Ian Purcell Oration

Each year as part of the annual Feast Festival, the South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA) hosts the Ian Purcell Oration to commemorate one of South Australia’s greatest LGBTIQ+ advocates, Ian Purcell AM.

Ian Purcell AM was a founding member of SARAA and a prominent advocate for the LGBTIQ community in SA, known as the ‘Godfather of the Gay Community’. He dedicated his life to fight discimination against the LGBTIQ community.

The Ian Purcell Oration provides a platform for respected members of South Australia's LGBTIQ+ community to talk about issues close to their heart and of importance to the LGBTIQ+ community. The Orations will also have a special function of helping us to remember our communities history.

2020 oration - Dr Nikki Sullivan

From the Stonewall Riots and first Pride Marches through to Marriage Equality rallies, protests have been a fundamental part of pursuing and protecting LGBTIQ+ rights for generations.

For 2020, Dr Nikki Sullivan, Manager of the History Trust of South Australia’s Centre of Democracy and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Humanities at the University of Adelaide, delivers an oration on the importance of protest for our community.

2019 oration - Damien Ralphs

On 21 November 2019, Damien Ralphs presented the fourth annual Ian Purcell Oration.

Damien provided a personal account of Aboriginal history, and called on the LGBTIQ+ community to stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Thanks to Dominic Guerrera for providing a Welcome to Country, Jenny Scott for MCing, and Robyn Lierton for explaining why supporting the LGBTIQ+ community is important for our principal sponsor, ECH.


2017 oration - Kenton Penley-Miller

On 15 November 2017, SARAA held the the inaugural Ian Purcell Oration: "Brighten up the corner where you are".

Named for one of Ian's favourite songs, the oration was delivered by his long-time friend and co-activist, Kenton Penley-Miller. Kenton Penley-Miller is a gay man who is well known as the cartoonist for 'Outrage' magazine and the creator of 'Bent at the Knees'. For many years Kenton worked at the AIDS Council of South Australia as the Information and Training Officer for Gay Men's Health.

Kenton gave a very entertaining oration, speaking to Ian’s political and cultural contribution, touching on the history of South Australian advocacy in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Kenton's speech recognised the contributions of Ian’s friends and collaborators, many of whom were in the room.

We thank Stephen Leahy for his support of the event, Kenton for a fantastic speech, Jenny Scott for making a photographic record of the Oration, all those who attended or helped to make the evening so memorable.

Oration supporters

Thanks to the following supporters who have helped make the Ian Purcell Oration happen:

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