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Hudson Fysh
, c. 1950

by Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 30.4 x 25.9 cm, image: 30.1 x 24.0 cm)

Sir Hudson Fysh KBE DFC (1895-1974), founder of Qantas, was one of Australia's great aviation administrators. Born in Launceston, Tasmania, he enlisted at the beginning of World War I and served in the Australian Flying Corps as an observer, winning the DFC. In 1919 he qualified as a pilot. Later that year he was commissioned by the government to survey the Darwin to Longreach section of the Britain-Australia Air Race, which he had been prevented from entering by lack of funds. In 1920 Fysh and his companion on the survey, P. McGinnis, joined two others to form Queensland and Northern Territory Air Services Ltd (Qantas) with Fysh as general manager of the company. Qantas began to operate the Singapore-Australia air route in 1934, trading as Qantas Empire Airways. Six years later Fysh became a director of Tasman Empire Airways Ltd, which flew to and from New Zealand. He oversaw further expansion of Qantas before retiring as managing director in 1953 and chairman in 1966.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased with funds provided by Timothy Fairfax AC 2003
Accession number: 2003.34