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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

First Ladies profiles women who have achieved noteworthy firsts over the past 100 years.

More information on First Ladies

Selected images

Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan. © Estate of Jerrold Nathan
Great Suffragette demonstration in London, 1911 Rose Stereograph Company
Self portrait, 1934 Nora Heysen AM. © Lou Klepac
June Dally-Watkins, 1949 (printed 2008) Max Dupain
Dame Jean Macnamara, c. 1930 Donovan
Margaret Anderson, 1942 Napier Waller. © Estate of Napier Waller
Senator Dame Nancy Buttfield DBE, 1958 Ivor Hele. © Estate of Ivor Hele
Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong, c. 1971 Ern McQuillan OAM. © Michael McQuillan's Classic Photographs
Portrait of Marjorie Cotton, 1969 Jean Isherwood
Evonne Goolagong, 1973 Ern McQuillan OAM. © Michael McQuillan's Classic Photographs
Ita Buttrose, 1981 John Williams. © Estate of John Williams
Marcia Langton, 1982 Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2021
Cathy Freeman, 1994 Montalbetti & Campbell. © Montalbetti & Campbell
Dame Roma Mitchell, 1998 Jessica Hromas. © Jessica Hromas
Imelda Roche, 2003 Paul Newton. © Paul Newton
Quentin Bryce, 2000 (printed 2011) Lorrie Graham. © Lorrie Graham
Nicole Kidman, 2002 (printed 2004) Karin Catt. © Karin Catt
Rose Scott, 1913 May Moore
Gladys Moncrieff, 1920s Ruskin
Mrs Bonney flying from Australia to South Africa via Siam. Singapore 1937 (full length portrait) an unknown artist
Nancy Bird Walton, c. 1973 Judy Cassab AO CBE. © Judy Cassab/Copyright Agency, 2021
Jill Ker Conway, 1987 Sarah Belchetz-Swenson. © Sarah Belchetz-Swenson
Elizabeth Blackburn, 2011 Hugh Hamilton. © Hugh Hamilton/Copyright Agency, 2021

Related information

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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The National Portrait Gallery building at night
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Visiting the Gallery
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© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency