Topical 'whistleblower' oration packs them in

There was a great turnout to the Banquet Hall of the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts on Saturday afternoon to hear public integrity and anti-corruption expert Professor AJ Brown deliver this year's Parkes Oration.

Christine Denis, secretary of Friends of the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts which hosted the biannual event, believed the topical subject of protecting whisteblowers in a climate of government and corporate secrecy was a factor in the popularity of the event.

Mrs Denis has attended all the orations held in Tenterfield (they're delivered in Canberra every other year), and feels this was one of the best due to its relevancy. She said members of the Henry Parkes Foundation and SHPMSOA Friends alike were very pleased with the event.

"It was excellent," she said, "probably more topical than most."

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Prof. Brown is contributing to the legislation aimed at providing legal protection for so-called whisteblowers, and Mrs Denis said there was interest in where volunteer workers will fit into this scheme. The professor has been involved in senate committee hearings and shared his seven-point plan to address the issue.

Mrs Denis said that he is a very engaging speaker.

She was also impressed with the contribution of Tenterfield High School captains Ella Wishart and Aidan Paynter, who also spoke.

More than 60 keen listeners attended the first event to test out the Banquet Hall's new air-conditioning system on what turned out to be a warm day, and they did so in comfort.

Dignitaries and members of the foundation and Friends dined at the Tenterfield Motor Inn that evening, where Mayor Peter Petty got to present his own mini-oration, in one of his self-penned odes to the strength of the Tenterfield community in the face of challenges.

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