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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Powerful, equal, legal love

‘What we have together is hugely powerful and special’, Kerryn Phelps observed of her relationship with Jackie Stricker in a 2002 Sydney Morning Herald interview.

In 1998 in New York, Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker had a Jewish wedding, subsequently returning for a civil ceremony in 2011 when same-sex marriage was legalised in that state. In 2012 they became the first non-kin same-sex couple to adopt in NSW, having successfully campaigned to change the law to enable the adoption. In 2017 Stricker-Phelps, a former teacher, and Phelps – doctor, former President of the Australian Medical Association, and soon-to-be first female member for the federal electorate of Wentworth – were prominent campaigners during the Australian marriage equality plebiscite. With the ensuing change in the law, they renewed their vows again in 2018, laying claim to Australia’s first legal Jewish same-sex marriage. Their trio of unions across two decades lends more power to Jenny Sages’ 2001 portrait, featuring the determined couple in graceful matching bridal gowns.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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