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Tim Fairfax, 2018

by Russell Shakespeare

Tim Fairfax, 2018 by Russell Shakespeare
Tim Fairfax, 2018 by Russell Shakespeare

Tim Fairfax AC (b.1946), company director, grazier and philanthropist, is a founding benefactor of the National Portrait Gallery and a former chair of its board of directors. A great-great-grandson of Fairfax media founder John Fairfax, he has made exceptional gifts to community-based arts, music and educational projects in regional Australia through his Brisbane-based Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, and is a former chairman of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (named for his father), which has given more than $150 million for the public good. He has been chancellor of Queensland University of Technology since 2012. A keen collector and donor of art, he has been president of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation since 2008 and deputy chairman of the council of the National Gallery of Australia since 2011, as well as a former director of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and a member of the Philanthropy Australia Council. He has been patron of the Australian Medical Association of Queensland Foundation since 2003 and the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation since 2010. Fairfax is particularly dedicated to providing opportunities for young people, offering funding for scores of events and programs, supplying various scholarships and enabling – amongst many other initiatives – Musica Viva in Schools, the Fair Education Program, the play space at the National Gallery and children’s and schools’ programs at the National Portrait Gallery. In 2014 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for his service to business and to the community, particularly as a supporter of rural and regional development programs. In 2016 the Queensland Art Gallery staged the exhibition A World View: The Tim Fairfax ac Gift, featuring more than 70 contemporary artworks the Gallery has acquired with his support. That year, he was Queensland’s Senior Australian of the Year. In 2018 he and his wife Gina were Creative Partnerships Australia Award winners in Philanthropy Leadership.

Russell Shakespeare

‘Sitting down with Tim at our first meeting I discovered that he had a love of photography and a love of the land. We talked a lot about photography and shared common ground with our mutual passion for the black and white medium. I wanted to keep the portrait very simple and honest, reflecting the man of the land but very connected to home and family. To achieve this, we settled on a location at his family home in Brisbane with the portrait shot on the verandah.’

Russell Shakespeare (b. 1963) has photographed well-known Australians from a wide range of fields, including writers Tim Winton and Colleen McCullough, sports people Steve Waugh and Stephanie Gilmore, and former politicians Gough Whitlam and Bob Brown. Since attending the Queensland College of Art in 1987, he has exhibited in Australia and internationally. His work has appeared in leading magazines and newspapers, and in books published by Australian Geographic and the Magnum Foundation, among others. He has been a finalist in the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize (four times), the Olive Cotton Award (three times), the Black and White Photographer of the Year Competition (Documentary) and the National Photographic Portrait Prize. In 1995 he was awarded a Walkley Award for Journalism (best news photograph). His works are held in private and public collections, including those of The Queensland Art Gallery, Tweed Regional Art Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.

Commissioned with funds provided by the Calvert-Jones Foundation 2018