The Oration

The winners of the inaugural McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership were celebrated at an oration on the evening of Thursday, 15 March 2018 at the University of Melbourne.

Winners of both prize categories were presented with an award in recognition of their outstanding achievements and exceptional leadership.

Senator Dean Smith was named the McKinnon Political Leader of the Year for tackling vital issues of public policy, overcoming adversity and achieving real change for the public good.

Councillor Vonda Malone was named the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year, for politicians with less than five years in office, for her outstanding leadership as Mayor of Torres Shire Council.

Each winner was given the opportunity to share their own story of leadership, inspiring others to consider the ways in which all Australians can contribute to realising positive social change across our nation.

For enquiries contact the Melbourne School of Government:


The McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership is a collaboration between the Susan McKinnon Foundation and the University of Melbourne through the Melbourne School of Government.


University of Melbourne logo
Susan McKinnon Foundation logo