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Sir Ian Potter
, 1968

by Mark Strizic

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 37.3 cm x 24.9 cm)

Sir Ian Potter (1902-1994), company director, stockbroker, merchant banker and philanthropist, was the founder of the Ian Potter Foundation, one of Australia's major philanthropic bodies. Potter was born into a family of English wool merchants trading in Australia. After studying economics at Sydney University, in 1936 he moved to Melbourne to found the stockbroking firm Ian Potter & Co. Over his career he served on the boards of some 25 companies, travelling often to the USA and Europe. He retired from Potter and Co in 1967, three years after creating the Ian Potter Foundation. During his lifetime alone, its grants amounted to more than $22 million, and he himself made large donations to the arts, hospitals, universities, sciences, social welfare and environment and heritage conservation until he died. Knighted in 1962, Potter was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Science in 1978 for his 'conspicuous service to the cause of science'.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased with funds provided by Sir Roderick Carnegie 2003
Accession number: 2003.134