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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.

Dawn Fraser

1998 (printed 2001)
Peter Brew-Bevan

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 47.7 cm x 40.7 cm, image: 46.1 cm x 38.0 cm)

Dawn Fraser AC MBE (b. 1937), swimming champion, broke 39 world records, won four gold and four silver Olympic medals, and became the first woman to swim 100m freestyle in under a minute. She scored her first national championship title in the 220 yards freestyle in 1955. In early 1956 she won the national 110 and 220 yards freestyle titles, the latter in world record time. At the Melbourne Olympics, Fraser established another world record in winning the 100m freestyle and was part of the gold medal-winning 4 x 100m relay team. She won the 100m again in Rome in 1960 and in Tokyo in 1964, making her the first swimmer to win the same event at three consecutive Olympics. In 1999, Fraser was named World's Greatest Living Female Water Sports Champion by the International Olympic Committee; and Australian Female Athlete of the Century by the Sports Australia Hall of Fame. She later worked as a publican and served a term in the New South Wales Parliament as the independent member for Balmain.

Peter Brew-Bevan draws on his formal art background to give his photographs a very distinctive 'painterly' quality. Here he captured Fraser's larrikin personality; she was famously given a ten-year ban from competitive swimming after stealing an Olympic flag from the Japanese Emperor's palace in Toyko in 1964.

Purchased 2001
© Peter Brew-Bevan

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.

Artist and subject

Peter Brew-Bevan (age 29 in 1998)

Dawn Fraser AC MBE (age 61 in 1998)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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.

Cathy Freeman, 1994
Cathy Freeman, 1994
Cathy Freeman, 1994
Cathy Freeman, 1994

Depth of Field

Magazine article by Lauren Dalla, 2004

The exhibition Depth of Field displays a selection of portrait photographs that reflect the strength and diversity of Australian achievement.

Akira Isogawa
Akira Isogawa
Akira Isogawa
Akira Isogawa

Peter Brew-Bevan Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2005

In this exhibition Sydney based photographer Peter Brew-Bevan brings together an intimate collection of works that highlight his passion for the genre of portraiture over the last 10 years

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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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