureng Gureng Elder, who dedicated years of service in the public sector, including heading a new Aboriginal Affairs Unit at the Department of Premier and Cabinet. In 1988, he oversaw the introduction of Aboriginal Community Justice Panels, which continue to provide state-wide support to First Nations people in custody. Over his enviable career, Uncle Reg Blow was CEO of the Aborigines Advancement League and a leader in the Aboriginal Community Elders Service, where he ran day programs and established the Aboriginal Elders Choir. Uncle Reg was inducted to the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2012.

Aunty Walda Blow

A proud Yorta Yorta and Wemba Wemba Elder, Aunty Walda Blow dedicated much of her life to empowering other woman and advancing Aboriginal affairs in Victoria. Over the course of her career in the public service, she was involved in the Aboriginal Advancement League, Elizabeth Hoffman House, the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) and the Victorian and National Councils of Churches. Aunty Walda Blow’s significant achievements were recognised in 2012 when she was inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, and in 2014 when she was inducted to the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll.

Past Orations

  • Andrew Jackomos, Special Adviser for Aboriginal Self Determination Aboriginal Victoria – 2013
  • Professor Kerry Arabena, Chair, Indigenous Health, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit – 2015
  • Tanya Hosch, General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy, AFL – 2017
  • Jill Gallagher, Commissioner, Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission – 2018