C.Y. O’Connor Lecture Series

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture Series


Each year the National Trust of Western Australia commemorates the significant contribution CY O’Connor’s legacy has made to the state and nation with an annual lecture held on or about the anniversary of his death – 10 March.

O’Connor’s work and his personal life were guided by qualities of integrity, innovation, sustainability and equality.  His projects have stood the test of time and remain a testament to his brilliance. It is this sense of courage and purpose and its subsequent legacy, that this lecture series seeks to promote.

Speakers invited to deliver the annual address will explore a topic and/or person, historical or contemporary, relevant to their area of expertise that is within the spirit of O’Connor’s legacy. While it is not necessary that topics relate specifically to O’Connor or engineering, it is anticipated that they will present groundbreaking research, innovation, best practice or excellence.

The Lecture is supported by Water Corporation.

Energy that doesn’t cost the earth

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2011
Presented by Dr Bev Ronalds, Group Executive Energy, Australian Resources Research Centre, CSIRO.

Connecting and Building Sustainable Communities

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2012
Presented by Dr Ken Michael AC, former Governor of Western Australia.

Threats to Australia’s heritage

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2013
Presented by Hon Prof Carmen Lawrence, Chair Australian Heritage Council and former Premier of Western Australia.

The State of Nation Building

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2014
Presented by Hon Stephen Smith, former federal politician.

Australia’s competitiveness in the 21st Century

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2015
Presented by Prof Deborah Terry, Vice Chancellor Curtin University.

Do we celebrate our scientists, engineers and innovators enough?

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2016
Presented by the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO, Former Governor of Western Australia.

The Big Water-Related Challenges

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2017
Presented by Professor Paul Hardisty, Former Director CSIRO Land and Water, Adjunct Professor UWA and author.

Australia’s Changing Climate

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2018
Presented by Neil Bennett, WA Manager of Media and Communication at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Lessons from the ‘pipe track scandal’

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2019
Presented by Sue Murphy, Former Chief Executive Officer, Water Corporation.


Playing to our Strengths

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2020
Presented by the Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Former Governor of Western Australia.


Rebuilding community resilience and cultural connections

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2021
Presented by the Honourable Ben Wyatt, former WA Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.


Railways, harbours, everything… On the trail of ‘The Chief’

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2022
Presented by Mike Lefroy, author, former Head of Education at Western Australia Maritime Museum, Great-Grandson of C.Y. O’Connor and John Septimus Roe.


Infrastructure, innovation and a sustainable future for WA

C.Y. O’Connor Lecture 2023
Presented by Nicole Lockwood, Chair of Infrastructure WA, the Malka Foundation and Airbridge and member of the Boards of the Green Building Council of Australia and the WA Association for Mental Health.


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