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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.

Alan Bond

Joe Greenberg

watercolour, coloured pencil, crayon and gouache on paper (sheet: 50.0 cm x 25.0 cm, image: 37.7 cm x 18.0 cm)

Born in London, Alan Bond (1938–2015) emigrated with his family in 1950 and began his working life as a signwriter. Awarded Australian of the Year in 1978 for his backing of two unsuccessful attempts at the America’s Cup, Bond would go on to mount a further three challenges, becoming a national hero when Australia II won the America’s Cup – possibly the most prestigious of sporting events – for Australia in 1983 with Ben Lexcen’s innovative winged keel design. His syndicate financed Royal Perth Yacht Club’s unsuccessful defence of the Cup in 1987, which brought further international attention to Australia and its yachting prowess.

Flamboyant in his business dealings, his Bond Corporation acquired the giant Castlemaine Tooheys beer empire, giving him control of more than 40% of Australia’s beer market. He paid a record price for Van Gogh’s painting Irises, funded the establishment of the eponymous private Bond University on the Gold Coast and bought Channel Nine for $1 billion.

By 1989 Bond’s business empire unravelled spectacularly; he was declared bankrupt in 1992 and was jailed several times throughout the 1990s for misuse of corporate funds and art fraud. He was stripped of his Order of Australia in 1997. A controversial figure, following release from jail in 2000, Bond, by the time of his death had regained much of his fortune through astute investments. In 2013, he joined former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and skipper of Australia II John Bertrand for a televised 30th anniversary celebration of the historic America’s Cup win.

Two Australians of the Year were announced in 1978 by the rival Melbourne and Canberra Australia Day Councils. The other awardee was Galarrwuy Yunupingu.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001
© Estate of Joe Greenberg

Accession number: 2003.197

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Joe Greenberg

Alan Bond

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.

Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw
Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw
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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
The National Portrait Gallery

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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.