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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Donald Argus

1996
Kate Gollings

gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned on paper (sheet: 60.5 cm x 50.3 cm, image: 50.5 cm x 36.5 cm)

Donald Argus AC (b. 1938), corporate leader, was Chairman of BHP Billiton Ltd from 2000 to 2012. Bundaberg-born and a high-school dropout, Argus began his career in the mailroom of the National Australia Bank (NAB) and worked his way up to hold the position of managing director there from 1990 to 1999, when he became the tenth Chairman of BHP. During his directorship of the NAB Argus oversaw the growth of the organisation into Australia's largest bank, but was still wont to refer to himself as its 'head teller'. He completed his tertiary studies at Harvard at the age of 40, having divided his time between his career, studying, and playing and coaching hockey. Advising business students to 'stick with the fundamentals' such as auditing, he believes that Australians should champion their business leaders rather than complaining about how much profit companies make. He embraces deregulation and globalisation and believes that the Australian banking sector leads the world in enterprise and good management. Since he left the NAB he has also been Chairman of Brambles Industries and a Director of the Australia Foundation Investment Company; he was a Director of Southcorp Ltd from 1999 to 2003, and served on the Board of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games until 2001. Well-known for his support and sponsorship of sports and community activities, Argus has twice been voted Australia's most-admired businessman.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2001
© Estate of Kate Gollings

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

Kate Gollings (age 53 in 1996)

Donald Argus AO (age 58 in 1996)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Supported by

Marilyn Darling AC (30 portraits supported)

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency