Skip to main content

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.

Dame Roma Mitchell

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
© Jessica Hromas

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

Jessica Hromas (age 26 in 1998)

The Hon. Dame Roma Mitchell AC DBE CVO QC (age 85 in 1998)

Donated by

The Hammond Care Group (2 portraits)

Related portraits