Federation Dinner & Tim Fischer Oration

The Federation Dinner is held on the Friday evening of the Federation Festival weekend. At this dinner, a guest presenter is invited to give the Tim Fischer Oration.


Former Deputy Tim Fischer was Corowa's local member for all his time in both State and Federal Parliaments and he has kindly allowed us to use his name for the oration.


The oration is for people prominent in their field, to present a topic of interest, with possibly a Federation and historical leaning.


Presenters of the oration to date have been.

  • 2016 - Dr Jeffrey Brownrigg - Adjunct Professor of Australian History, Canberra University
  • 2017 - The Hon Tim Fischer - Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia 
  • 2018 - Major General Shane Caughey - 38+ year army officer who grew up in Corowa 
  • 2019 - Assistant Commissioner of Police Michael Corboy APM
  • 2020 - Ms Catherine McGowan AO, former Member for Indi. 
  • 2021 - Dr Brendan Nelson AO BMBS FRACP (Hon) FAMA FRSN

2021-01-22 Federation Festival Dinner and the Tim Fischer Oration


The Federation Festival Weekend got off to a fantastic start on Friday night with the 6th Annual Tim Fischer Oration, which was held in the Civic Bowls Dining Room. The 2021 speaker was Dr Brendan Nelson AO, who spoke about his career and his connection to the late Tim Fischer. The speech was filled with many funny stories, heartfelt moments and memories of Mr Fischer. In his talk, Dr Nelson mentioned his admiration of Neville Bonner as well as his involvement in introducing the holding of ANZAC services in Belgian WWI graveyards. The talk emphasised the values of education, courage, endurance, sacrifice and mateship. Thanks goes to all those involved in making the evening an outstanding success.


Pictured: President Norm O'Flaherty with Dr Nelson

2019-01-24 Guest Presenter - Assistant Commissioner of Police Michael Corboy APM

2017-01-19 The Federation Dinner & Tim Fischer Oration.

Eighty-three guests were entertained on the evening of Friday, January 27th at our Annual Federation Dinner and Tim Fischer Oration, held in the Oddfellows Hall in Sanger St Corowa. 

Tim Fischer has represented Corowa in both State & Federal Parliament where he was Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party. He retired from Parliament in 2001, and was the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See between 2008 and 2012.

As our guest speaker for the evening Tim was, as usual, very entertaining. Speaking on many facets of his expertise, starting with the flashpoints that helped build the case for Federation in 1901, comparing them to some of the clunky trade tariffs and trade choke points being proposed by Donald Trump.

We also heard of some of Tim’s challenges as Minister for Trade, some years ago, when dealing with the inequalities of reciprocal trade dealings internationally and in trying to encourage fair debate about the need for free or at least more liberal trade deals.

With his evident love of railways, and the need for a “future bread ticket”, Tim sees the need for both good rail and road, as well as port infrastructure in Australia but particularly seeing a need for extending the loading loop for grain at Barren Junction NSW, rebuilding a rail loop into Oakey Beef Qld. and aiding build a hub at Leigh Creek SA for inter-modal.

Tim very kindly signed copies of his book “Maestro John Monash” for those who purchased one of the thirty books we sold throughout the night. Unfortunately, Tim’s wife Judy was unable to accompany him to Corowa due to health problems, but we hope to see Tim back in Corowa along with Judy in the near future. 

Pictured: President Meredith and The Hon Tim Fischer