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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.

Australian of the Year

Inspiring a Nation

Previous exhibition from Friday 22 January 2010 until Monday 26 April 2010

The Australian of the Year Awards have often provoked controversy about who is selected and whether their achievements are remarkable. The awards also generate debate about what it means to be Australian. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of these unique national awards a selection of portraits from the collection are on display throughout the gallery. In partnership with the National Australia Day Council.

Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill, 2005 Ian Jennings
Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill, 2005 Ian Jennings. © Ian Jennings

The Australian of the Year Award was established in 1960 to acknowledge the achievements of Australians whose contribution to the nation’s culture, economy, sciences and arts is recognised as particularly outstanding.

Over the years the Award has expanded to include the categories of Young Australian of the Year (1979), Senior Australian of the Year (1999) and Local Hero (2003), recognising the individual achievements of up to 128 inspiring Australians every year.

A selection of portraits from the collection celebrates the 50th anniversary of these awards in partnership with the National Australia Day Council.

25 portraits

1Ian Frazer, 2007 Marian Drew. © Commonwealth of Australia. 2Dr Fiona Wood AM, 2005 Richard Woldendorp. 3Steve Waugh, 2001 Russell Shakespeare. © Russell Shakespeare. 4Sir Gustav Nossal, 1979 (printed 1981) Mark Strizic. © Estate of Mark Strizic. 5Mark Taylor, 1999 Bill Leak. © Estate of Bill Leak. 6Cathy Freeman, 2000 David Caird. © David Caird and News Corp.

Related information

Cate Blanchett, 2006 by Martin Schoeller
Cate Blanchett, 2006 by Martin Schoeller
Cate Blanchett, 2006 by Martin Schoeller
Cate Blanchett, 2006 by Martin Schoeller

Martin Schoeller

Close up

Previous exhibition, 2010

German-born American photographer Martin Schoeller's first exhibition in Australia presents compelling large-scale portraits. The exhibition explores human identity through photographs of individuals accustomed and unaccustomed to the spotlight.

True Stories - Helen Garner, 2003 Jenny Sages
True Stories - Helen Garner, 2003 Jenny Sages
True Stories - Helen Garner, 2003 Jenny Sages
True Stories - Helen Garner, 2003 Jenny Sages

Jenny Sages

Paths to Portraiture

Previous exhibition, 2010

The exhibition Sages examines the process of portrait making through four large-scale portraits of women by Jenny Sages, paired with intimate preparatory drawings.

The Precasso Armoured Butterfly, 2010 by Alicia Mozqueira
The Precasso Armoured Butterfly, 2010 by Alicia Mozqueira
The Precasso Armoured Butterfly, 2010 by Alicia Mozqueira
The Precasso Armoured Butterfly, 2010 by Alicia Mozqueira

Headspace 10

Self/reflections

Previous exhibition, 2010

Headspace 10 is a national, secondary school art exhibition from all states and territories exploring the theme, Self/reflections, through portraiture.

masculine/feminine, 2010 by Bridget Mac
NYSPP 2010 winner
masculine/feminine, 2010 by Bridget Mac
NYSPP 2010 winner
masculine/feminine, 2010 by Bridget Mac
NYSPP 2010 winner
masculine/feminine, 2010 by Bridget Mac
NYSPP 2010 winner

National Youth Self Portrait Prize

NYSPP 2010

Previous exhibition, 2010

An annual event, the National Youth Self Portrait Prize seeks to encourage young people to embrace self portraiture and its expressive possibilities.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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 both past and present.

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