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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.

First Ladies

Significant Australian Women 1913–2013

Daily from Friday 1 February 2013 until Tuesday 11 June 2013
Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan
Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan

First Ladies profiles women who have achieved noteworthy firsts over the past 100 years. The focus display includes Australia’s first female Governor General, Quentin Bryce; Elizabeth Blackburn, the first Australian-born woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize; and aviatrix Nancy Bird Walton, Australia’s first female commercial pilot.

First Ladies maps the milestones accomplished by Australian women across diverse fields of endeavour, from politics, activism and academia to sport, science and business, taking in the stories of household names as well as unsung heroines.

23 portraits

1Great Suffragette demonstration in London, 1911 Rose Stereograph Company. 2Self portrait, 1934 Nora Heysen. 3June Dally-Watkins, 1949 (printed 2008) Max Dupain. 4Dame Jean Macnamara, c. 1930 Donovan.
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© 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.