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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.

Cathy Freeman

1995
Montalbetti + Campbell

direct positive colour photograph on paper (frame: 153.3 cm x 113.2 cm, sheet: 121.0 cm x 90.0 cm)

Cathy Freeman OAM (b. 1973) was eight years old when she won her first race at a school athletics carnival in north Queensland. Aged sixteen, she was selected for the Australian women’s 4 x 100m relay team that took out the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland, making her the first Aboriginal athlete to win a Commonwealth gold medal. She won two more gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Canada in 1994. The first Aboriginal track and field athlete to represent Australia at the Olympic Games, she won a silver medal in Atlanta in 1996. She was ranked first in the world in her signature event, the 400m, in which she won back-to-back World Championships in 1997 and 1999, and, memorably, the Olympic gold medal in front of her home crowd in Sydney in 2000. The Catherine (now Cathy) Freeman Foundation was established in 2007 to enhance educational opportunities for Aboriginal children.

This photograph was taken at the NSW Academy of Sport in December 1994. As Denis Montalbetti and Gay Campbell noted: 'It's irrelevant how many times a person has been photographed. Our aim is to create unique images of them, to be part of their testimony … a part of their photographic history.'

Gift of the artists 2003
© Montalbetti & Campbell

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.
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1 minute 27 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Montalbetti + Campbell

Cathy Freeman OAM (age 22 in 1995)

Donated by

Montalbetti + Campbell (8 portraits)

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.

Andy Thomas
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Andy Thomas
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The Final Frontier

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2002

Magda Keaney talks with Montalbetti+Campbell about their photographic portrait of Australian astronaut Andy Thomas.

Miranda Otto
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Eye to eye

Previous exhibition, 2019

Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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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