Skip to main content

Coming to visit? Ticketed entry is in place to safely manage your visit so please book ahead. Need to cancel or rejig? Email bookings@npg.gov.au

Menu

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.

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

Artist and subject

Montalbetti & Campbell

Cathy Freeman OAM (age 21 in 1994)

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.

The Final Frontier

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2002

Magda Keaney talks with Montalbetti+Campbell about their photographic portrait of Australian astronaut Andy Thomas.

First Ladies

Significant Australian Women 1913–2013

Previous exhibition, 2013

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

© 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