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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.

Sir Arvi Parbo, Alcoa - Western Mining

Joe Greenberg

watercolour, crayon, coloured pencil, gouache and fibre-tipped pen on paper (sheet: 50.9 cm x 26.5 cm, image: 37.7 cm x 18.7 cm)

Sir Arvi Parbo AC (1926-2019) succeeded James Forrest as chairman of Alcoa of Australia in 1978. Parbo came to Australia from Estonia in 1949, having studied at Germany's Clausthal mining academy. He gained a first class honours degree in engineering in Adelaide, and began work as an underground surveyor and technical assistant in Bullfinch, WA. Almost immediately he began the remarkable career rise that culminated in his chairmanship of Western Mining Corporation from 1974 to 1999, Alcoa from 1978 to 1996, and BHP from 1989 to 1992. He also served as chairman of Munich Reinsurance Company and Zurich Australian Insurance Group, and a director of the Aluminium Company of America, Hoechst Australian Investments, Chase AMP Bank and Sara Lee Corporation. His colossal contribution to the nickel and aluminium industries brought him a great number of Australian and international awards and six honorary doctorates.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001

Accession number: 2003.173

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Joe Greenberg

Sir Arvi Parbo AC

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Joe Greenberg (37 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.

Rupert Murdoch, c. 1986 Joe Greenberg
Rupert Murdoch, c. 1986 Joe Greenberg
Rupert Murdoch, c. 1986 Joe Greenberg
Rupert Murdoch, c. 1986 Joe Greenberg

Corporate Characters

Magazine article by Gillian Raymond, 2005

A collection of thirty-seven caricatures by the artist Joe Greenberg capture the heroes and villians of Australian business in the 1980s.

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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.