Skip to main content

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Gallery is closed to the public until further notice. Learn more

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.

Dame Roma Mitchell, 1998

Jessica Hromas

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 50.7 cm x 40.6 cm, image: 49.3 cm x 33.0 cm)

The Hon. Dame Roma Mitchell AC DBE CVO (1913-2000) was a jurist, constitutionalist and state governor. Dux of St Aloysius’s Convent in both 1929 and 1930, she excelled in her law course at the University of Adelaide, where she helped to found the Women Law Students’ Society and won the David Murray Scholarship. She was admitted to the Bar in 1935 and practised as a barrister. In 1962 she became Australia's first female Queen's Counsel, and in 1965, on the recommendation of Don Dunstan, she was appointed Australia's first female Supreme Court judge. During the 1970s she chaired the Dunstan government's groundbreaking criminal law and penal methods reform committee, and was founding chair of the Australian Human Rights Commission from 1981 to 1986. In 1983 she became chancellor of the University of Adelaide, where she often taught family law; she was the first female chancellor of any Australian university. She became Australia's first female state governor when she became governor of South Australia at the age of 77; she retired at 82. Devoutly religious, she was renowned for integrity and was a much-loved public figure in South Australia. No other Australian woman was first to achieve so many official appointments, but she looked forward to a time when the appointment of a woman would not be noteworthy.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Hammond Care Group 1999

Accession number: 2002.41

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Jessica Hromas (age 26 in 1998)

Dame Roma Mitchell AC DBE CVO (age 85 in 1998)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

The Hammond Care Group (2 portraits)

Related portraits

1. Portrait of Dame Roma Mitchell, n.d.. All Geoffrey Mainwaring.

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.

Radical Restraint  
Justice Michael Kirby, 1998 Ralph Heimans
Radical Restraint  
Justice Michael Kirby, 1998 Ralph Heimans
Radical Restraint  
Justice Michael Kirby, 1998 Ralph Heimans
Radical Restraint  
Justice Michael Kirby, 1998 Ralph Heimans

Judicial portraits

Magazine article by Leslie Moran, 2007

Leslie Moran investigates the portraits of judges in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan
Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan
Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan
Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan

First Ladies

Significant Australian Women 1913–2013

Previous exhibition, 2013

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

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.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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.