John Button Oration

Button Oration to Highlight Founder of Australian Rules Football

The Hon. John Button once said of the Geelong Cats, “The pain I can handle, it’s the hope that’s                                                                                                           so tough!”

Button’s passion for sport, Australian culture and history will be remembered at the inaugural Geelong                                         Cats Sports Foundation Hon John Button Oration, to be held Wednesday 16 March 6-7:30pm at the                                  Geelong Football Club.  The Oration is a free event and everyone is welcome to attend, however                                bookings are required.

Martin Flanagan noted Melbourne Age columnist and author of twelve books, many about sport and                                         football, will deliver the first Oration:

Why Tom Wills is an Australian Legend like Ned Kelly and Burke & Wills.

It will focus on Tom Wills, considered by many to be the founder of Australian Rules Football.

“This is just the kind of topic that would have interested John”, said Geelong Cats Sports Foundation Chair,                       Helene Bender, OAM, “and his family is delighted that Martin, a long-time friend, will give the first Oration.                             It will be a very entertaining evening”.

John Button was Chair of the Geelong Cats Sports Foundation from 2002-2007.  The Foundation was                      established in 2001 to ensure the ongoing development of Kardinia Park as a centre of excellence for                                sport in Geelong.  The income earned from the Foundation’s investments is made available through a                                 grant process, open to all the Kardinia Park clubs.  Since its establishment more than $250,000 has                                         been allocated to the clubs for infrastructure.

To attend this free event, contact Foundation Development Director Sharron Dickman at              or by phone 9747 9844 by 11 March 2011.

The Geelong Cats Sports Foundation Hon. John Button Oration is sponsored by Gartland Real Estate,                       Support Partners include:  Allabout Tours and Travel, Chilwell Office Supplies, Deakin University, The                  Geelong Cats Sports Foundation, and Geelong Football Club.

For additional information: contact Geelong Cats Sports Foundation Development Director                                               Sharron Dickman at: or by phone 9747 9844.

PO Box 461, Geelong Victoria 3220 Australia                                                                        ABN 91 415 446 901

Telephone 03 9747 9844 • E-mail: •


  1. kerry gardiner says:

    Will the Almanac publish Martin’s speech? Unfortunately I will not be able to make it to Catland from Darwin for what will be a superb night.Tom Wills and John Button -two great Geelong FC heroes.

  2. johnharms says:

    G’day Kerry

    I will speak to Flanners and the GFC about what’s happening re publication of the speech. I suspect it will be no the GFC website, so I will establish a link to that if I can.

    I love Darwin. I loev the mood. I love that open bar in the Top End Hotel.


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