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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.

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Cathy Freeman

1994
Montalbetti + Campbell

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 46.0 cm x 32.0 cm, image: 42.0 cm x 30.5 cm)

Catherine 'Cathy' Freeman OAM (b. 1973), athlete, was born in Mackay, Queensland. At the age of sixteen she became the first Aboriginal runner to win a Commonwealth gold medal. She won two more in 1994, and as the first Aboriginal track and field athlete to represent Australia at the Olympic Games, she won a silver medal in the 400m in Atlanta in 1996. She was ranked first in the world in her signature event, the 400m, in which she won back-to-back World Championships in 1997 and 1999 and the Olympic gold medal in 2000. She was the first person to be named both Young Australian of the Year (1990) and Australian of the Year (1998). Freeman retired from running in July 2003, still enjoying the immense popularity she earned during her exceptional career. The Catherine Freeman Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of enhancing opportunities for individuals living in disadvantaged communities.

This photograph was taken at the NSW Academy of Sport in December 1994, by the Canadian-born advertising and fashion photographers, Denis Montalbetti and Gay Campbell.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
© Montalbetti & Campbell

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.
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Audio description

1 minute 27 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Montalbetti + Campbell

Cathy Freeman OAM (age 21 in 1994)

Related information

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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.

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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