2020 Pearcey Oration and Victorian Entrepreneur of the Year Award

2020 Pearcey Oration and Victorian Entrepreneur of the Year Award

In 2020, the Pearcey Oration will be given by John Blackburn AO.

The Victorian State Pearcey award presentation and the Pearcey Oration will be held at a virtual event on Wednesday 2 September 2020, from 4:00pm AEST.

The Pearcey Oration is presented each year by an eminent thought-leader, reflecting on how our nation is being impacted by the rise of new, advanced technologies. Past Orations have included those given by Roger Taylor, Robyn Williams, Dr Amanda Caples and Paul Shetler.

In 2020, the Oration will explore the very pertinent topic of Resilience, specifically: How do we address our resilience and preparedness in this age of mistrust?

The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed a global lack of resilience as a result of a collective failure to assess and act on national risks and vulnerabilities in the face of a rapidly changing world. Whilst Australia’s response to the pandemic has been comparatively very good, our national preparedness and thus resilience has been found wanting. We had left our resilience, and therefore our sovereignty and security, to the largely foreign owned market, particularly with regard to technology systems and solutions.

With ample time available for audience Q+A, this online event will provide a forum to learn, share and connect - delving into a rich and complex topic, with like-minded individuals.

The Victorian winner of the Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year Award (presented each year since 1999 to individuals in each state who have "taken a risk, made a difference and been an inspiration" within the ICT industry) will be presented during this event, which is once again part of the Digital Innovation Festival, generously supported by the Victorian Government.

We do hope you will join us!

Online Event Details

Date: Wednesday 2 September 2020
Time: From 4:00pm AEST

Free to attend. Please click register below to receive details to join the online event.


Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn AO (Retd) MDefStud, MStratStud

John BlackburnJohn Blackburn is a consultant in the field of Defence and National Security. In 2007 he was appointed an Officer in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AO).

John retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in 2008 as the Deputy Chief of the Air Force following a career as an F/A-18 fighter pilot, test pilot and strategic planner. John’s senior posts included Commander of the Integrated Area Defence System (IADS) located in Malaysia, commanding a multi-national headquarters established to effect the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and Head of Strategic Policy in the Defence Headquarters.

Since 2008, John has consulted in the fields of Defence and National Security and has undertaken a number of related studies under the Institute for Integrated Economic Research - Australia, the Kokoda Foundation (now the Institute For Regional Security) and the Sir Richard Williams Foundation. John has published articles and reports on Energy Security, Economic Security, Integrated Air and Missile Defence, the 5th Gen Air Force, Cyber Security, Space Policy, Defence Logistics, Defence White Papers and Fuel Security.

John has had a media presence in his work on Australia’s lack of resilience, in particular in the area of Medicine and Fuel supply chains. In 2019 John was also a member of the Australian Chief Scientist’s Hydrogen Strategy Stakeholder Advisory Panel.

John assumed the Chairmanship of the Institute of Integrated Economic Research-Australia when it was established in early 2018. His previous Board roles have included being the Chairman of the Kokoda Foundation Board, the Deputy Chairman of the Williams Foundation Board and the Defence nominee on the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Council.

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The 2020 Pearcey Oration and VIC State Awards
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