The 2019 John Monash Oration and Dinner
‘Beyond confidence and charisma - what will be required to lead in the future?’
The 2019 John Monash Oration is an annual signature event which provides insight into different aspects of leadership in Australian society.
Hosted by long-term supporter Commonwealth Bank, we were honoured to have the Hon Julia Gillard AC, 27th Prime Minister of Australia, deliver the Oration on the topic of future leadership, with the reply given by 2017 Roden Cutler NSW John Monash Scholar Dr Martin Seneviratne.
Ms Gillard delivered a powerful address exploring how gender stereotyping impacts our perceptions of leadership and challenged the audience by asking - “are we even looking for the right traits in our leaders or are we too beguiled by attributes like confidence and charisma?”. Ms Gillard suggested that in tomorrow’s world, good leadership will be viewed very differently to the way it is today.
In his engaging reply, Dr Seneviratne shared the idea of having different “leadership languages” that can be added to and refined over time. There are many leadership languages beyond the veneer of confidence and charisma, and the lack of diversity in leadership is because society still expects a very narrow leadership language and is deaf to many others.
Both speakers challenged the audience to think about leadership in open and considered ways and stimulated lively discussion. The General Sir John Monash Foundation is grateful to both our speakers for their thought provoking words and to the Commonwealth Bank for their gracious hospitality.