Former Chief Scientist for Australia and 2017 Henry Parkes orator Prof. Ian Chubb managed to shed new light on Tenterfield’s iconic statesman, impressing even Parkes’ most dedicated scholars.
Prof. Chubb’s address was entitled A steed to be harnessed; science for the benefit of the nation which certainly piqued the interest of oration master of ceremonies Ken Halliday, who is a Friend of the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts.
What surprised Mr Halliday and even Parkes’ great-great-grandson Ian Thom was that Prof. Chubb was quoting Parkes, echoing the great man’s future-proofing philosophy.
“The aim of the oration is to provide a platform for distinguished Australians to talk about contemporary issues, in light of Parkes’ vision and enthusiasm,” Mr Halliday said.
This year’s oration proved popular, packing out the Tenterfield School of Arts with numbers up on previous events. Mr Halliday said Prof. Chubb was an excellent speaker who engaged the audience as he urged the need for change in thinking and for action.
“He said the sustainability of mankind is up to us,” Mr Halliday said.
“He said we need to stand up, and be persistent.”
An active Q&A session at the conclusion of the address examined the scope of renewable energy resources like hydrogen to power cars, and the effect of mining on the environment.
The oration is an annual celebration of the famous Tenterfield Oration delivered by Sir Parkes at the School of Arts on October 24, 1889 advocating federation for the six Australian colonies. A strong contingent of Parkes’ descendents including Mr Thoms participated in this year’s event, which concluded with the oration dinner at The Maze.
Prof. Chubb also indulged his love of science by dropping into a science class at Tenterfield High School during his visit.
The next oration will take place in Canberra before returning to Tenterfield in 2019. Mr Halliday said there is enough enthusiasm and support to continue the annual commemoration, and the Friends will now take breath before plans get underway to host the next distinguished orator.