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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.


The theme for the Little Darlings Portrait Prize 2023 is ‘Me and my place’. The following questions are prompts to assist with entries, rather than definitive elements that must be addressed:

  • What is it to be Australian?
  • How can you express identity through a portrait?
  • Is identity rooted in family, community, culture or nation, or something else altogether?

Entry criteria

  • The competition is open to Australian school students and home-schooled students aged from 5-18 years (inclusive) as at 1 March 2023
  • There are four age categories for entry, divided as follows:
    • 5-7 years;
    • 8-11 years;
    • 12-15 years;
    • 16-18 years
  • Schools – represented by a teacher/carer – may submit portraits by young artists from their school for consideration for the prize.
  • A school or parent/legal guardian of a student may submit one portrait per child.
  • Any events, displays or exhibitions held in relation to the prize must use the title Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize and acknowledge the National Portrait Gallery.
Portrait specifications – what can (and can’t) be submitted?
  • Entries can be portraits in any artistic medium (eg. painting, drawing, photography etc) but must be two dimensional and under 1kg in weight.
  • Entries must be less than 10 millimetres (1 centimetre) in thickness – meaning an entry should be no thicker than 10mm at any one point of the work. The maximum size of the paper/board/support is 48 x 63 cm.
  • No entries containing glitter of any kind will be accepted.
  • No entries containing substances at risk of separating from the paper/board/support will be accepted.
  • A comprehensive list of all materials used must be included.
  • The portrait must be completed after 1 December 2021.
Submitting entries
  • Entries must be submitted online via
  • Entries must be submitted for consideration in the form of one digital image per portrait (eg. a digital photograph or scan)
  • Entries should be submitted as jpeg, gif or tif image files of high resolution, with a file size of no more than 5mb. Only one image per entry is permitted.
  • Entries may be submitted from 6 June 2022.
  • The deadline for receipt of entries at the National Portrait Gallery is 5pm AEDT Friday 14 October 2022.
Permissions and forms required
  • Before submitting entries to the National Portrait Gallery, schools must obtain the appropriate permissions from the parents/legal guardians of all artists under the age of eighteen who have made the portraits, and provide them to the National Portrait Gallery if the portrait is selected as a finalist. An artist consent form can be downloaded online.
  • If the portrait is of a living person, signed permission of the subject represented (or the subject’s parent/legal guardian in the case of people under the age of eighteen) must be obtained before the entry is submitted, and provided to the National Portrait Gallery if the portrait is selected as a finalist. A subject consent form can be downloaded online.
Winners – selection and transporting original artworks
  • A total of twelve winning entries will be selected from the digital images of the portraits submitted. Each age category will be represented in this selection.
  • Once the winners are selected, they will be notified, and:
    • All details concerning preparation and transport of the artworks will be provided; and
    • Schools or parents/carers will be responsible for transporting the winning portraits to the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra at their own expense, and by the deadline advised by the National Portrait Gallery on notification of selection
  • The judges’ decisions will be final and binding. There will be no correspondence or communication about the judging process or decisions.
  • The Gallery reserves the right to remove portraits from consideration, exhibition or publication at any time at its absolute discretion, without giving reasons.
Winners – exhibition, publication, marketing and supplementary programs
  • Winning portraits will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery for a limited period during autumn 2023. The National Portrait Gallery will be responsible for the framing and display of the winning portraits.
  • Winning portraits will be photographed for publication in a calendar produced by the National Portrait Gallery. Each winner will receive three copies of the calendar, which will also be available for purchase online and in The Curatoreum shop at the National Portrait Gallery.
  • The young artists who made the winning portraits will be named, together with publication of their age and acknowledgement of their school, consistent with the instructions provided in their entry.
  • For any publicity involving any young artist: where it is within the control of the National Portrait Gallery, permission will be sought from the contact person detailed in the entry.
  • The National Portrait Gallery will arrange to deliver workshops in person or online at each school from which a winning entry has been received. The workshops will take place within 12 months of the closing date for entries, 14 October 2022.
Return of winning artworks

The National Portrait Gallery will arrange the return postage of winning works at no cost to the young artist. Works will be sent via Australia Post and every effort will be made to package them appropriately. The National Portrait Gallery does not accept any responsibility for any damage occurring in transit.

Entry checklist

Have you:

Copyright and image use
  • Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize entrants remain the copyright owner and retain intellectual property and moral rights in the entry.
  • By submitting an entry, the entrant grants to the Gallery, without conditions, an irrevocable, perpetual, world-wide, royalty free, non-exclusive licence to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, publish, communicate and supply to third parties, the image of the entry for promotional, publicity, educational and administrative purposes of the Gallery.

For any questions relating to the Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize, please contact:

Jane Duong
02 61027070

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency