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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.

Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6

Daphne Mayo

cast bronze

Amy Christine Rivett (1891–1962), born into a gifted Victorian family, attended the selective Sydney Girls’ High School and studied medicine at the University of Sydney before moving to Brisbane, where she became superintendent of the Hospital for Sick Children in 1915. A disciple of Marie Stopes, intimately familiar with Brisbane’s brothels as municipal medical officer in charge of the health of licensed prostitutes, she was an early and persistent advocate of birth control. Having gained her master’s degree in surgery in 1918, from 1919 she practised in Wickham Terrace, where her doctor brother Edward joined her in 1920. (Another brother, Sir David Rivett, was CEO and then Chairman of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, which became the CSIRO.) In 1929 Christine Rivett became the first Queensland woman to gain an A Class pilot’s licence, and became a foundation member of the Queensland Medical Women’s Society. Meanwhile, in 1927, Edward Rivett, a devotee of alternative therapies and homeopathy, had bought a Walter Burley Griffin house in Castlecrag, Sydney, which he proceeded to convert to a private maternity hospital. Before World War II, Christine Rivett spent some months studying gynaecology and tropical diseases in England and Germany; after the war, she joined her brother in Castlecrag, practising obstetrics and experimenting in telepathy and ESP. Brother and sister died within a few months of each other.

Daphne Mayo (1895–1982), sculptor, graduated from the Brisbane Technical College in 1914 and was awarded Queensland’s first publicly-subscribed travelling art scholarship. In 1923 she received the gold medal for sculpture at London’s Royal Academy of Arts and was enabled to travel and study in Italy. On her return, Mayo worked tirelessly to promote appreciation of the arts in Queensland. Christine Rivett was a patron of the arts, and the women were friends. Mayo’s remarkably diverse works include the tympanum and Concert Hall medallions of Brisbane City Hall, and the bronze entrance doors of the Mitchell Wing of the State Library of New South Wales.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mr Justice Ian Callinan 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 1999.31

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Daphne Mayo (age 55 in 1950)

Christine Rivett (age 59 in 1950)

Subject professions

Health and medicine

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6 Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6 Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6 Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6 Daphne Mayo

In the round

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2009

Andrew Sayers outlines the highlights of the National Portrait Gallery's display of portrait sculpture.

Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6 Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6 Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6 Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 cast 1955-6 Daphne Mayo

A gift for all ages

Magazine article by Rod Kemp, 2003

The then Minister for the Arts and Sport, Rod Kemp, reflects on the value of the Cultural Gifts Program.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner

Portraits for Posterity

Previous exhibition, 2006

Drawn from some of the many donations made to the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Portraits for Posterity pays homage both to the remarkable (and varied) group of Australians who are portrayed in the portraits and the generosity of the many donors who have presented them to the Gallery.

We would like to thank our partners.
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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.