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New Chief Patron for the National Portrait Gallery

8 March 2016

Mrs Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO has accepted an invitation to become the new Chief Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. 

Mrs Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO has accepted an invitation to become the new Chief Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. 

The role of Chief Patron is traditionally occupied by the partner of the current serving Prime Minister of Australia. Previous Chief Patrons have included Mrs Margie Abbott, Mr Tim Mathieson, Ms Thérèse Rein and Mrs Janette Howard.

The Gallery’s Chairman, Dr Helen Nugent AO and Director, Mr Angus Trumble, said they were delighted Mrs Turnbull has accepted the invitation. ‘She will be a strong advocate for the Gallery in the role of Chief Patron,’ they said. 

‘Mrs Turnbull has a long history with the Portrait Gallery having been a Member of our Board from 2005 to 2008 at a time when the Portrait Gallery was transitioning from Old Parliament House to our new bespoke building where we are housed today.’

Mr Trumble said while there are no official duties associated with the position, each previous Chief Patron has shaped the role in their own unique way.  ‘Mrs Turnbull has actively supported the arts throughout her life and the Board and Gallery are looking forward to working closely with her,’ he said.

Among her many roles, Mrs Turnbull is a lawyer, businesswoman, writer and philanthropist and has served in city planning roles, as a company director, and as a board member of various non-profit organisations. In 2003 she was appointed the first female Lord Mayor of Sydney.

She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011 for her service to the community, including fundraising for medical, social welfare and educational causes.

In December 2015 Mrs Turnbull was appointed the inaugural Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission.